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Donna BaloHelp With Back Arthritis During Pregnancy
by Donna Harvel Balo ARNP, CNM, MS

Q. Is it safe to get a massage while pregnant? I have arthritis in my lower back and am starting to have a lot of pain and discomfort, probably as my belly gets a bit bigger and pulls slightly forward. I have not had a massage since I found out I was pregnant and am now 13 weeks.

Also, any safe exercises for a formerly sedentary person that might help reduce lower back strain?? If I'm in this much discomfort this early on I'm a little nervous about what's to come, and my doctor did advise me that I could expect to have problems due to the arthritis.

A. I suggest that you talk to the massage therapist. A good therapist knows where and where not to massage. Usually the ones who do not have experience with pregnancy, will not massage a pregnant woman.

A trip to a physical therapist might be worthwhile to get some suggestions on exercises. On your hands and knees - arching like a cat helps. Swimming and floating might feel good.

I would also concentrate on your daily activities - careful about comfortable shoes. When standing, put one leg on a thick book, or small stool which takes the pressure off.

A support made for pregnant women, like the Prenatal Cradle may be helpful to you, especially as you get more pregnant!

Check with your provider before trying these suggestions. I hope you get some relief!

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