Pregnancy App Article: "What's new this week?"

Week 18
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Straight up, it's a pain
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Back pain is a particularly grim affliction, simply because there's really very little you can do without involving your back in some way.

When you're pregnant, you're loaded up with baby like an old pack horse and your poor old back is crucial in helping to carry that extra weight. Meanwhile, pregnancy hormones loosen up your ligaments and muscles, which can leave you vulnerable. This is compounded by your posture which can often suffer as you try to accommodate your growing bump (or stick it out proudly as you waddle through the streets like a fecund Mr Greedy).

In some cases, the strain of extra pressure and inflammation on the sciatic nerve can result in pain that spreads through your buttocks and thighs: this is called sciatica. Sciatica is, quite literally, a pain in the bum. It can also happen if the baby sits on or gnaws through the sciatic nerve (actually, this doesn’t happen, but it can feel like it).

So: what to do about it? First thing's first - get all the help you can. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family to lend a hand, especially if you have older kids to look after. You also need to think about altering your work routine if it involves any heavy lifting, standing or sitting for prolonged periods. 

Relief from back pain: what works?
Some people find that warmth can provide relief from back pain: applying a hot-water bottle or similar to parts that are aching can be soothing, as can warm baths.

Gentle exercise can help: swimming and antenatal yoga are good (but make sure you tell your instructor about any problems you are having). 

Sadly, your pregnant state precludes you from taking any really useful painkillers. But, your GP or midwife should be able to refer you to a physiotherapist who will assess your pain and give you advice on exercises or practical tips that you can use to relieve the pain. 

A physiotherapist will also assess whether an elasticated pregnancy support belt or a ‘belly bra’ (just as sexy as it sounds) could offer you some relief, and may even be able to lend you one for the duration of your pregnancy.
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I had dreadful backache during my pregnancy, and for six weeks after the birth. I went to see a physiotherapist and the relief was immense.
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I had an inflamed sacrum, which is just as scary and horrid as it sounds, and was spending a part of every day in tears because everything I did made it hurt.
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Things like climbing in and out of bed a certain way reduced the strain on my muscles and ligaments.
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