Dealing with back pain while you’re pregnant

How to conquer back pain when you’re expecting a baby

You have a baby on the way, and you’re anticipating becoming a mother. This is an exciting time, but it comes with a lot of stress. From financial planning to setting up the baby’s room, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. The last thing you need is back pain adding to your list of stressors and preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Fortunately, you’re not hopeless against back pain. Back pain is common among expecting mothers. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with or limit the effects of pregnancy-related back pain. Read below to learn what you can do to find comfort during your pregnancy.

Why pregnancy causes back pain

Back pain is completely natural during pregnancy. It’s so common, because the body changes when it prepares to give birth, even when the birth is months away.

Specifically, the ligaments in your body, which are connective tissues that connect bones to each other, tend to stretch out when you are pregnant. This is done to prepare you for labour, but it can come with the negative side effect of making your lower back and pelvis feel irritated.

Will my back pain go away after I deliver my baby?

Fortunately, your back pain should go away within the six months following your delivery. Still, there are steps you can take to reduce your back pain and find comfort long before that time arrives.

Safety tips

For your baby’s health and your own health, it’s important to prioritize safety. Take these precautions as you walk, stretch, and sleep while you’re expecting:

  • Wear low-heeled, non-flat shoes for proper back support

  • Instead of bending over, squat down to reach objects at a low height

  • Consider sleeping on your side instead of your back

  • Try light physical activity without overdoing it

Ways to deal with pregnancy-caused back pain

Deep breathing exercises

We often don’t pay much attention to our breathing patterns, but maybe we should. Different breathing techniques can relieve pain. That’s because the spine is connected to different parts of our body, like the respiratory system, which manages every breath we take.

One of the most simple exercises to try involves taking ‘deep breaths’ – In other words, counting to three each time you inhale or exhale. You may also consider more elaborate techniques that work for you.

Light exercises

When you’re in pain, motion is your superpower. There are a surprising amount of effective stretches and light exercises that can help reduce your pain.

Choose exercises that are gentle and straightforward, only focusing on one muscle or area at a time. Though your back is in pain, simple exercises with other parts of your body can help.

Prenatal yoga

Whether you’re a yoga enthusiast or you’re terrified of stepping near a yoga mat, there’s a particular type of yoga that can help anyone who’s expecting. It’s called ‘prenatal yoga,’ and it provides countless benefits.

You’ll learn plenty of effective stretching techniques, plus you’ll prepare for childbirth, learn how to sleep more easily, and meet plenty of people going through the exact same pain as you.


Acupuncture has a rich history. It is based on traditional Chinese medicine techniques that involve finding a balance in your body’s energy. It involves pricking the skin with small needles to activate healing or comfort in certain areas of the body, like your back. The process is painless and safe – even for pregnant women.

Massage therapy and physiotherapy

Massage therapists and physiotherapists are trained to perform the specific techniques that will help you achieve the relief or level of comfort you’re looking for. This is particularly true for patients who are pregnant. These professionals can point out techniques and tricks that will produce surprisingly effective results.

How we can help

At Elysian Wellness Centre, we provide many services that can help pregnant patients overcome their back pain. Our team of experienced physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists can walk you through every step of your journey towards comfort as you anticipate child birth.

Check out our services here, which include:


Pregnancy can provide many challenges. It’s wonderful and exciting, but carrying around a baby can come with a lot of stress and discomfort. Back pain is one of the most common types of discomfort that expecting mothers feel, but that doesn’t mean you’re defenseless against it.

By considering the tips above, including gentle stretching, breathing exercises, chiropractic care, and massage therapy, you’ll notice a big difference. Plus, when it comes time to deliver, you’ll be able to focus your energy on things that are more important than an irritating back.

Johanne Gordon - Registered Physiotherapist

Johanne is an experienced, fluently bilingual physiotherapist who graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in physiotherapy with magna cum laude honours from the University of Ottawa.

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