One of the big consequences of becoming pregnant and delivering a baby is the occurrence of lower back pain. If you are either pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, you will save yourself a great deal of discomfort by learning ahead of time what steps you can take to avoid post-partum lower back pain.
If you are pregnant, and have already begun to have noticeable lower back pain, talk to your obstetrician. You may be a candidate for chiropractic manipulation or physical therapy. The exercises described in this article should not be attempted by anyone who is already experiencing lower back pain.
Exercises Before You Become Pregnant
If you are not yet pregnant, you will help your body withstand the stresses of becoming pregnant by building up the muscles in your abdomen. The abdominal muscles are one of the main supports for the lower back; lower back pain can be directly connected to abdominal muscles which are not strong.
If you develop your abdominal muscles prior to you pregnancy, they will regain their much more quickly once you have delivered your baby. If your abdominal muscles regain their strength quickly, you will be reducing your risk of getting lower back pain following your pregnancy.
One effective exercise for toning your abdomen is to lie on your back on the floor, lift your legs into the air and do a bicycling motion. Another is to use a large balancing ball to do abdominal crunches.
Exercises If You Are Pregnant
Even if you have already become pregnant, you can still perform some abdominal exercises without worrying about harming either your baby or yourself. Reverse crunches, side crunches, and modified crunches, performed while leaning against a pile of pillows to keep you from lying flat are all abdominal strengthening techniques which will keep the weight of you extra pregnancy pounds from causing you lower back pain.
You can also wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes with plenty support throughout your pregnancy to relieve stress on your spinal column. And consider using a maternity support belt when you will be walking or standing for any length of time.
When your baby has been delivered, and your obstetrician has given you the all-clear, you can return to doing standard abdominal strengthening exercises. Even if you underwent delivery by Caesarean section, you can work on your abdominals as long as you doctor knows what you are doing and has okayed it. Exercises appropriate for women who have delivered by C-section include Kegel exercises and isometric gluteal and abdominal contractions.