Pain throughout the neck, shoulders and back is common during pregnancy and postpartum. This pain can become particularly acute during the third trimester and linger on for months postpartum. Finding some relief is definitely possible! It helps to understand the possible underlying causes, so we will discuss those briefly here:
1. Change in Center of Gravity
As baby continues to grow during pregnancy, your center of gravity will continue to shift. You’ll also be gaining some weight with pregnancy. Both of these things contribute to extra strain on your back, shoulder and neck muscles and can cause pain.
2. Poor Posture
Especially in the second and third trimester, women tend to tuck their hips under and do the “pregnancy waddle”. While this might seem like it’s helping to support you, it’s really only contributing to your back pain! Postpartum, moms tend to round their shoulders and upper back a lot when feeding baby, which can cause a lot of shoulder and neck pain.
3. Lack of Support
There are many ways that you can support your back, shoulder and neck muscles throughout pregnancy and postpartum. One of the main ways is to keep your core and back muscles strong by working out consistently. The stronger your muscles are, the better they will be able to help you keep good posture and alignment which will definitely relieve pain! You can also invest in external support like body pillows for times that you are sitting or sleeping.
This week, I’ll be sharing some great tips on how to strengthen and stretch your back, shoulders, and neck, so make sure you stay tuned!