6 Common Causes of Back Pain For Mothers (and How to Prevent Them)

Back care advice for mothers from our London ChiropractorMother’s day is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to make sure that your mum is doing well.  Or, if you are a mother yourself, now is a great time to take an inventory of your own health and deal with any concerns that you may have.

Mums often suffer from back pain, which can be attested to by the number of mothers visiting my London chiropractor clinic each week.  They usually have a very heavy work load, which involves a lot of housework and carrying heavy infants.

In this post, I’m going to identify a few of the common causes of back pain experienced by mothers and how they can be alleviated.

Back pain experienced by expectant mothers

For most mums, back pain will begin during pregnancy as a result of weight gain.  It can be very difficult for mums to adjust to carrying the extra 12 to 16 kg added during this period and the strain it places on the body.  The location of the additional weight causes a mum’s centre of gravity to shift forward, which places further strain on the back.

Additionally, the body will begin to produce higher levels of relaxin, a hormone that causes the ligaments to relax.  While you might think this could help the body deal with the additional weight, it actually results in even more strain being placed on the back — which can worsen back pain.

The best way to mitigate back pain during pregnancy is to continue to stay in good shape.  Continue to perform light to moderate exercise throughout the pregnancy period, focusing on building strength in your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.  Expectant mothers can also visit my London chiropractor clinic to have their musculoskeletal system assessed prior to giving birth.

Lifting infants from their crib

Picking up an infant from his or her crib can be a surprisingly strenuous activity because it involves picking up a heavy weight at an awkward angle.  It is often the cause of strain on the lower back and can lead back pain.

The best technique for picking up an infant from a crib is to stand with feet width apart and bending at the knees while pulling the infant towards you with your arms.  Focus on using your abdominal muscles as you lift the infant.


Sitting down for long periods while breastfeeding is another common cause of back pain in mothers.  This activity often leads to pain because the mother is not comfortable or well-supported in the chair they are sitting in.

The solution is to breastfeed in a chair with excellent back support.  Mums should also use pillows to position the infant in a way that is comfortable and doesn’t require them to lean at an awkward angle.

Putting an infant into a high chair

Leaning over to squeeze a wriggling infant into a high chair can cause strain on the lower back.  A better solution is to remove the table before placing them into the chair.  This will make it a straight forward action that won’t require mum to lean over.

Using a baby stroller

Interacting with an infant in a baby stroller is another common source of back pain in mothers.  Leaning over to buckle in the child or to check on them can place strain on the lower back.  The best solution is to kneel down whenever you are interacting with a child in a stroller.

Buckling an infant into a car seat

Getting a squirming baby into a car seat isn’t always a straightforward task.  There always seems to be a buckle missing, which leads to mums spending time in an awkward position that can lead to back pain.

The best solution is to arrange the car seat’s straps before attempting to place the child into the seat.  Then, sit in the car’s back seat with the child in your lap and twist the torso to place them into the car seat.    

Strategies mums can use to deal with back pain

If you are already suffering from back pain here are a few simple strategies for obtaining some relief: 

Apply ice or heat

Applying cold therapy to your back can reduce inflammation and swelling, which reduces pain. Conversely, applying heat can relax tense muscles and reduce pain.  Try both hot and cold therapy to determine which approach works better for relieving your pain. 

Take over the counter pain relievers

Consider taking over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen.  If you are not pregnant, you can also take ibuprofen.  Always consult with your pharmacist about the kinds of pain killers that are safe for you and your child. 

See a chiropractor or doctor

If the back pain that you are experiencing is quite severe, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible.  Many mothers come into my London chiropractor office to have various musculoskeletal issues diagnosed and corrected. 

Once you have received treatment for your back, you can also take additional steps to prevent an injury occurring in the future, including:

  • Sitting down less often
  • Moving mindfully
  • Increasing your core strength through exercise
  • Ensuring your posture is good while using your smart phone or computer
  • Eating a healthy diet

Our team of chiropractors at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic in Central London are always here to help you.  You can make an appointment to visit  our London Chiropractor Office by calling on 0207 112 5408 or you can Book Online.