PREGNANCY, BACK PAIN & CORE STRENGTH
Studies suggest that up to 90 percent of pregnant women will experience low back and/or pelvic pain related
to their pregnancy. The weight gain during pregnancy can also place additional stress on the hips, feet, ankles
and knees. The pain also contributes to other problems, such as sleep disturbances, use of pain medication
and disruption of activities of daily living — sometimes just standing for half an hour can prove too painful
As the baby grows, the abdominal muscles become stretched, and may not be able to provide as much support
to the pelvis and spine. To help prevent low back pain and other aches, expectant mothers can perform
simple core strengthening exercises that can help reduce stress on their back
Abdominal bracing is a helpful exercise to learn how
to maintain mild abdominal contraction in order to
support the lumbar spine. To correctly brace, you
should attempt to contract your abdominal muscles.
Be careful not to hold your breath – you should be
able to breathe evenly while bracing.
Lay on your back with your spine in a neutral position.
(neutral means maintaining the natural curve in
Keeping this position, concentrate on contracting
your abdominal musculature without “drawing in”.
Important: this involves hardening or tightening the
muscles, not hollowing the abdominal area.
Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3-5
times; perform 1-3 sets.
Once mastered, this technique can be used to
enhance all core stability exercises and during daily
activities; i.e. lifting a baby. Maintaining this position
will help you get the most out of all your core
stability exercises and protect your spine.
Building a strong core means doing exercises
regularly that target the abdominal, hip and back
muscles. Following are three exercises that help
keep core muscles strong.