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    Being a mother is back-breaking work, so they say. When you become one, you realize they mean this line figuratively and literally, too.

    From the time of your pregnancy, your back already becomes subject to strain. Let’s look at the beating your back gets.

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    How pregnancy hurts your back

    During pregnancy

    Starting from your second trimester, the baby in your womb grows at a rapid pace, putting pressure on your back and lower abdomen, and sometimes worsening an already bad posture as your center of gravity shifts. On your third trimester, you’ll get fuller breasts, which could cause your shoulders to hunch, as your belly continues to grow, which will curve your lower back inward. Ouch! 

    Before birth

    In an article on Parents, Silvana Ribaudo, M.D., an obstetrician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, said pregnancy and back pain do go hand in hand. This can’t be truer on the weeks leading to your delivery date, when you’ll find it impossible to find a comfortable position on the bed, much less get enough shut-eye

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    After birth

    Your baby may be out already, but you’ll still carry his weight in your arms as you breastfeed him, rock him to sleep, move him from one room to the next — all while still recuperating yourself. It won’t be surprising to experience a stiff back and an unstable stance at times.

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    Following an intense birthing experience, which is once again focused on your middle section, you’ll also notice a case of loose joints all over. This may continue for a few months after you give birth. 

    Common back injuries

    That said, it’s easy to see why pregnant women and new moms are prone to back problems, such as the following.

    Back sprain or back strain

    A back sprain is the result of an unexpected twist, which causes injury to the ligament, while a back strain may come after a forced movement stresses the muscle, such as lifting something heavy (yes, toddlers count). It can be painful, and you may need to be on your back for some time. 

    Slipped disc

    A slipped disc, characterized by pain and numbness on the area, is when the gelatinous portion of the disc (which cushions the bones of your spine) tears, and protrudes into the outer ring. It could push into and compress one of the spinal nerves, which is the reason for the numbness. A sudden twisting movement could cause a slipped disc, although it is also common among individuals on the heavier side because of the physical weight they carry.

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    Sciatica

    Pain that radiates from the back, to your buttocks, to the back of your leg is what sciatica feels like. It is caused by nerve getting pinched by the slipped disc. This condition is quite common in the third trimester of pregnancy.

    The first important step you need to take any time you experience back pain is to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and suitable treatment.

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    Treat your back better

    Prevent further back injury by taking care of your back with these tips.

    Move with care

    Since you know that some injuries are caused by sudden uncalculated movements, you should be more mindful whenever you lift something heavy or turn to your side. When lifting, bend your hips and knees to squat rather than leaning forward.

    Take standing/walking breaks

    Sitting down for long periods could take a toll on your spine, so take periodic breaks to stretch. Sitting on your leg puts tension on your sciatic nerve, so avoid doing that. 

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    Mind your mobile phone

    Have you ever taken notice of your position while you’re scrolling through your phone? Most likely, you’ll be hunched over with your head tilted down. Prolonged periods in this position could cause strain on your neck and shoulders, so be aware.

    Strengthen your core

    Exercise not only helps you lose weight but also strengthens your core. Especially if you’re a new mom, consult with your doctor what type of activities are safe for you to do. Giving birth causes a lot of changes in your body (and specifically on your pelvic area), and a slow-but-steady program can get you back in healthier shape. 

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