Pay More Attention to Your Posture
In many cases, an aching back can be alleviated simply by becoming more aware of your body's alignment when sitting and standing. "Keep the chest and head high, hold ears over shoulders, tuck buttocks under, and keep the pelvis more flat, rather than arching your back, to support your additional weight," says Roger Harms, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
Though standing for long periods is discouraged for pregnant women, it's occasionally unavoidable. You can make it less stressful by donning a lightweight walking or running shoe that's wide enough to allow for swelling. "Women should wear shoes that provide shock absorption, stability, and support," says Alicia Silva, a physical therapist and author of Preventing and Managing Back Pain During Pregnancy. Manufacturers such as Born, Naturalizer, and Easy Spirit offer great options.
If you're in a situation that requires you to sit for an extended amount of time, make sure you're in the most supportive position possible: Sit so that your hips and lower back are touching the back of the seat and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. It's also a good idea to place a lumbar support pillow between the chair and your lower back. "The pillow will improve your sitting posture by reducing head and neck slouching," explains Silva.