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When Should You Worry About Back Pain During Pregnancy?

When Should You Worry About Back Pain During Pregnancy?

It’s no secret that back pain is common among pregnant women. However, aside from knowing the causes of back pain, one common question is “When does back pain start in pregnancy?” And once it appears, what can mothers do about it?

When Does Back Pain Start in Pregnancy: What Causes Back Pain?

During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a number of significant changes. One of these including the ligaments of the body starting to relax and stretch to get the body ready for labor. As a result, this puts a lot of strain on the woman’s joints in the lower back and pelvis, which results in back pain.

Aside from this, as the baby grows, the body’s center of gravity shifts. This shift in the center of gravity can cause muscles in the back to work extra hard in order to stay balanced. When coupled with the strain on the joints of the back and pelvis, this causes back pain.

When Does Back Pain Start in Pregnancy?

Mothers who are obese or overweight, or have given birth before, usually experience back pain during the start of their pregnancy. For first-time moms, it typically happens later in their pregnancy.

And as the pregnancy goes on and the baby grows even bigger, the back pain can get worse. It could even come to the point that mothers might need extra support in order to get comfortable whenever they stand up, sit, or lie down.

When Does Back Pain Start in Pregnancy: Should You Worry About Back Pain?

Now that we know when does back pain start in pregnancy, should we worry about it?

For the most part, back pain during pregnancy is not a serious concern. It might cause some discomfort, but it can easily be remedied by doing the following:

Maintain good posture

Maintaining good posture can do wonders for your body. And this is especially true for pregnant women because their body goes through a multitude of changes as their baby grows.

One common mistake that pregnant women do is to leaning back to counter the shift in their center of gravity. However, this can strain the back muscles since leaning back is not a natural position.

By keeping your back straight whenever you are sitting down or standing up, you can balance your center of gravity, and prevent your back muscles from getting too strained.

Having a wide stance also helps distribute your weight, and makes it easier for you to stand up straight. Don’t be afraid to sit down whenever you feel too tired, as standing up for long periods of time, even with a good posture, can still cause some strain in your back.

Get proper support

Another important thing to remember would be to get proper support for your back. You can do this by placing a pillow on the small arc of your lower back when you are sitting down. This helps relieve some strain and helps support your back to prevent any back pain.

Sleep on your side

Sleeping on your back might be uncomfortable when you are pregnant. So it might be a good idea to sleep on your side instead, preferably on the left side. It is also advisable to place a pillow in between the legs while lying on the side.

Using a pregnancy pillow, which wraps around your body and provides support, can be helpful to relieve back strain whenever you are lying down.

when does back pain start in pregnancy

A hot or a cold compress can help

If you are having a hard time relieving your back pain, using a hot or a cold compress can soothe the pain Just make sure to not place your skin in direct contact with the compress. You need to wrap it in a towel or a clean cloth before putting it on your back.

Lift with your legs

Whenever you are lifting heavy objects, try to use your legs to support your weight instead of your back. Your legs can provide better support, and can relieve some of the strain from your back.

Don’t forget to exercise

Exercise is very important for pregnant women. Exercise helps keep your body healthy, and your muscles strong.

Engaging in light exercise daily can help maintain your health, and prevent back pain. Not only that, but it can also make giving birth easier for you.

When Does Back Pain Start in Pregnancy: When Should You Worry?

Despite back pain being a common occurrence during pregnancy, experiencing intense back pain is not common.

If the pain you’re experiencing is too much, or it is interfering with your daily activities, it would be best to talk to your doctor about it. That way, they can find out what is causing the pain in your back, and it can be addressed immediately.

When Does Back Pain Start in Pregnancy: Preventing Back Pain

Here are some tips to prevent back pain during pregnancy:

  • Wear flat shoes
  • Use a firm mattress when sleeping
  • Get enough rest
  • Avoid standing up for long periods of time
  • Always keep your back straight
  • Stretching your lower back can help ease the pain and prevent back pain
  • Supportive clothing can also help ease back pain during pregnancy

By following these tips, you can reduce the back pain that you experience during pregnancy.

Key takeaway

When does back pain start in pregnancy? Overweight mothers or mothers who have experienced multiple pregnancies may experience back pains at the beginning of pregnancy. First-time mothers may experience it later on. Back pain may get worse as the pregnancy progresses. However, it is usually not a serious concern. It can be addressed by improving your posture, sleeping on your side, supporting your back, and exercising.

Learn more about Being Pregnant here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Back pain in pregnancy – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/backache-pregnant/, Accessed September 1, 2020

Back Pain During Pregnancy | ACOG, https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/back-pain-during-pregnancy, Accessed September 1, 2020

Backache in pregnancy | Pregnancy Birth and Baby, https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/backache-in-pregnancy, Accessed September 1, 2020

Back Pain During Pregnancy: American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/health-fitness/back-pain-during-pregnancy-943, Accessed September 1, 2020

Pregnancy-related low back pain, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306025/, Accessed September 1, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 24
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D.