Several weeks along their pregnancy, many women begin to feel fatigued and heavy. As the baby grows and develops in the mother's womb, it starts occupying more space, which results in various discomforts for the mother. As the penultimate stage of labour approaches, it is almost normal for her to feel tired of being pregnant, frantically yet gleefully, wishing for the arrival of her baby in due time.
Pregnancy is no smooth sailing and can be really painful and wearisome at times, especially, during its later stages. The discomfort faced by expectant mothers varies from person-to-person, depending on the position of their babies inside the uterus. Moms-to-be who have been pregnant before often feel poorly with subsequent babies because the ligaments and muscles in the groin and the back have already stretched out and loosened up during earlier pregnancies, resulting in less support against all the pressure that the new baby is exerting on the body, as it begins to grow and develop inside the womb.
36 Weeks Pregnant Back Pain, Is It Normal?
Yeah, the 36 weeks pregnant back pain is normal, fortunately! The pregnancy hormones such as progesterone cause the strong ligaments joining the abdomen to the lower back, at the sacroiliac joints, to relax. This in turn, makes the bones vulnerable to come out of alignment and hence, give that aching back. This may also affect the sciatic nerve and cause it to twinge and produce sharp pains in the legs and the buttocks. In the later stages of pregnancy, the abdomen bulges, resulting in a shift in the centre of gravity, which then leads to an incorrect posture. In an attempt to get comfortable, the mother often sits, moves and lifts things in a way that renders her torso in an inappropriate position, and hence, causes unnecessary twists and strains on the back muscles.
This is also attributed to the posterior position the babies are in during the time. Remember also that this pain is not there for long, and will eventually subside and disappear, leaving you feeling fresh and much better, in only a few weeks’ time, as you gladly receive a pleasant addition to your family.
How to Relieve 36 Weeks Pregnant Back Pain
In order to relieve the 36 weeks pregnant back pain, you may consider putting a heating pad on your back for around 10 to 15 minutes every hour or so. However, be reminded that leaving it for more than 20 minutes at a time may adversely affect your baby’s health, because this might raise its temperature too high.
Maintaining a good posture by keeping the body straight and tucking your buttocks under, too, may help lower the 36 weeks pregnant back pain, by reducing the curve on your lower back and hence, lowering the strain on it. When you sit for long periods, avoid slumping, keep your neck, hips, and back in perfect alignment. You might as well sit on a chair so that your thighs are firmly supported against the floor. If you are unable to rest your feet comfortably on the floor, use a footrest so that your knees are higher than your hips, or at least at the same level. You may also consider sleeping with pillows between your legs and behind your back.
While lifting things, do not bend from your waist or hips. Instead, crouch down on your knees with your feet apart and one foot slightly forward. Do not twist or turn to pick something up; rather, face it before you lift it. Ask someone else to pick it up for you, if possible.
Try working at comfortable heights. Hip to waist is a reasonable height if you are working while standing. Kneel down for carrying out chores at a lower level. If you keep on standing for longer periods, try placing one foot on a footrest to relieve the lower back pain and swap feet from time to time while you work.
Doing exercises that involve shoulder rotation may help curb the 36 weeks pregnant back pain – Put the fingertips of both your hands on your shoulders and rotate your elbows backward in a circular motion for several times.
Other 36-Weeks-Pregnant Pains You May Have
With a pregnancy symptom as common as clumsiness, you should not be surprised if you bump into things as your belly enlarges. Like many other symptoms of pregnancy, clumsiness too is a result of the loosening of the joints and the muscles brought about by the hormonal changes.
A bothersome 36 weeks pregnant pain which is caused by the same hormonal changes that leave you undexterous and clumsy, hip pain is a result of the secretion of a hormone called Relaxin in higher quantity, which softens and relaxes the pelvic joints. This hormonal change accompanied by the increased pressure of the weight gain from the 20-odd additional pounds, causes severe hip pain.
Sore Thighs During Pregnancy
Sore thighs during pregnancy, a common 36-weeks-pregnant pain is caused by the soreness of the thigh muscles. This is usually attributed to the fact that the weight of a heavily pregnant woman mostly lies on the front of the torso, which makes you use the muscles that are not usually used under normal circumstances. As a result, the muscles get strained and become sore. Thigh muscles help you walk, and maintain your posture by keeping it intact. With the frontal anatomy out of shape, usual bodily movements put stress on these muscles and hence, it is almost normal to have sore thighs during pregnancy.
Most of the expectant women feel painful cramps in the feet, calves or thighs, particularly, at night, often startling them wide-awake, and furthering their sleep problems. It has been suggested that this 36 weeks pregnant pain is closely associated with low levels of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium in the body, the reason being that these minerals play a significant role in the normal functioning of the muscles.
Symphysis Pubis Pain
The symphysis pubis is a small cartilaginous joint, around three to four centimetres long, connecting the right side of the pelvis to its left side, and is facilitated by a dense network of tough and flexible ligaments. Higher levels of progesterone and relaxin hormones relax and loosen up this joint, causing pain as the pelvis moves during pregnancy. This 36 weeks pregnant pain is often described as a sharp, jabbing pain and a clicking sensation, sometimes originating in the vagina.
Rib and Chest Wall Pains
As the baby grows, it pushes upwards under the mother's ribs and thus, causes them to move outward a little. This condition is also referred to as "rib flaring."
This may tighten the intercostal muscles between the ribs, and as a result, leads to severe pain and discomfort.