Are you pregnant or a mom struggling with back pain? You’re not alone.
Back pain is one of the main causes pregnant and postpartum moms seek my help. Read on to understand why this is such a common pain for mothers and what to do about it.
The culprit of back pain
Although there are poses you can do in the moment to ease discomfort, it’s important to know that lingering back pain is usually a symptom of a greater imbalance in the body.
For instance, it could be that your core muscles need to be strengthened and aren’t supporting your back properly. It could be a pelvic floor imbalance or poor posture. It could even be that you’re breathing pattern is putting too much pressure on your core. This is why certain yoga poses or classes that worked for your friend might not work for you and vice versa.
With that said, I invite you to try practicing the following poses regularly. They will not only ease your back pain, but also help strengthen your core and back muscles so that mean pain goes away for good.
Listen to your body, if anything pinches or hurts too much, stop! Take it easy and be mindful of how you’re feeling
It's also super important to practice movement (aka exercise) regularly. A consistent practice to strengthen your whole body together with a balanced nutrition is the best way to prevent any imbalances.
1. Child’s pose (Balasana)
This is one of my favorite yoga poses. It stretches your lower back and hips and soothes your nervous system. You can even try this one on your bed before sleeping.
Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, you can separate your knees about as wide as your hips or more. Lay your chest down between your thighs and rest your head on the floor, bed or mat (if you’re very pregnant, a pillow to elevate your head will give more space for that growing belly).
Stretch your arms forward with your palms down and fingers spread wide. If your shoulders are too tight, bring your arms down next to your side body.
Feel your tailbone drop away from your back and take 5 deep breaths. Feeling your back and sides expand with every inhale, and your belly contract with every exhale.
You can make this pose extra yummy by massaging your own lower back
2. Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana)
This is a fully body stretch and strengthening pose. The key here is to use your breath with movement and not overarch your back when lifting your head for Cow pose.
Come to hands and knees in a Tabletop position. Your knees should be directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows, and shoulders should be in line too.
Inhale, lift your chest and head toward the ceiling, keeping your hips as neutral as possible (so it’s mainly the chest moving).
Exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, tuck your and tailbone chin under and push the mat away with your hands. Feel the upper back round and stretch and imagine there’s a string pulling your back up towards the ceiling.
Do as many reps as feel good to you (5 to 10 are great to get that spine warm)
3. Pelvic Tilts
Ok, this is not a yoga asana (pose) per se, but it is SO helpful for back pain that I almost always include it in my yoga sequences.
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor
Exhale and push your belly button towards the floor to flatten out your lower back against the floor. You will notice how your hips (pelvis) naturally tilt, so that your pubic bone comes closer towards your chest and your pelvic floor lifts, too.
Hold this position for a few seconds and release with an inhale.
Try at least 5 repetitions for best results.
If you’re beyond 30 weeks pregnant and you notice any dizziness or discomfort when lying on your back, try this pose standing by holding on to a chair.
That’s it! Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes in your day to mobilize your spine and muscles to feel better and ease discomfort. It is scientifically proven that regularly exercising and practicing yoga brings immense benefits to the body, especially during pregnancy and in the first year postpartum when you’re constantly carrying extra weight.
In my 1:1 private pregnancy and postpartum yoga programme we address your specific needs from an integrative perspective. This means I look not only at your back, but at your whole body as well as at your lifestyle and current mindset and emotional state. Because, as you might have guessed it, everything is connected! Especially if you’re expecting or just had a baby - there is so much going on with your body, mind and emotions at the time.
Book a free 1hr discovery session so we can address those aches and pains and get you back to feeling good, more energized and ready to take on your motherhood journey.
BONUS! Here's a 10min sequence you can try right now to relieve back pain. Like or comment if it helped ;)
Important! If your back pain is unbearable and cause for concern, it’s vital that you seek personalized help from your doctor. Do not try any of these postures without being cleared by your doctor to exercise.