9 Things No One Tells You About Your Back During Pregnancy, But I Will

Ad failed to load

It’s common knowledge that being pregnant can be an uncomfortable experience, especially in the third trimester. I didn't expect to have so much back pain, though. I tried everything to get some relief, including physical therapy, massage, and a belly support band. To make matters worse, my upper back hurt too, due to my ever-growing boobs. There are so many things that no one will tell you about your back during pregnancy, except me. And you deserve to be prepared. Trust me.

First off, if you have pregnancy back pain you might feel better knowing that you aren't alone. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), back pain is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Your changing hormones, changing body, and growing baby can literally be a pain in your butt, your entire spine, and in your upper back and shoulders. According to Mayo Clinic, you might find some relief from pregnancy back pain by improving your posture, engaging in a few exercises to strengthen your core, and trading high heels for flats until your baby is born. Unfortunately, according to, sleeping on your back is off limits during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. Mayo Clinic suggests side sleeping and using pregnancy pillows to support your back and belly in late pregnancy. If your back pain persists longer than two weeks, though, the Mayo Clinic suggests talking to your doctor to rule out a serious health condition and to recommend a treatment plan.

With any luck, you'll be feeling better in no time. And if not, at least you know your baby will be here in a few months and will take the pressure off your back (and shoulders). Until then, though, there's a few things you should know about growing human beings and how your back will feel during the process:

Ad failed to load

It Will Probably Hurt


If you experience pregnancy back pain, you should know that you're not alone. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), back pain is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, affecting between 50-70 percent of pregnant women. It's not that surprising, either. Pregnancy causes your uterus to grow and expand, puts pressure on your nerves and spine, and causes weight gain, primarily on the front of your body. At the same time pregnancy hormones loosen your joints, which can make your spine feel (and actually be) less stable.

It Might Get Worse


As your belly expands, your back pain might get worse. According to BabyCenter, while you might have back pain in early pregnancy, for most pregnant people it starts during the second trimester, gets worse during late pregnancy, and might even continue for a few months after your baby is born. Yikes.

Your Posture Might Change


According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), pregnancy hormones, extra weight in your belly and breasts, and your growing body can actually change your posture, shift your center of gravity, and make your body hunch forward. The end result of all that shifting and changing? Pain. So. Much. Pain.

Ad failed to load

You Can't Sleep On It

While many people sleep on their backs to ease back pain, according to Mayo Clinic this is not a good idea during pregnancy. Instead, the clinic suggests sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs, under your growing belly, and/or behind your back.

Your Boobs Might Weigh You Down


Athletico Physical Therapy suggests that if your pregnancy back pain is located in your mid- or upper-back, a poor-fitting bra might be the culprit. According to BabyCenter, pregnancy is definitely time to invest in a new bra so you can stay comfortable as your breasts and rib cage grow and get heavier, which can put strain on your back.

Back Pain Might Be A Sign Of Stress

According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), your lower back pain might be caused by stress. Because people typically feel the impact of stress in the weaker parts of their body, as stress increases during your pregnancy your back pain might increase, too.

Ad failed to load

There Are Things You Might Try For Relief

expertvillage on YouTube

If your back pain is caused by the extra weight of your growing baby pressing against your pelvis or nerves, BabyCenter suggests trying a maternity support band to take the weight off. Literally.

According to the Mayo Clinic, getting daily exercise might help to strengthen your core. Gentle stretches for your lower back can also, potentially, relieve pain. According to certified yoga teacher April Kirkhart, M.S.W., the cat/cow flow is great for your spine, hips, and shoulders during pregnancy. To start, kneel on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-distance apart, your knees hip-distance apart, and your back straight. For cow pose, inhale and let your belly drop, arching your back but keeping your shoulders rolled down and back with your gaze forward. For cat pose, as you exhale, round your back to the sky, then tuck your chin to your chest and your tail bone slightly. Repeat following your own breath, as many times as you like.

You Might Need Professional Help

According to Mayo Clinic, while back pain can be a normal part of pregnancy and you may be able to treat it at home with exercise, ice, heat, or a support band, if you still have pain after two weeks, it's time to consult a health care professional for advice, a referral for physical therapy, or to rule out a health condition — like a urinary tract infection — that may manifest as back pain.

You Might Actually Be Labor


According to BabyCenter, if your back pain is accompanied by vaginal bleeding or comes on suddenly, and you are in your second or third trimester, you should contact your OB or midwife immediately. Back pain in late pregnancy might actually be a sign of preterm labor, which requires medical attention.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherlode, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills