Easy Tips & Safe (and Effective) Products for Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

Pregnancy-related back pain usually stems from a growing belly, so a lot of moms just naturally expect to experience back pain as their belly grows. And back pain is definitely common, 50 to 80% of soon-to-be moms struggle with back pain.

But if you actually talk to pregnant mamas who have been down this road before — and trust us, at Bump Boxes, we’re full of them — you’ll see it’s actually really variable. Sure, 50 to 80% of mamas might experience some discomfort or back pain, but the frequency and severity of back pains is completely different from mom-to-mom.

Take Karyn from our Bump Boxes Customer Experience team as an example. She suffered from morning sickness, but had no back pain. On the other hand, Moriah on our Social Media team suffered from daily backaches. Meanwhile, Angie, our Customer Experience Coordinator, had back pains every now and then and managed them well. Some expectant mamas are lucky enough to go through their entire pregnancy without ever experiencing backaches.

Since pregnancy back pain and its causes can be variable, the way you treat it is variable: for example, moms with pelvic pain might like belly support bands while mamas with hip pain might find more comfort in pregnancy pillows.

Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

So, to help you decipher the causes and find the best options, we put together this guide with all of our favorite products for pregnancy back pain relief.

In it, we discuss the causes of pregnancy back pain, the different types of back pain you might experience during pregnancy,  and at the end, we review answers to some of the most common questions on back pain during pregnancy.

We also talk about what we do here at Bump Boxes to pamper mamas with the best products for every pregnancy ache and pain each month!

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

The most obvious reason moms feel back pain during pregnancy is because her baby bump is growing, and the extra weight of the belly and baby strains the spine — creating a painful arch in the lumbar area — and causes tense, achy muscles.

However, there are actually a few other, lesser-known reasons mamas feel lower back pain and other aches while her tummy expands:

  1. Uterus Shift: Mom’s growing uterus actually shifts her center of gravity and abdominal muscles and changes her posture; and this, again, leads to strain on the spine.
  2. Ab Stretch: Mom’s abdominal muscles stretch and split as her baby bump grows, causing discomfort in the stomach and back.
  3. Ligaments: The muscles and ligaments in mom’s pelvic and groin areas relax as her body and hormones change in preparation for childbirth, and the loosening of these muscles coupled with weight gain can exacerbate lower back pain.
  4. Stress: we hold stress and tension in our muscles, and mom’s got a lot on her plate, so it’s important for mom to destress and relax to prevent tense back muscles.

Most of the time, it’s a combination of causes that do it for mama, but for some moms, there are only one or two factors causing her discomfort. Paying attention to the frequency and severity of back pain episodes can help mama pinpoint what triggers more severe pains and find remedies for relief.

Types of Pregnancy Back Pain

As there are different causes of pregnancy back pain, there are different types of pregnancy back pain. Mom may have one or more different types of pregnancy back pain; knowing which type is causing her discomfort can also guide in finding the right treatments and products to alleviate them.

Let’s run through the few main types of pregnancy back pain.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain stems from supporting the extra weight of the baby belly. Most back pain occurs in the sacroiliac joint — right where the spinal column meets the center of the pelvis — and this is why some pregnancy back pain is associated with (or feels like) sciatica pain.

Though moms can make efforts to sit up straight, maintain good posture during their day-to-day, and find comfortable sleep positions at night, many pregnant mamas develop mild lordosis during pregnancy as the body changes and the spine adapts to compensate for her larger belly.

Hip Pain

Mom’s hips are caught in the middle of her stiff lower back pain and aching pelvis, so the hips typically aren’t safe from aches and pains. Extra weight from the baby, coupled with changes to the bones and muscles in the pelvic region, can cause major discomfort in the hip region, especially for mamas carrying heavier (or multiple) babies whose hips have to bear a lot of extra weight.

Pelvic Pain

As mom’s uterus expands, all of the muscles, tissues, and joints in the pelvic area, along with the pubic bone, adapt to accommodate her growing baby and facilitate birth. Moms will feel soreness as joints loosen, muscles tear, and weight shifts. Sometimes, moms even experience more severe sciatica-like pangs of pain or shooting and burning pelvic pains later on in their pregnancy when they’re carrying more baby weight.

Steps to Find Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

Even moms who take steps to prevent back pain during pregnancy still experience occasional soreness. For some moms, there is no preventing back pain — only managing its unpleasant symptoms. Let’s run through our favorite remedies for pregnancy back pain relief.

#1: Soak Sore Muscles

There’s nothing quite like destressing with a hot bath and muscle soak when your body is tired and aching. And there are no better bath salts to combat mama’s painful back muscles than our Relax Bath Soak because it’s specially formulated with a proprietary salt mix to ease tense muscles and melt away aches and pains.

Plus, it smells really good and is made with natural essential oils and only safe ingredients to help shift mom into total relaxation mode.

