Did you know that regardless of what delivery option you choose there is extra load and pressure on your pelvic floor muscles simply because you are pregnant? Which is one of the reasons posture during pregnancy is oh so important!
Being aware of your posture and modifying it during pregnancy can help protect your spine, decrease back pain and puts you in good practice for when you have a small precious wriggly and sometimes slippery child to hold and feed.
5 easy things you can do:
1. Neutral pelvis - as your centre of gravity has shifted forward you will have more lordosis (curve in your lower back), it’s important to gently contract your lower tummy muscles to tuck the pelvis under (small movement). Do this in all positions especially in sitting, but once you have the neutral position make sure you have a small cushion in the small of your back. This will be especially helpful when breastfeeding starts. The neutral pelvis position also make it easier for your Pelvic Floor muscles to contract.
2. Soften your knees when standing - it’s much each to find the neutral pelvis above, in this position. This can help take the load of your lower back especially if you have to stand for a long time.
3. Strengthen your Pelvic Floor Muscles. This can help you hold the posture that can reduce back pain and protect your body while you are carrying the extra load of a baby.
4. Open your shoulders - imagine you have a stick in between the front of each shoulder. Gently opening your chest and drawing your shoulders down your back helps to take the load off your neck. Again very small and subtle movements.
5. Lengthen through the top of your head and trunk. - image you have a mango gently tucked under your chin so the neck is tall and straight and not poked forward. This can take the load of the large muscles running up the side of your neck which can sometimes cause stiffness and headaches.
Tip: Sometimes trying these positions while standing with your back against a wall give you an idea of where your posture is when you try to correct it. A mirror also does wonders.
I'm Melanie, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
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