Pregnant women who performed exercise, including cardiovascular, core strengthening and stretching, had less low back pain postpartum.

Morkved S, Salvesen KA, Schei B, Lydersen S, Bo K.  Does Group Training During Pregnancy Prevent Lumbopelvic Pain?  A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica.  2007; 86: 276-282.

Low back and pelvic girdle pain is common for women to suffer from postpartum.  This study actually looked at the prevention of lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy and after delivery with an exercise training program.  The training program consisted of 60 minute weekly group sessions including:  1)aerobic conditioning, 2)pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, upper extremity and lower extremity strengthening exercises, 3)light stretching and relaxation exercises and 4) general ergonomics for daily life activities during pregnancy.  The control group was given their usual education by their physician or midwife.  There were 301 women randomly assigned to the training or control groups.  Outcomes were assessed at 20 weeks, 36 weeks and three months postpartum.  At 36 weeks gestation, women in the training group was significantly less likely to report lumbopelvic pain.  At 3 months postpartum, 26% in the training group reported pain compared to 37% in the control group.

This study also supports using exercise as a focus for the postpartum population to help reduce lumbopelvic pain.  Although results were more significant at 36 weeks, we believe applying the same principles to training will be beneficial in the postpartum population.  This study is very similar to components of Body after Baby.

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