Regular exercise can help keep your back strong, but be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any type of program. Dr. Harms recommends a combination of stretching and low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking and swimming. Swimming is especially great during pregnancy: "It gives the muscles that are supporting your extra weight a break and helps with conditions such as varicose veins and ankle swelling," says Dr. Harms.
Sleep on Your Side
Late in pregnancy, you should sleep on your left side so that the uterus doesn't put pressure on the vena cava, a main vein located on the right side of the abdomen that keeps your blood circulating. To help maintain a properly aligned spine, Silva suggests placing a pillow under your tummy and one or two between your knees for support. The Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow ($40 and up; utterlyyours.com) gets rave reviews from expecting moms. After all, nothing does a body good quite like a restful night's sleep.
Originally published in the July 2010 issue of Parents magazine.