pregnancy back pain

5 Genius Hacks Every Working Mom Needs to Beat Pregnancy Back Pain

“I remember being 32 weeks pregnant and struggling to get out of my bed every morning. I am a teacher and maternity leave is 6 months only, I had planned to wait till the last month to take my maternity leave. But back pain got the better of me. It became so hard that I took my maternity leave from the 7th month of pregnancy”, shares Shruti, a pregnant mom from the Zactive mom community.

If you're juggling the demands of work and motherhood, you're not alone. There is so much help available for pregnant women, but very few articles specifically for pregnant women working full time jobs. So we spoke to Ishita Sangani, a prenatal yoga trainer, who shared some invaluable insights that we just couldn't wait to pass along to you. For all the working moms out there, we know back pain all too well. Surprisingly, a significant number of pregnant working moms experience back pain, with studies suggesting it's due to the double duty of managing job responsibilities and the physical changes of pregnancy. While you may be short on time, self care is non -negotiable! 

This blog is dedicated to you - We've got some super simple yet effective yoga poses and stretches designed for your busy schedule. These are not only quick but can be seamlessly integrated into your workday, ensuring your body and mind get the relief they need without taking up precious time. Let's get started! 

In conversation with Expert Ishita Sangani, let’s find out all how yoga can help working moms get relief from back pain!

Question: Can you suggest some stretches which pregnant working moms can do easily?

Ishita: Working moms have the biggest challenge of time crunch. So it's very important to manage time effectively. I feel pregnant working moms should take short breaks especially if they have a sedentary job, which means they are sitting at a desk for hours. Use these breaks for some quick desk stretches which give instant relief from back pain which is so common in pregnancy! 

  • Neck Stretch: Take a 15-second pause to gently tilt your head from side to side. Repeat for 10 counts

  • Shoulder Rolls: Loosen up by rolling your shoulders forward and backward. It's a simple way to stretch your upper back muscles.

  • Wrist and Hand Exercises: After hours of typing, moving your wrists and fingers can work wonders to relieve aches and pains.

Question: Do you feel yoga can help with back pain in pregnancy?

Ishita: Definitely yes! I advise taking prenatal yoga sessions from a certified yoga trainer in pregnancy. The reason is simple, pregnancy needs a very individualised approach. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. And depending on your pregnancy health and complications if any, we modify the asanas. 

For example, if a mother has placenta previa, we cannot do certain asanas at all and we need to modify some poses. This needs to be checked individually so please consult a prenatal yoga trainer. In a non complicated pregnancy you can do these 3 yoga poses for back pain relief and an instant energy boost!

  • Mountain Pose: Stand tall and stretch your arms upwards, breathing in and out. Feel the energy flow through you.

  • Forward Fold: Bend from your hips and let your back enjoy a well-deserved stretch—like hitting the refresh button on your body.

  • Child's Pose: Kneel, sit back on your heels, and stretch forward as much as comfortable. It's a soothing pose for your back and shoulders.

yoga for back pain

Question: I have heard that pranayama can also help with back pain. Is this true?

Ishita: Pranayama is very beneficial in pregnancy. Pranayamas help to increase oxygen in the body and reduce aches and pains, But it needs to be done under supervision as again there are some pranayamas that should be avoided in pregnancy. Like any pranayama that involves holding your breath is strictly avoided. Breathing deeply is an excellent technique to use if a pregnant working mom has back pain. Try these 2 pranayamas when you feel stress or anxiety creeping in. These can be done in just under 5 minutes and it instantly helps your mind to feel calmer.

  •  Deep Yogic Belly Breaths:  Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale slowly. Repeat this for 10 counts. 

  • Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing:

    Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril. Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils. Complete 9 such rounds by alternately breathing through both the nostrils. 

Both these breathing techniques will help to calm your mind and feel more relaxed. 

Pranayama for pregnancy back pain

Question: Is it possible to avoid back pain in pregnancy?

Ishita: This is such an important question and I feel it has to be addressed. Prevention is better than cure right!

1. Firstly, let's talk about the importance of your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are key supporters of your back. Regularly engaging in pelvic floor exercises can make a significant difference. Imagine you're trying to stop the flow of urine; that contraction is what you're aiming for. Do this gently but frequently throughout your day. It's a simple, discreet exercise you can do anywhere, even at your desk, and it's incredibly beneficial for both your pelvic health and your back.

2. Now, have you considered the setup of your workstation? A standing desk or a convertible setup that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing can be a game-changer. It ensures that you're not in the same position for too long, which can worsen back pain.

3. A little tip that might surprise you involves a warm water bottle. Placing this gently against your lower back during breaks can offer soothing relief and help relax those tense muscles. It's so simple that you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine.

4. Let's not forget about the clothes and accessories you choose. Opting for pregnancy leggings that provide adequate support to your belly and back can make a substantial difference in how you feel by the end of the day. 

5. And when it comes to carrying your essentials, a lightweight bag that distributes weight evenly can prevent additional strain on your back.

6. Adjustments in your daily commute can also play a role. If you drive, take a moment to adjust your seat for optimum support and comfort. A properly adjusted seat can prevent unnecessary strain during your commute.

7. Also keep practising the breathing techniques I have listed above! Including these strategies into your daily routine doesn't require much time, but the benefits can be profound. Remember, every little bit helps when it comes to taking care of both you and your baby during this special time. And always, listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider before trying new techniques or if your back pain persists.

Question: Any suggestions for working moms to feel motivated for prenatal exercise?

Ishita: Oh yes, there are several things you can try and I have personally seen with my clients that small changes create big differences in the motivation level. Exercise for a lot of people is boring and it's more of a chore or a thing on a to-do list if you are working a full time job as well. I have a few easy suggestions working pregnant moms should definitely try!

  • First, get a good pair of pregnancy leggings and pregnancy active wear. Wear those especially on days you don't feel motivated to exercise . Tell yourself, let me wear it and see how I feel! You have no idea how motivated you get to exercise just by the right outfits! 

  • Schedule a time everyday with your office colleague to fit in some exercise, it can be a brisk walk or a quick desk stretch. Having someone to give you company helps you stay disciplined.

  • Set alarms or reminders for yourself for tasks like drinking water, stretching etc. You are more likely to stay on task this way.

  • On days you just don't feel like doing the exercises, try the pranayamas I have suggested. Lot if times, pregnancy comes with mood changes too, and breathing techniques can shift your mood in 3 -5 minutes if done with focus.

  • Last thing I want to stress about is creating a relaxing workplace. Please don't clutter your desk and keep things unorganised. Keep a few calming things around you like a plant, a candle or some calming photo or saying, A pleasant environment can significantly reduce your stress.

Moms, caring for yourself is crucial, and it doesn't have to eat into your busy schedule. Remember, taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give to your family and career. I hope this conversation with Ishita has given you the motivation you needed for staying fit and active in this beautiful time of your life!

Every mom needs a village- we have built that community for you! Join -ZactiveTM moms and meet your mom friends!

Watch our insightful video with Dr. Harsha who shares invaluable insights on C-section recovery based on her expertise and personal experiences. 

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1 comment

  • Shilpa

    very good blog and feels motivated to do exercise as an expecting mom!

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