When you're pregnant, your belly gets bigger and your center of gravity shifts forward. This imbalance puts pressure on your lower spine, which ends up curving back to compensate. This then leads to one of the most common pregnancy symptoms - back pain. Fortunately, over the years women have discovered many techniques for reducing and relieving this pain.

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  • Have good posture - Poor posture can lead to a sore back even when you're not pregnant. One of the most important things you can to reduce back pain during pregnancy is watch your posture when sitting and standing. When sitting, choose a chair that supports your back or get a lumbar cushion for more support. When standing, stand up straight and tall. Also, be sure to take breaks if sitting or standing for long periods of time so your back doesn't get worn out.
  • Control weight gain - When you're pregnant, gaining weight is a good and healthy thing to do. But too much can lead to even sorer backs, as well as other health issues. For most women, healthy weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds above their pre-pregnancy weight by the third trimester. Keep in mind that each woman is different so be sure to talk to your doctor if you are having trouble controlling your weight gain (or if you're not gaining enough).
  • Wear proper shoes - High heels are bad for pregnancy, but so are completely-flat shoes. Opt for low-heeled (approximately 2 inches) shoes with good arch support.
  • Lift properly - Refrain from lifting heavy objects while you're pregnant. And when you lift lighter objects, remember to use proper lifting techniques. Don't bend over and lift with your back; squat down and lift with your legs.
  • Sleep on your side - Sleeping on your side can help take some of the pressure off your aching back. Use a support pillow between your legs to better align your spine and further alleviate your pain.
  • Try ice packs and heating pads - For quick pain relief, apply a cold compress, alternating every 15 minutes or so.
  • Consider seeking additional therapies - If your pain gets to be too much, consider seeing a physical therapist, chiropractor, masseuse or acupuncturist for help. These experts know how to treat back pain and many have most likely helped other pregnant women before.

Back pain isn't fun, but it's a normal part of pregnancy and can be managed. Hopefully these tips help! Be sure to talk to your doctor if the pain becomes persistent and overwhelming.