In Season 6, Episode 4 of the popular TV show, How I Met Your Mother, Marshall and Lily have a baby talk that changes their lives. During a cab ride, they make a cradle list–a knock-off of the traditional bucket list that includes things to do before they start having kids. Seeing Coney Island, taking a trip to Paris as well as learning how to ski and ballroom dance all land on their list. If you want to prevent sciatica while you are pregnant, you might want to add one more to your cradle list: lose weight. Weight loss and sciatica is a match made in heaven!
Weight Loss and Sciatica: Drop Those Pounds Before the Pregnancy
Obesity is a major cause of and contributor to lower back pain, including sciatica, and the chances of encountering this pain only increases during pregnancy. Committing to a lifestyle change that focuses on weight loss before you conceive may be enough to nip your sciatica risk in the butt–or backbone. If you shed those back-breaking pounds early on, you will relieve a lot of tension and stress on your musculoskeletal system, also giving your bones, muscles and joints time to recuperate from years of overexertion and gain back strength they will need to support future pregnancy weight.
Create a Pre-Pregnancy Weight Loss Plan
Losing weight should not be back-breaking work. In fact, losing weight should do just the opposite: prevent you from damaging your spine in general and during pregnancy by relieving extra tension. Below is a list of weight-loss tips to guide you through the weight loss process and improve your chances of having a sciatica-free pregnancy:
1. Have A Goal Weight: We are more likely to achieve reachable goals, so you want to first settle on a weight that is both ideal and reasonably achievable. Knowing your goal weight will help you (1) know how much time you will need to meet the goal; (2) reduce the stress and overwhelming uncertainty of when you will have dropped the weight; and (3) restrain you, preventing you from dropping too many pounds. To find out your healthy weight, you will want to calculate your body mass index (BMI).
2. Establish Good Eating Habits: A combined effort of eating less and eating better is the weight loss path you should take. Use this time to begin a diet that will help you shed weight fast; however, you should also see this as an opportunity to get ahead: start building some healthy eating habits you can continue into pregnancy and long after (you will have to cut the weight loss part of your diet once pregnancy comes). This may include factoring in prenatal vitamins, as you will want to begin stocking up on your folic acid. Just remember: You want to prepare yourself not for pregnancy not just by losing weight but getting healthier.
3. Increase Exercise: Burn baby burn! Although you will want to limit how vigorous your workout schedule is since intense bursts of exercise also take a toll on your muscles, you want to raise your level of activity quite a bit. This means creating a consistent workout routine that you can keep up with; it is better to exercise for a shorter amount of time each day than for long hours only two days a week. You will also do best by starting out slow, elevating your workout time and increasing your intensity to give your body time to catch up and keep up.
4. Get Support: Whether it is by talking to your doctor, enlisting the help of a nutritionist, joining a support group or taking on a diet buddy, you might want to bring back up to your fight against fat.
Weight loss and sciatica pain relief–lose weight to lose the pregnancy pain. The last thing you want to do is gain back the weight you lose during your pregnancy by overeating. Tips on how to control your weight gain–and keep off those unwanted pounds–once you have conceived can be found in the “Lifestyle Changes” section.