Back Pain, What Can I Take?


Dear Midwife,
I have a couple quick questions for you.

Oil used to soften skin?
I was wondering were I can find the type of oil used to soften the skin around the vagina at the time of delivery to help avoid tearing and an episiodomy. I heard that a lot of midwives use it and that it really works, but I have no idea where I can find and purchase it and what exactly is it called. Can you please help me out?

Back pain - what can I take? Is there any medication to take for back pain, preferably prescription since most other pain relievers don't work for me. I have terrible back pain through this pregnancy and I have had problems with my back before. I went to physical therapy and do my back exercises regularly, but can't relieve the pain. The only thing that seems to help for a bit is to have it cracked a few times a day, but only lasts for about an hour or so and then I'm in pain again. Any suggestions?

Aspirin - can I take it during my pregnancy? I had an ob/gyn tell me that I could take aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Excedrin Migraine for headaches, and then another nurse tell me that I wasn't allowed to have anything that contained aspirin (and that's what I've heard ever since TTC) Is it okay to take Excedrin Migraine? And if not, why would an ob/gyn tell me that I could? I don't particularly trust this doctor, that's why I'm asking.

Outdoor Activities - which are limited? One more quick question. I'm a very active outdoors person and love doing physical activities. I was wondering what my limitations are and such. I want to go boating, jet skiing, and skydiving. Am I allowed to do these things with the fact that I limit myself to rough activity involved in these sports? Like for instance, going slow while jet skiing to limit the bumping and jolting around. Is it okay to continue these fun summer sports that I love during my pregnancy?

Thanks in advance for your responses.


Hi Temeni,
Any oil will do, including olive oil or vegetable oil. Or you can use a personal lubricant, such as Astroglide or Slippery Stuff. But I have had bad luck with perineal massage with my own clients. I find that a healthy diet builds healthy tissue, and that over-massaging that area just toughens the skin so it won't stretch and then I *have* to cut!

You may need a maternity support belt to relieve your back pain if the physical therapy isn't working. The only other choice I'm aware of is narcotics, which you may not want to give to your baby.

I don't recommend any product containing aspirin during pregnancy. I don't generally recommend caffeine, either, but some of my clients with severe migraines have found relief from its occasional use.

I don't recommend any activity that might result in a fall or shaking of the baby. In my book, that would let out jet skiing and definitely sky diving. Boating within reason is probably ok.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.