Glow Organics 9: Relax + Natural Bath Soak - Infused with Organic Lavender, Bergamot and Frankincense Essential Oils

Don’t forget, bath soaks not only work wonders for sore muscles, but they also help mom set aside her worries and focus on pampering herself. We suggest stressed out mamas remember to set aside the necessary time to care for their body and stay healthy.

#2: Wear a Supportive Belly Belt

Lower back pains come from the strain of supporting the baby bump; so when mom uses a heavy-duty elastic waistband to keep the baby bump lifted, it takes some of the pressure off of the spine.

KeaBabies Maternity Support Belt for Pregnancy

When comparing pregnancy support belts and shopping for the best belly band, we suggest the KeaBabies Maternity Support Belt since it’s super durable and long-lasting, yet lightweight and breathable. The KeaBabies belly belt is made with stretchy mesh fabric that feels soft against the skin, never itchy or hot, and its one-size-fits-all adjustable design lets mom adjust the belt to support her bump as it grows.

#3: Consider Hot & Cold Therapy

A photo of a pregnant woman on the couch, holding a hot water pack on her back with one hand and her other hand on her stomach.

Heating pads and ice packs work wonders for pain relief because heating pads boost circulation to ease stiffness and cramps, while ice packs numb sharper aches, pains, and sore muscles.

Mama probably already has a trusty heating pad to get her through her worst period days.

Angie from our Bump Boxes team was practically attached to her heating pad during pregnancy. While heating pads are typically the go-to for pregnancy, postpartum, and period pains, some moms like to alternate heat with ice, while others choose ice over heat entirely.

We suggest mamas listen to their bodies and how they respond to the different therapies to choose what’s most fitting for them.  

#4: Focus on Your Posture

A photo of a pregnant woman comfortably resting in bed in her pajamas with a pregnancy pillow wrapped around her.

Posture changes during pregnancy are a common culprit for pain, but most moms don’t even notice they’re sitting or standing differently to compensate for their bigger bellies. Paying attention to posture and purposely trying to maintain a healthy position — day and night, including while sitting upright, walking, driving, relaxing, sleeping, exercising, and more — will help maintain muscle tone to deter neck, shoulder, and back pains.

To keep a healthy posture at night while sleeping, we suggest moms invest in a comfy pregnancy pillow. U- and J-shaped pillows are usually more comfortable than the standard straight body pillow, but any full body cushion that fits beneath your head and between your knees will do the trick.

Moriah, from our Social Media team, loved her U-shaped body pillow during pregnancy, even though it took up a good amount of space in their bed. (And although her partner complained about it every so often, he also loved cuddling up to it, too.)

#5: See a Chiropractor

A photo of a pregnant woman lying down while getting adjusted at the chiropractor.

Some moms question whether chiropractor visits are still safe during pregnancy, and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with visiting the chiropractor while you’re pregnant, we advise letting them know you are expecting so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly!

Chiropractors can help with everything from managing morning sickness to maintaining healthy pelvic balance for a safe delivery, but regular adjustments are all most moms need to feel relief from muscle soreness and backaches. Moriah went to her chiropractor for adjustments all the time and swore by them. But of course, moms should only do what they feel comfortable with.

Prenatal chiropractors are also an option for moms needing relief from back pain who don’t already have a chiropractor, or are on the fence about adjustments during pregnancy and wanting to learn about more pregnancy-specific treatments for back pain.

#6: Try Acupuncture

A photo of a woman getting acupuncture.

Acupuncture is said to be able to help with virtually any health ailment, ache, or illness, and pregnancy back pain is no exception. In fact, a study published by Oxford Academic examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing lower back pain and pelvic pain.

The results? Nearly 75% of pregnant women felt good or excellent relief from back pain after the session of acupuncture therapy.

Targeting two spots in the back, specifically acupuncture points LR-3 and LI-4, in addition to certain surrounding acupoints, has shown effective in alleviating both lower back and pelvic floor pain; meaning moms interested in natural methods to manage pain could find relief with acupuncture.

#7: Treat Yourself to a Prenatal Massage

A photo of a woman lying on a massage table while getting a prenatal massage.

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Massages are good any day of the year — especially when back pains are flaring — and prenatal massages can have a number of different benefits for a pregnant mama (in addition to pain relief).

Although Angie had back pain during her pregnancy, she managed it well by getting prenatal massages as often as she could.

Most massage therapists offer specific prenatal services but we suggest checking with the provider you have in mind before booking an appointment. And always talk with your massage therapist about your unique pregnancy needs and any questions or concerns you might have before the session begins.

If mom doesn’t want to splurge for a professional massage, she can always enjoy an at-home massage with BumpLife’s Wooden Massager tool and our invigorating Glow Organics Energize Body Lotion.

#8: Stay Active and Fit with Daily Exercise and/or Nightly Stretches

A photo of a pregnant woman getting some exercise while holding 2 dumbbells.

Pregnancy is exhausting, and most mamas want to just curl up and relax when their backs are aching, but staying active — though it may seem impossible or counterproductive — keeps your muscles strong and helps prevent soreness, cramps, and pains.

