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Back Pain During Pregnancy: Moving Safely

Learning the proper ways to bend, lift, and carry objects may help relieve back strain. It will also help you protect your back after your baby is born. Remember, if you’re having trouble protecting your back, it’s OK to ask the people around you for help!

Bending

Image of woman kneeling down by file cabinet

To protect your back as you bend:

  • Put 1 foot slightly in front of the other. Bend at the knees and hips, pushing your hips backward. Keep your upper body as straight as you can.

  • Face forward. Try to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a line.

  • Don’t hold your breath.

 

 

 

Lifting

Image of woman carrying laundry basket

To lift a large object or a child:

  • Get as close to the load as you can. Face forward, to help keep your ears and shoulders aligned.

  • Use the muscles in your thighs and buttocks to stand up. As you lift, tighten your stomach and pelvic floor muscles.

  • Don’t hold your breath. Avoid twisting.

 

 

 

 

Carrying

Image of pregnant woman carrying packages, one in each hand

To carry a load safely:

  • Carry an object or child in front of you, not resting on your hip.

  • Break up your load into 2 smaller bags, if you can. Carry 1 bag on each side to maintain balance. Or, break the load into smaller ones and take more trips.

  • Try to tighten your stomach and pelvic floor muscles as you walk. This helps take weight off your back.

 

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