Friday, 3 August 2012

Back Pain in Prenancy - How I got Rid of It.


I had terrible backpain.  Pain that wouldn't let me sleep at night, or turn from one side to the other without bolts of electric anguish flashing down my legs.  Walking hurt and I was worried that if it got any worse that I wouldn't be able to any more.  I have sorted it out.  How you ask?  The Physio?  No - she was pretty useless.  Yoga?  Nope - haven't been.  

These three things did the trick:

The first thing that happened was that  Ron, because he is a fabulous human being, went out to get me one of those long spaghetti pillow things.  It's a massive bolster that you curl yourself around so you sleep with it between your knees and then wrap your arms around it and totally relaxes your back muscles.  After the birth it serves as a breast feeding pillow and it is mega comfy.  For those of you who are boyfriendless or in need of a more cuddly partner, I think this is  probably a pretty good substitute ...

The second thing that happened  was I got a belly band.  It  just holds me in place as I walk around.  It is seamless and doesn't show under my clothes.  I love it.

The third and most important thing MAGNESIUM.  What?  I hear you say.  Yes.  Magnesium.  Apparently 80% of people are somewhat deficient.  A midwife who is a friend of mine in California recommended it. She said take it before the birth and it will make the birth easier and allow for quicker recovery.  Many obstetricians also recommend it but not for prolonged usage.  Obviously if you are going to take it ask your doctor or health care provider.

Being the geek I am, I researched it.  Magnesium is necessary for about 300 functions in your body, and is especially good if you are getting, muscle aches, prone to kidney stones, bleeding gums, cracking nails,  split ended hair, constipation,  or if you can't sleep. I had the aches, gum problems, bad nails and constipation.  So I put two and two together and realised that bumpkin was slurping out all my magnesium.

Now there is some controversy. If you look on the internet there are two camps - Doctors who say that magnesium is very beneficial for the baby and those who say it is not.   Do not take it in your first trimester.  Magnesium citrate has been classified by the FDA as a grade C which means it  may or may  not have been tested and that it could potentially cause problems for the fetus .   So I went to the pharmacist and asked.  The pharmacist gave me Magnesium hydroxide and  we looked it up to make sure that it specifically stated that there were no contraindications for this.  She told me to take it in 500 mg doses when I had backpain,  which is in line with the Recommended Daily allowance.

I told her that  before I had read about possible complications.  I took one dose of 400 mg ( the recommended daily allowance) of magnesium citrate and it literally knocked out my backpain.  This after I had been suffering for three weeks. She  told me that my one off dosage of 500 mg of magnesium citrate would be no big deal because it was such a low dosage.   However we both agreed that the Magnesium hydroxide sounded like the better solution because it came with a sheet saying that it was safe for pregnant women, and I have decided to only take it when backpain becomes an issue.

One warning however... It is  also used as a laxative so make sure if you take one, to drink a ton of water afterwards.

I then talked to my friend Donna  and told her about my revelation. She said she had become addicted to Gatorade when she was pregnant and had almost no less leg cramps in her third pregnancy whereas she had a lot in her prior two pregnancies.  We then found out it has a ton of magnesium in it.

So the lesson here - Eat foods with loads of magnesium - Brown bread, nuts, rolled oats peanut butter, whole grains, tofu,  various legumes, spinach, oily fish  and broccoli or get a decent multivitamin with magnesium in it and avoid severe back pain. :)

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