How to avoid the most common pregnancy aches and pains

How to avoid the most common pregnancy aches and pains

Pregnancy can be a pain in the back… and the pelvic girdle.

Back issues and pelvic girdle pain are very common during pregnancy, Obstetrician Dr Vicki Woodward says.

“It’s almost like an overuse injury or a strain - we spend a lot of time talking to women about what they are doing and how they are doing it,” she says.

“It’s not that you can’t exercise but you might need to modify your exercises. For example you might change to doing push-ups on a wall instead of on the floor to avoid putting strain on the curve of the back.”

Pelvic floor damage is also quite common and the best way to avoid it is to use the right technique when exercising.

“If you’re lifting heavy weights and you’re not conscious of your pelvic floor, you will damage your pelvic floor,” Dr Woodward says. 

“So we want people to drop the weights back and concentrate on pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy.” 

The pelvic floor muscles stretch from the pubic bone to the end of the back bone. 

Strengthening these muscles supports your back and reduces the risk of suffering from a leaking bladder when you cough, sneeze or strain after giving birth.

It’s as simple as squeezing and lifting the pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop a wee.

So there’s no excuse - you can start doing them right now. Your future mum-self will thank you for it! 

Dr Vicki Woodward is a Melbourne Obstetrician, keen runner and mother of three.

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