Pregnancy comes with a number of changes to a woman’s body, whether desired or not. One of the main issues bothering new moms are pains in the lower back due to increased weight, larger belly and overall shifted center of balance. Most of the time, such aches and pains are a way for the mother’s body to prepare for the birth and caring of the new child and cannot be avoided. Therefore, for the most part, moms-to-be have to learn to manage the pain, especially in their lower back, and try to minimize it at best. This goal can be accomplished by toning, stretching and strengthening the back and abdominal muscles through a stretching routine and moderate exercise program.
Here are some examples of exercises for the lower back. Please be sure to do them carefully and stop if you feel any discomfort. Please refer to Pregnancy Exercise for Lower Back Pain (Part 1) slideshow for images of each of the following exercises.
1. Upper Body Bends
This exercise strenghtens the muscles of your back and torso. Stand with your legs apart, knees bent slightly, with your hands on your hips. Bend forward slowly, keeping your upper back straight. You should feel a slight pull along your upper thigh. Repeat 10 times.
2. Diagonal Curl
This exercise strengthens the muscles of your back, hips and abdomen. If you have not already been exercising regularly, skip this exercise. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and hands clasped in front of you. Twist your upper torso to the left until your hands touch the floor. Do the same movement to the right. Repeat on both sides 5 times.
3. Forward Bend
This exercise stretches and strengthens the muscles of your back. Sit in a chair in a comfortable position. Keep your arms relaxed. Bend forward slowly, with your arms in front and hanging down. If you feel any discomfort or pressure on your abdomen, do not push any further. Hold this position for a count of 5, then get up slowly without arching your back. Repeat 5 times.
4. Leg Lift Crawl
This exercise strengthens the muslces of your back and abdomen. Kneel out hands and knees with your weight distributed evenly and your arms straight (hands under your shoulders). Lift your left knee and bring it towards your elbow. Straighten your leg without locking your knee. Extend your leg up and back. Do this exercise to a count of 5. Move slowly, don’t fling your leg back or with your back. Repeat on both sides 5-10 times.
Please refer to Pregnancy Exercise for Lower Back Pain (Part 1) slideshow for images of each of the exercises above.
Be very cautious while exercising and stop immediately if you get light-headed or feel any discomfort. Check out Part 2 for more similar exercises.