Even if mama can only manage a walk around the neighborhood or gentle stretches before bed at night, moving her body can minimize her aches and pains and lower her chances of developing new discomforts.

Strong muscles are more resistant to strain, and strong back muscles are best equipped to support an expanding baby bump. Mamas who regularly practice strengthening exercises for back pain experience fewer discomforts during their pregnancies.

#9: Avoid Heavy Lifting and Other Strenuous Activity

A photo of a pregnant woman carrying a big load of laundry overflowing from a plastic laundry basket.

Though moms should get up and moving each day, they shouldn’t overwork themselves with strenuous activity, and that means no heavy lifting — whether it’s at the gym or in day-to-day activities.

Pregnant mamas should understand their bodies have limitations, so even if mom could normally handle heavy loads by herself, she should look to her partner or a loved one to manage the more labor-intensive “to-do’s”.

#10: Wear Comfortable, Supportive Shoes

A photo of a pregnant woman walking down the street in a long light pink skirt and light blue shirt while holding her stomach.

Last but not least — and probably our most obvious piece of advice — mamas need to wear comfortable and supportive shoes, especially while on their feet and standing for long periods of time.

Pregnancy is not the time to debut a new pair of stilettos or make it a point to wear every pair of high heels in your entire shoe collection. Pregnant mamas need practical, supportive shoes with cushion and good arch support to comfort their swollen feet and ankles.

FAQs on Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

When Should I Worry About Back Pain in Pregnancy?

Back pains are considered par for the course when it comes to pregnancy, so they’re usually not a concern. However, pregnancy back pains are sometimes a symptom of something more serious, like a urinary tract infection, or a sign of preterm labor.

Mama should contact her healthcare professional if she experiences severe back pain, fever, tingling in the limbs, vaginal bleeding, difficulty when urinating, worsening cramps, or pain that persists for over two weeks.

What Medicine Can You Take for Back Pain While Pregnant?

The only OTC pain reliever safe for pregnancy back pain is acetaminophen or Tylenol. In cases of more severe back pain, you may want to seek medical advice from your obstetrician or healthcare provider about your different treatment options to ease back pain.

They may suggest chiropractic care or refer you to a physical therapist to put together a gentle exercise routine to counter back pain and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.

How Can I Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain at Home?

You don’t have to enroll in prenatal yoga classes or start into a physical therapy regimen to beat pregnancy back pains; simply relaxing in the tub with a good muscle soak, using a heating pad, and sleeping with a pregnancy pillow can be enough to help mom naturally experience more pain-free days.

Exercising daily and stretching your back muscles can also ease stiffness and soreness to promote relief from pain.

How Do You Relieve Muscle Pain During Pregnancy?

Moving your body and stretching your muscles helps diminish tension and pain — if it’s only for a stroll to the mailbox and back.

At-home treatments for pregnancy muscle pain include bath soaks, muscle rubs, massages, and hot/cold therapy, while more intensive treatments include acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments.

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen also minimize discomfort to help mom feel her best, though only for a short period. If muscle pains persist or impede mom’s daily life, you should talk to your doctor.

Choose a Bump Boxes Subscription to Prepare You for All of Pregnancy’s Aches and Pains

Back pains aren’t the only bump along the road pregnant women experience — swollen feet and ankles, morning sickness, sensitivity to smells, headaches, and pelvic floor pain, are just a few of the other discomforts moms encounter as their baby bump expands and their pregnancy progresses. Nobody ever said that growing a baby is a walk in the park! That’s why we made our pregnancy subscription box.

A preview of a Bump Boxes Pregnancy Subscription Box

Customized for mama, based on her due date, we curate our monthly Bump Boxes with the absolute best (and safest!) arsenal of goods to face all of the aches and pains she might be having during each particular month in her pregnancy.

And of course, every product is carefully handpicked and trusted by our own team of moms; that way, we know we’re providing mom with products that really work.

Our whole goal is to make mom’s pregnancy smoother, so we make choosing the right subscription program simple and straightforward.

(This also makes it easy for mama’s loved ones to shop our Bump Boxes and ship them to her as a surprise! Looking for the best pregnancy gift for mom-to-be? You just found it.)

Available in month-to-month options, or 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month options, it’s easy to choose the right Bump Boxes subscription box for how far along mom is in her pregnancy.

And we even have convenient First Trimester, Second Trimester, and Third Trimester boxes for when mom just wants a little extra box of goodies to pamper herself along the way.

Bump Boxes: Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

We’re not only here to provide mama with the best products to support her during pregnancy challenges, but we’re also here to celebrate mom along the way with fun products to make her pregnancy that much more special.

Plus, our team of moms is always a call away when mom has questions about products to buy, brands to use, and pregnancy in general.

Moms don’t let other moms go through pregnancy alone. At Bump Boxes, we’re here to pamper mama with our favorite products for pregnancy each and every month!