Having a new arrival on the way is one of the most wonderful times in any couple’s life. There is so much to plan for and limited time to prepare!
Although it’s a time to build a nest and get busy, aches and pains can be a problem, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy. So it’s not surprising that many moms are wondering if they can wear a back brace if pregnant!
So in our helpful article, we will take a look and find out why you might be feeling back pain, what a back brace is, and whether it’s ok to use one.
Let’s start with the quick answer first before we head into detail and discover more help.
Back braces can help support your spine and lower back when pregnant. They can be used along with good posture, deep breathing, and gentle exercise to naturally support good back health. Make sure it’s correctly fitted and not too loose or too tight. Otherwise, it could cause muscle tissue injury.
So with the brief answer in mind so we can better understand whether you can wear a back brace during pregnancy, let’s discover why you might need one.
What is back pain during pregnancy?
With around a staggering 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women suffering from back pain, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most common ailments.
Anyone wondering whether they can wear a back brace understands that generally the discomfort is often felt in the lower back, more technically described as the ‘lower lumbar’ area.
This type of pain can also be felt in your thighs and buttocks. It can manifest itself in many different ways including feeling a burn on your skin, tingling, or that you are experiencing a ‘pulled muscle’. It can even feel as if your entire body is aching.
Although you can experience back pain at any time during pregnancy, it’s generally more common in your third trimester, between 7 and 9 months.
“It can manifest itself in many different ways including feeling a burn on
your skin, tingling, or that you are experiencing a ‘pulled muscle”
Why do I get back pain in pregnancy?
The most obvious reason for feeling pain in your back area is due to your growing baby bump!
As the baby’s birthday gets nearer your uterus adds extra weight to your pelvic area and you might feel more pressure.
Although your growing size is a factor, it’s worth knowing many experts still aren’t sure exactly what causes the pain.
“The most obvious reason for feeling pain in your back
area is due to your growing baby bump!”
Pregnancy hormones can cause back pain
However, in general along with the added weight you are supporting, hormones pregnancy hormones can play a part.
When you are pregnant your body releases a hormone known as ‘relaxin’. It’s this hormone that helps your pelvic joints become looser and prepares your body for childbirth.
Relaxin also has the effect of relaxing the ligaments which help to support your spine, which is why you may start to experience more backaches and pains.
For anyone looking for relief from back pain by wearing a back brace, it’s useful to understand that it’s probably a combination of factors that contribute to the pain.
One factor is the change in your circulation along with bowel problems such as constipation.
“Relaxin also has the effect of relaxing the ligaments
which help to support your spine”
So now we’ve found out that it is ok to wear a back brace during pregnancy, let’s discover exactly what it is.
What is a back brace?
A back brace has a few more medical-sounding names such as an LSO or a lumbosacral but mainly they are known simply as a back brace.
In a nutshell, they provide spinal support for those with back pain. This includes the common back problems that often accompany pregnancy and also those suffering from some spinal conditions or anyone needing support after a spinal injury or surgery.
What does a back brace do?
The way a back brace works in pregnancy and for other types of back pain is by reducing back movement.
As we move around during the day it’s easy to twist and turn into different positions which can put pressure on your spine and cause pain.
The best back braces will limit movements such as leaning too far forwards, or backward and help with good posture.
Another benefit of using a back brace when pregnant is the fact it makes you more aware of that area of your body, so you are less likely to make sudden, or jerky movements which might be painful.
Is a back brace easy to wear?
Pregnancy is a time when it’s fair to say it can be tricky to find anything easy to wear! Although maternity clothing has come a long way in recent years with softer fabrics and fluid structures.
A back brace is designed to fit snugly against your body so you can wear them underneath your clothes without them being easy to detect.
Make sure you get a back brace that is comfortable for your own size and shape. It should cover your back comfortably right down to your tailbone
Also, make sure it’s not too loose or too snug. Many of the best back braces are adjustable. It’s important to not have your back brace on too tightly as it could put extra pressure on your back and could lead to what’s known as muscle atrophy. This essentially means your muscles might begin to waste while losing important muscle tissue.
Can I sleep with a back brace on?
Anyone suffering from backache knows that sometimes being comfortable in bed can be a little difficult. Add this to other pregnancy aches and pains and it can become even harder to get important restorative sleep.
Due to the soft and pliable nature of the best back braces, it’s possible to wear your brace in bed for some extra support while you rest.
However, it’s important to remember a back brace is not a long-term solution to back problems during pregnancy and beyond.
Other natural ways to help backache in pregnancy
Here are some other natural methods you can use to support your back health during pregnancy alongside the use of a back brace.
- Practice good posture: Sitting correctly will help keep your back and spine aligned well and will help to reduce back pain. Always make sure you are sitting with your back straight and supported, with your buttocks touching the back of the chair. Chair supports work well placed in the curve of your back such as a simple rolled-up towel to help support your back muscles and spine.
- Keep active where possible: It’s crucial to make sure you remain as active as you feel able to during pregnancy. This will help keep your muscles and back in good shape. It doesn’t have to be a long hike, but simply regular gentle exercise will help keep joints supple and more able to cope with the demands of your growing baby bump. Swimming is perfect for pregnant moms to be.
- Practice deep breathing: Learning to breathe deeply is an important part of pregnancy and of course to help control pain during delivery. Sometimes quick shallow breathing can cause back pain caused by the rib cage as it tries to move. Slower and deeper inhales can also help with pain felt in the middle to lower back
So we hope that’s given you everything you need to know about how to support your back during pregnancy using a back brace!
Our mission here at helptomoms is to provide a safe and comfortable pregnancy. Check out our pregnancy starter kits and our home-based bundle including back braces and a TENS machine to help promote calm and reduce pain.