Tips To Ease Back and Sciatic Pain

Wear low-heeled shoes with a thick sole, and try to keep your feet parallel when standing or walking. This lessens strain on the sacroiliac joint.

When standing ensure your knees are not locked. If you are not sure, bend them just a tiny bit. 

When sitting at your desk always try and keep your pelvis higher than your knees – use cushions if necessary.

When watching TV either sit upright or lie on your side with a pillow between your legs.  Do not slouch on the couch with your feet up in front of you. Sitting on a birthing ball will keep you in the correct position.

Bedtime TIps

Sleeping in satin or silky pyjamas will make it easier and more comfortable to turn in bed if you have backache or sciatica (or when you are larger and more cumbersome in the later stages of pregnancy). Or you can make turning over easier by sleeping on satin (i.e. slippery) sheets. 

Many women find that the most comfortable way to get settled in bed is with one pillow beneath your head, one under your bump, and one between your legs.

However, to cut down on arranging and re-arranging pillows try the following tip. Get a single duvet, fold it over, and stitch the edges together length ways to form a long tubular pillow. With your new “pillow” you can get into position quickly and roll it over if you want to lie on the other side.

 

Mum's Tip

“I had back-ache through most of the pregnancy, particularly in my extreme lower back, and by week 36 I found that sitting or lying in any position was really uncomfortable. Eventually I found the most relief from sitting on a gym (birthing) ball. We took out one chair from the sitting room and moved the ball into its place. Then my sister gave me a small wedge-shaped pillow she had used. So at night I was able to get some rest by lying on my side resting my bump on this small pillow, and keeping an ordinary pillow between the bottom half of my legs.”

Tips when Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded

Dizziness can be caused by low blood pressure and increased blood volume (which makes you feel warmer) particularly in the first few months. Fainting can be quite common in the first six months. It usually happens when you stand for a long time, are tired, have not eaten enough, or bend over or get up suddenly. Even if you do not faint you may find that if you get up too quickly, the blood can drain rapidly from your head to your hands and feet, causing you to feel dizzy or to “see stars”. Tell your carer if you are experiencing dizziness, or feeling constantly light-headed.

The Tips:

  • Make sure you are drinking enough fluids.
  • Eat at regular intervals.
  • Get up slowly in anticipation of feeling lightheaded.
  • Get out of a warm bath very slowly.
  • Avoid standing for long periods. You may be disappointed at how few people will offer you seats on public transport. If nobody is offering a seat ask for one.
  • If you have to stand relax and contract the muscles in your legs and buttocks muscles. This will help blood to return to your head.
  • Rest on your side rather than your back – it is easier to get up from this position. 
  • Keep cool in hot weather. 
  • If you feel faint, sit down and place your head lower than your body.
  • Some women find that it helps to take a few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy as soon as you start to feel faint. 

Tips for Mood Swings

When asked what they enjoyed least about their partners’ pregnancies the two words mentioned most by the dads we surveyed were “mood swings”!

During pregnancy the huge changes in hormone levels may cause dramatic swings in your emotions and moods.  Particularly in the first few months you will notice that your mood can change in minutes, even seconds, from extreme happiness to tears of frustration, from anger to elation. You cannot predict it, usually you cannot control it - it’s just like a rerun of puberty!. And both you, and your partner should not be surprised if you find yourself crying without explanation – even when you are feeling happy. 

These erratic mood swings are all normal, though sometimes disturbing for you and those around you. However, the good news is that once the placenta takes over the production of pregnancy hormones in the second trimester, your hormone levels should start to even out, resulting in you feeling more relaxed and positive. 

It is possible that your pregnancy hormones will also influence your choice of viewing and reading material, that you will not want to watch or read about anything violent, or sad, or that involves child cruelty.

The Tips

  • Breath in…breath out…breathe in…breathe out…
  • Take up yoga or find a relaxation technique that suits you.
  • Apologise when you have taken your bad mood out on someone else.
  • Explain to others that it is the hormones/exhaustion/stress, which has you on this emotional roller coaster.
  • Go for a walk, or even just leave the room, when you feel your mood changing for the worse and you are not alone.
  • Take a shower or bath, or even just splash water on your face. It can help you change your mood.
  • Try smiling, even when you feel least like it. Even faking a smile can make your feel happier.

Mums Talk

“Nothing phased me during my first and third pregnancies. I had a constant supply of happy hormones. On my second baby, however, my mood changed by the minute. I could be laughing and then would burst into tears, or start snapping at my partner or toddler, or anyone who got in my path….”

“For a few weeks everything seemed sadder. I couldn’t look at the news, and even hearing about the death of someone I hardly knew sent me into floods for days. Then one day a shop assistant was abrupt with me when I asked a question and I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop and I had to be taken into an office and given a drink of water. I haven’t dared go into that shop since”.