The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and people suffering from sciatica have to deal with the pain and irritation of the nerve being inflamed. Sciatica is generally felt in the lower back, down into the back of the thighs, and even below the knees. Though a pinched nerve is one of the main causes of sciatica, things like tumors, internal bleeding, infections in or around the lumbar spine, and injury are big causes too. But sciatica can also occur during pregnancy because of the strain on the sciatic nerve, adding to the other challenges that pregnancy can present. Learn more about how to deal with the pain of sciatica during pregnancy by following these four pieces of advice.

1. Healthy Eating and Exercise

People with stronger muscle tone are better equipped to handle the pain of sciatica. Exercising regularly and not over-eating before and during pregnancy can help combat the irritation of an inflamed sciatic nerve.

Although you can look into prescription medications for treating the pain, it's best to do without any medication during pregnancy. Eat a balanced diet and try to walk or swim to stay active. Don't participate in any exercise that strains your sciatic nerve even more.

2. Good Posture

Pay attention to your posture during your pregnancy. Slumped shoulders at a computer desk and even trying to hold another child on your hip can really stress your sciatic nerve. Sit up straight whenever possible, and make sure that your back is aligned with the back of the chair.

Stand up straight while you walk around. Keep your shoulders back and your neck taught. Try not to lift anything too heavy so that you don't strain your nerve any further. 

3. Wear Flat Shoes

To ensure that you don't strain your nerve any further, make sure to wear flat shoes during your pregnancy. If you have to wear a heel try to make sure that it's as low as possible. Don't wear really high heels that make your weight distribution uneven. Making sure that your weight is even on both legs and feet will help ease the irritation of any sciatic nerve pain.

4. Sleep On a Firm Mattress

Many doctors suggest sleeping on the firm side of the mattress if you're pregnant and are uncomfortable at night because of sciatic nerve pain. You could even sleep on the floor with pillows rolled up under your knees. When you get out of bed, roll onto your side first and let the weight of your legs dangle from the side of the bed. This will help to pull your body in an upright position and will put less stress on your lower back muscles. 

Easing your sciatic nerve pain naturally with these four tips will ensure that your pregnancy experience is as pleasant as possible. Sciatica doesn't have to take away from all of the things you should be enjoying. For more help, contact a company like Claremont Chiropractic to learn more.