Pregnancy is a joyous time, but few women speak about the pain you’ll have during the nine months. Discomfort, sciatic nerve pain, lower and upper back pain are common ailments, but the list is never-ending. The body prepares to not only support life, but also give it. This explains why so many women experience bouts of intense pain from their pregnancy; however, it doesn’t count for outside factors such as injury.
Relief options are limited when pregnant too, which can add stress and make pain feel worse than it is. This can lead you to options that are more dangerous for both you and baby. Try one of these natural and safe pain relief techniques instead.
1. Support Your Bump
Consider purchasing a belly band that grows (stretches) with your belly. This helps lift the weight of your baby bump and relieves the pressure on the lower back and shoulders. Another item that can ease aches and pains is a wedge or body pillow you place between your thighs when sleeping and resting. Doing this helps align your hips and spine while reducing pressure on your lower back.
2. Heat Therapy
Fill a cotton sock with 2 cups of uncooked rice. Tie a knot at the open end. Toss it in the microwave for about 60 seconds and you have an instant heating pad to apply wherever you need it. You can also add a few drops of essential oil (or a blend of favorites like lavender and lemon oil) to the rice for a spa-like experience.
With your doctor’s permission, you can add gentle exercises to stretch and work out sore muscles. Exercise can also fight depression and anxiety. When you exercise, your body releases feel good chemicals called endorphins. These lift your mood and reduce the sensation of pain. As long as you have your doctor’s okay, you can exercise how you want. Do be sure to drink plenty of water and listen to your body.
This traditional medicine has long been associated with relieving morning sickness and easing many aches and pains that come with pregnancy. It can also offer help with depression and anxiety, both of which can increase pain or manifest as pain in your body.
5. Change Your Sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. As your body changes, you will find yourself more exhausted than usual. Your body won’t function properly inside if you don’t sleep enough hours, leaving you with aching and stiff muscles the next day. Lack of sleep also affects your mood and can lead to increased irritability, depression, and anxiety.
6. Ditch Your Footwear
If you’re still wearing high heels, consider switching them out for flat or lower heeled footwear. What you wear on your feet can affect your lower back as well as your legs, knees, and feet. Heels can also lead you to accidents with slips and falls, so be kind to your body and optimize your footwear for balance and safety. Plenty of fun, fashionable styles are available today to suit any wardrobe.
7. Reevaluate Your Posture
Poor posture is a major cause of lower and upper backaches. This can also extend to your shoulders and arms in addition to your hips. If you sit for long periods of time, don’t forget to take stretch breaks and to constantly realign your posture when you find yourself hunching forward. A lumbar support cushion might also be a wise investment. If you’re on your feet all day, be sure your shoulders are back and that you’re not slouching forward.
If any pain worsens, is accompanied by severe cramping, fever, burning with urination, vaginal bleeding, or pain that lasts longer than 2 weeks, contact your doctor straight away. Don’t self-medicate. Pregnant women should never use opiates because they pass through the placenta. They are unsafe for both the mother and unborn child, and using them while pregnant can lead to opiate addiction for the mother and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome for the unborn child. Opiate use while pregnant can also lead to birth defects, low birth weight, and stillbirth. If you’re currently using or addicted to opiates and pregnant, please seek treatment immediately.