Did you know that pregnancy-related back pain is often localised to a specific area of the spine and not widespread? Back pain tends to arise between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, though it can begin much earlier. It is common but not normal, and it should not be taken lightly. So what can we do, Mums? Well, you are in luck because today, we have a WEBSTER Certified Prenatal Chiropractor from Chirozone Family Chiropractic, DC Joo Yi Ong to help pregnant mothers understand better how to take care of their spinal health. Let's get to the questions and learn all about spinal health today, Mums! #Q1: What are the other factors that cause pregnant mothers to experience back pain? Image credit: CNAlifestyle DC Joo Yi Ong: So the first thing is the mum\u2019s posture changes during pregnancy. The centre of the gravity shifts forward which causes the mums to have an anterior pelvic tilt to accommodate the growing baby. So in order to regain the balance, some women will actually lean back. But this actually will put extra stress and strain on the lower back muscles which can cause spasms and lower back pain.\u00a0 This is because their muscles have to work harder in order to support their baby\u2019s weight. Image credit: Office on Women's health The second cause of lower back pain during pregnancy is\u00a0hormonal changes.\u00a0Relaxin hormones actually help to relax the muscles and ligaments near the pelvis,\u00a0so that the birth canal can expand during delivery,\u00a0which can also affect the stability and alignment of the joints. So this instability can cause joints to misalign easily\u00a0which can cause lower back pain. Image credit: Del Mar Birth Center The third cause of lower back pain during pregnancy is pelvic misalignment. Instability of the joints can cause misalignments in the pelvic, therefore leading to pain and inflammation. One side of the pelvis is either rotated forward or higher as compared to the other. So when this happens, the pelvic is not in the right balance and therefore causing lower back pain. Do all these reasons tend to cause the mother to walk slightly slower? Some mothers tend to hold their back when they walk. Some mothers may find it hard to sleep at night. DC Joo Yi Ong: Yes. Pelvic misalignment is one of the main factors that make pregnant mums will have \tpain during walking \tstanding; prolonged standing \tsleeping They can\u2019t really seem to find the proper position to sleep. So, if it\u2019s due to pelvic misalignment, be sure to get it checked by a certified prenatal chiropractor. #Q2: What are the exercises that pregnant mothers can do to relieve the pain? DC Joo Yi Ong: Let me demonstrate a few exercises for you guys! So during pregnancy, if you do have any pain or discomfort, you can actually do a few exercises to help relieve these pains. Image credit: Motherhood Story The first exercise that you can do is, get a gym ball and do pelvic rotations. You can do either anticlockwise or clockwise, for 20 times each. But by doing this, make sure your upper body is upright and not tilting forward or do not sway your hip too much to the side. Just make sure that your spine is upright and then just do gentle movements for this. Image credit: Motherhood Story The second exercise that you can do is a child\u2019s pose stretch. Try to give space for your bump, open up your legs a little bit wider and slowly stretch forward this way. You should be feeling a gentle stretch across your lower back, hold it for about 20 seconds, and you can do it 3 to 5 times. Image credit: Motherhood Story The third exercise is a\u00a0cat and camel stretch. Be on all fours and slowly raise your upper back up this way. You will feel a gentle stretch across your spine and breathe out. Lower your lower back; this way. So, you should feel a stretch across the spine as well. Do not arch your lower back too much by doing this as it will injure your back. Image credit: Motherhood Story So, make sure it\u2019s just a gentle movement and you can do it about 20 times each day. So, if you have back pain, be sure to try out these exercises to help relieve the back pain. #Q3: How can pregnant mothers protect their backs? Image credit: Open Access Government DC Joo Yi Ong: So the main important thing for mums is to watch out for their day-to-day posture. For sitting: \tdo not slouch \tsit crossing-legs\u00a0 \tsit on the floor Try reducing sitting on the floor as this will actually cause a lot of pressure on the lower back and the pelvic joint. While sleeping: Image credit: Baby Centre Try sleeping on the sides with a pillow in between your legs to help keeping your spine straight and do not rotate your upper legs towards the other leg by keeping and minimising the