Having backache in early pregnancy?

Ah, the journey of pregnancy – filled with excitement, anticipation, and (more often than not) a few unexpected aches and pains. One common companion on this ride is backache. Two out of three people experience back pain at some point in their pregnancy. While back pain might cause a bit of discomfort, here's the scoop: it's usually just your body preparing for the amazing journey ahead.

Most cases of backache in early pregnancy are a result of completely normal hormonal changes so your body can accommodate your bump and prepare for labour.

If you’re at all concerned though, make sure you talk to your GP or midwife. If they think your back pain is unusual, they may be able to arrange an ultrasound scan. You can also book your own private Early Viability Scan with Ultrasound Direct

How your hormones cause backache

So why does your back hurt during early pregnancy? The main culprit is a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone is at its peak during the early weeks of pregnancy.

Relaxin helps your developing embryo implant securely in your uterus, and it's also responsible for the growth of the placenta - your baby's food and oxygen supplier.

Another effect of relaxin is to allow the ligaments in the body to soften and stretch so your body can prepare for your bump. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back, which can cause back pain.

To find out more about how your body changes during early pregnancy, check out our article all about how your baby develops from conception to 12 weeks.

Coping with Backache

Here are our 5 top tips to coping with backache during early pregnancy:

  • posture perfection
    Whether you're at your work desk or chilling on your sofa, focus on maintaining good posture. A straight back is your ally here. If your sofa isn't being cooperative, consider a maternity support cushion for extra comfort

  • bend those knees
    whenever you pick something up from the floor, make it a habit to bend your knees while keeping your back straight. This technique avoids any undue strain on your precious ligaments

  • lift light
    Given that your ligaments are in their flexible phase, it's best to avoid lifting anything too heavy

  • run a warm bath
    This will help ease any aches. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, as overheating and becoming dizzy or faint are more likely during pregnancy

  • take a paracetamol
    This widely-available painkiller is safe to take in pregnancy (unless your GP or midwife has told you otherwise), but you should never exceed the dosage on the packet