How to Deal with Pregnancy Back Pain


Hi, mama. So, your back hurts. My heart goes out to you. Like you, I struggled with debilitating back pain during pregnancy that was worse than labor. I’m going to share with you what I learned about how to deal with pregnancy back pain.

Before I take off on my tangent, you need to know I’m not a doctor or licensed professional. I’m just a mama like you who dealt with pain too, and I’m going to share with you what I did to get some relief.

Before you do anything on your own, be sure to contact your doctor.

You should know this article contains affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase something, I might earn a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Is There A Way to Learn How to Deal with Pregnancy Back Pain?

I don’t have all the answers, because like I said, I’m no doctor. But what I can share with you is my story about what I went through and how I dealt with severe back pain during pregnancy.

My first pregnancy was by far more painful than my second. By the start of my second trimester, I was already getting shooting pains in my back and hips.

It was a debilitating, sharp pain that had me gasping in alarm. It usually happened after I was on my feet for a while and then sat down. When I stood back up, well, I couldn’t stand straight up for a bit because the pain was horribly intense.

I had well-meaning friends and family diagnosing me with sciatica, round ligament pain (this was not round ligament pain!) and everything from spine misalignment to a vitamin deficiency.

The weird part was that it was never really diagnosed. In order to confirm a diagnosis, I would have had to undergo testing that was potentially harmful to baby.

Instead, I went to physical therapy for an unknown, excruciating back pain that threatened to rob me of a happy pregnancy experience.

I was devastated.

What I Did to Cope with Pregnancy Back Pain

Desperate for some relief, I started looking for ways to avoid this debilitating pain. If you’re experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, I know you get me! It gets to the place where you’re desperate to try just about anything.

I know it’s hard, mama, and it hurts. So, I’m going to share a few things that I did that helped me out.

Pregnancy back pain

Walking During Pregnancy to Cope with Back Pain

First, I walked. That might sound counterproductive since being on my feet for too long caused back pain after I sat down and then stood back up.

What I discovered, however, was that walking with good posture while wearing high-quality, supportive walking shoes actually helped the pain ease up a bit.

I stopped walking every 15 minutes or so and did stretches—nothing crazy or over-exerting, but gentle back and leg exercises. That was also when I fit in some squats, which are super helpful for childbirth.

Swimming for Joint and Back Relief

This is what saved my pregnancy. I was pregnant from October to June, so my third trimester was in the summer. But I will tell you that even during my second trimester, I went swimming!

Yes, it was freezing—but I absolutely did not care. I was so desperate for some relief that I swam every day that it wasn’t raining.

If you live in a colder area or you’re pregnant during the winter (or you don’t own a pool), consider getting a gym membership or paying for access to an indoor pool.

I wish I could describe the comfort of being in the pool. It took the pressure of my sore, aching joints and gave me relief I couldn’t find anywhere else, alleviating the hot, uncomfortable inflammation.

Swimming laps also strengthened me so much, considering I was exhausted from being in pain.

I walked back and forth in the pool, did squats, and stretched every muscle I could think of. Once I was tired from swimming, I floated on a pool raft which was super comfortable on my back.

Side note: Swimming is a highly productive exercise during pregnancy that also helps you stabilize your blood sugars. (source)

Back Support for Pain During Pregnancy

Swimming wins first place as far as helping me figure out how to deal with pregnancy back pain, but back support comes in at a close second.

There were two specific items that I used for back support that made all the difference in the world.

The first was my Leachco Snoogle pillow. A pregnant friend of mine recommended it to me when she heard I was suffering from intense back pain. I didn’t really want to pay the price for a pillow at first.

Then I bought it and I understood.

The Snoogle pillow contours to your back and comes up between your knees, which helps you keep your back and hips aligned at night while lying in bed.

We all know bedtime is a struggle already since our only option is lying on our side. If that isn’t frustrating enough, it easily gets hot since we’re sharing our body with another human.

The Snoogle is all cotton which made it comfortable and breathable. I could also adjust it so that it contoured to me perfectly.

I fell in love with it—as in, I wouldn’t go anywhere overnight without it.

Another thing I should mention is that it was super helpful during postpartum, too!

Birthing Ball for Back Pain

A birthing ball isn’t just for preparation for labor. There are a ton of helpful things you can do with a birthing ball, and alleviating pregnancy back pain is one of them.

Using the birthing ball helps align and stretch your pelvis and supports your back. I went through physical therapy using a birthing ball which helped immensely.

As my belly grew, I found myself sitting on my birthing ball more and more often. It was honestly the most comfortable place to sit. I didn’t feel all “squashed up” if that makes sense.

Sitting on the birthing ball helped me stay relaxed, aligned, and balanced. All of that contributed to helping me find some sort of relief from pregnancy back pain.

When my labor started, guess where I was? On my birthing ball.

I used both my Snoogle pillow and my birthing ball during both of my pregnancies. They were life-saving tools.

Back Pain during Pregnancy

Other Tips on How to Deal with Pregnancy Back Pain

If you’re experiencing severe pregnancy back pain, I know you’re scouring over blog posts and anything you can find for relief. I just wish I could convey to you how much I truly understand and feel your pain.

While swimming is probably not the easiest remedy, it’s the fastest and most effective way in my opinion to get relief. If there is any way possible to get access to a pool, I would say do it!

Try using the Snoogle and a birthing ball as well. One item on its own may not be as effective but doing everything you can and combining different methods may get you some relief.

Some other ideas to consider are:

  • Soaking in a cool tub of water with Epsom salt
  • Gentle, physician approved back exercises (call your doctor for a list of healthy stretches and exercises)
  • Pregnancy-safe massage
  • Pregnancy-certified chiropractor

Be sure and check with your doctor before you try any of these methods.

I had a couple massages and found it helped with the tension and soreness in my back. It didn’t solve the deep back/hip pain, but it certainly gave me some relief!

Here are some more tips on surviving the third trimester.

For those of you mamas who’ve been there and done that, leave some helpful tips in the comment section. There are some desperate mamas here who would sure love your help!

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Elizabeth Jimenez

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