rotation in your pelvic joint. For lifting:\u00a0 Be sure to engage your core and your buttock\u2019s muscles, always straighten your lower back spine. Use your thigh\u2019s strength and bend it forward and keep your back straight, and lift up, instead of bending at waist. Image credit: Gaiam It\u2019s also recommended for pregnant mums to do brisk walking; every day\u00a0for 30 to 45 minutes to strengthen the lower back muscles. So, if you have done and practiced all of these good habits, but if the pain is still persists, you should seek help from a certified prenatal chiropractor to assess and identify the root cause of your pain. Do you recommend pregnant mothers carry their other children? For example, toddlers; because they are quite heavy. So, can that cause any back pain? Image credit: very well family DC Joo Yi Ong: If you\u2019re pregnant but you still have to lift your toddler, be sure to use the correct lifting technique. Engage your core and always use your glute muscles to carry your toddler. Make sure your spine is in a straight line. Don\u2019t ever tilt your pelvic to the side or tilt it forward just so you can accommodate your toddler. A lot of mums tend to tilt their body to the side to hold the baby. Is that not good? DC Joo Yi Ong: Of course, it\u2019s not good because that\u2019s going to tilt your pelvis even more and cause a lot of strain around the surrounding muscles. #Q4: Is it safe for pregnant mothers to have chiropractic sessions during pregnancy? Image credit: Healthline DC Joo Yi Ong: Yes! Generally, chiropractic is very safe for pregnant mums and babies. Be sure to look for a certified chiropractor or you can also look for a chiropractor who has additional training in treating pregnant mums. We always look for the root cause and diagnose the problem first before we proceed with any kind of treatment. Here at Chirozone, we utilise the Webster technique which is specifically designed for pregnant mums. It is safe throughout the whole pregnancy from the first trimester, all the way to 42 weeks of pregnancy.\u00a0 #Q5: What are the processes of a Webster prenatal chiropractic treatment? DC Joo Yi Ong: Every mum comes in with different conditions. So on the first visit, we are going to do a thorough and detailed history taking and assessment to understand their condition better; like their lifestyle, their daily activities, their pain intensity and more also to check what is the root cause of their pain and discomfort.\u00a0 Then, we will explain to the mum what\u2019s going on and how we can help them with their back pain or groin pain if there is any. From there, we will proceed with the treatment. The whole treatment process for pregnant mums is very gentle and specific to target the root cause of their pains such as their pelvic pain or groin pain, buttock pain, inner thigh pain and more. To help them feel better and relieve their pregnancy-related discomfort. Image credit: Freepik On the other hand, even if you do not have any pregnancy-related discomfort, but if you would like to achieve a higher chance of natural delivery, shorter labour time or better foetal positioning, prepare your body for labour; here at Chirozone, we utilise the Webster technique. Some pregnant mums that we see do not experience any back pain or pregnancy-related discomfort but would just like to prepare their bodies for a smoother delivery experience. So, as much as our prenatal chiropractic care helps mums to improve back pain, it also helps the baby to be in the best possible position for labour.\u00a0 Image credit: Istock Tips From DC Joo Yi Ong "It is common to have back pain during pregnancy, but it is not normal if it is starting to affect your daily activities."\u00a0 So if you have these symptoms below, such as: When you\u2019re sleeping, you can\u2019t really seem to find a suitable position to sleep or when you get out from the bed, you need your husband\u2019s help because it\u2019s too painful. Or when you walk up the stairs or when you wear your pants, it\u2019s creating a lot of pain in your pubic area. Or if you have buttock pain that radiates down to your back thigh. So these are the warning signs that you should start seeking care from a health professional. Or, if you like to increase your chance of natural delivery, achieve shorter labour time, you can also consult with our prenatal chiropractor. https:\/\/youtu.be\/K6iRtsG-XJs So Mums, we hope you received a lot of information from DC Joo Yi as it will be helpful in the future.\u00a0 Please take care of your back as well as your spinal health and visit your chiropractor today if necessary. Don't stress and don't forget to stretch!\u00a0 Stay tuned for the upcoming videos from doctors and experts on AskMeDoctor!.