9 Practical Tips for Easing Pain During Pregnancy
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I experienced a significant amount of pain during all 3 of my pregnancies.
There are so many reasons for pain that it can be difficult to offer solutions because it differs for everyone.
Personally, I felt pain as a result of SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), Sciatica, stretching ligaments, an injured tailbone, and just the extra weight from the baby.
In all honesty, the only ‘fix’ for the pain was when I delivered my babies. However, there were ways that I used to diminish and manage the pain in the meantime.
That is what I’m going to share with you today.
I used all of the recommendations listed below to some extent through my pregnancies.
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We as a society don’t place nearly enough emphasis on the importance of rest.
The truth is, that rest is even more important during pregnancy. Your body is working overtime to care for not just one, but two humans.
It is a lot and there is no shame in taking time to rest.
If you are in pain, then listen to that warning and take a moment to slow down and let your body recoup.
I know it isn’t always possible, especially if you have multiple children to care for, but do what you can to make it happen.
Taking short rest spurts throughout the day will really help you both physically and mentally.
2) Gentle Stretches
I’ll be totally upfront here and say that I don’t exercise during pregnancy. Actually, I don’t exercise at any time.
At least, not formal exercise. I do, however, run after 3 kids all day long, so that might count for something.
But, during pregnancy, I did do stretches whenever I felt they were necessary.
They were particularly helpful when I was struggling with sciatic pain.
I made sure to only do stretches that were recommended for pregnancy and I was very slow and gentle.
You’ll find that the farther along you get, the more your body needs to be stretched. Especially your back.
I focused a lot on back and hip stretches as those were the areas that were the most painful for me.
3) Heat Pad
You guys. I could not have made it through my third pregnancy without my heat pad. Well, maybe I could, but it would have been that much harder.
I’m not talking about an electric heat pad, but one that you can heat in the microwave.
My Mum actually made me one that fits over your shoulders. Funnily enough, it also molded to my belly really well.
I know that there are issues with putting too much heat on your belly, so be careful with how hot you make it.
However, it worked wonders for me when I was really struggling with SPD and round ligament pain. I would go to bed with it on my belly and it helped to soothe everything overnight.
The same is true for baths as it is for using a heat pad. Make sure you don’t go overboard with how hot you make it.
Also, be sure to keep a glass of water handy if you’re going to soak in the bath for a while. There’s nothing worse than feeling faint from the heat and a bit of dehydration.
Baths were my saving grace when I was particularly sore.
I would run a bath and use a bath bomb or oil from Lush and then just soak for a good 30 minutes or so.
Not only did it help relax me and ease the pain I was in, but the bath products also made me feel a bit pampered.
I actually enjoyed taking cooler baths as well if I was overheating.
I think I made my husband massage my lower back almost every day during my last pregnancy. I was so uncomfortable and I really needed the pressure that a massage could give.
If you’ve got someone who will help massage the areas that are giving you pain then by all means, take them up on it.
However, there is also the option of getting a professional prenatal massage.
I haven’t gone for one myself, but I’ve heard wonderful things about them.
Just make sure to book in with someone who is qualified and knows what they’re doing.
6) Support Belt
I got a support belt when I was pregnant with my second baby.
I’ll be honest, it didn’t help a lot with what they gave it to me for (SPD), but it did help with back and ligament pain.
I wore that thing a lot, even overnight.
Some women do find that it really helps alleviate the pain from SPD, so don’t rule it out.
Another tip for coping with SPD pain is to tie a scarf very tightly around your hips. It helps to stop the bones from moving and causing the inflammation and subsequent pain that you feel.
Before I go any further with this point I just want to stress how important it is to find a chiropractor that is specifically trained to work with pregnant women.
During my second pregnancy, I went to a chiropractor that was qualified for prenatal treatment. She was brilliant.
I had severely injured my tailbone during the pregnancy and was in a world of pain.
Tailbone injuries take a long time to heal and although she wasn’t able to treat that pain entirely, she did help alleviate it so much.
During my third pregnancy, I decided to go to the chiropractor again. It was right at the end of my pregnancy and I wasn’t able to get into see the chiropractor I saw previously.
While the chiropractor I did see was very kind and professional, he just didn’t have the same kind of experience and knowledge that the other chiropractor had.
As a result, the pain I was experiencing was only fixed very temporarily and actually returned even more intensely than before.
All that to say, going to a chiropractor can be really beneficial, but I would make sure to go to one that is trained in prenatal care.
8) Use Pillows
So, for my first pregnancy, I slept with about 10 pillows every night. A bunch to prop me up, one behind my back, and a couple for between my legs.
I vowed to invest in a pregnancy pillow for my second pregnancy and I did exactly that.
It won’t take the pain away altogether, but it does really help with keeping your hips stabilized throughout the night.
Not only will it help with pain management, but you’ll find that having a good pregnancy pillow will just help you to get more comfortable and sleep better in general.
It is well worth the investment.
9) Learn How to Roll
This was a game-changer for me during my third pregnancy.
If you have SPD or round ligament pain then you’ll know exactly how painful turning over in bed is at night. So painful.
I found this technique here after doing a Google search and let me tell you, it works.
Essentially, you’re leaving your core muscles alone and using your arms and elbows to do all the work.
Instead of trying to sit up, you use your elbow and arm to push your body up while you’re lying on your side. You then rotate while sitting upright and lower yourself back down using the same technique that you started with.
Sure, it isn’t ideal to have to sit upright every time you need to turn during the night, but neither is being in excruciating pain!
Pain comes from all kinds of different sources. Ultimately, it isn’t pleasant to deal with and can lead to so many other issues if left untreated.
I can’t promise that these techniques will work for everyone, or even that they’ll take all your pain away. However, they helped me to make it through an incredibly difficult and painful third pregnancy so I hope they will do the same for other moms in a similar position.
Until next time!