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Posture Care during Pregnancy

Actually good pregnancy posture is the same as good basic posture for the nonpregnant person. Nevertheless pregnancy is the time to correct your posture if you didn't do so before becoming pregnant. You also have to be more deliberate in your movements than you are used to. Good posture and careful movement become especially important in your pregnancy months. For best results, start early in pregnancy to give your muscles the chance to catch up to your growing size. It is no wonder that bad posture is a common problem in pregnancy - you have to deal with loose joints, unsteady balance and an overstressed back. Your back is now under considerable strain and backache can become a discomfort you will have to deal with if you are not careful.

Posture Basics

Your loosened ligaments, added weight and new proportions can lead to back discomfort, hard to break bad posture habits and even injury. Some basics to bear in mind so that you are less injury prone and stand to enjoy better health:

  • When standing - tuck in your chin, lift your shoulders and tuck in your stomach and buttocks. Don't forget to distribute your weight evenly on both legs.
  • When getting out of bed - rise slowly to avoid the dizzy feeling. While still lying flat, roll unto your side and use your arms to push yourself up to a sitting position. Swing your legs over to the side of the bed and plant your feet on the ground. Use your arms to push your body up to a standing position. Avoid jerky, sudden movements.
  • When lifting - if you have to lift anything heavy always bend at the knees and not the hips; keep your back straight and lift by straightening your legs. When you pick something up do so with both hands and use your arm muscles and keep the object close to your body. By straightening your leg, you will use your leg and thigh muscles to do the actual work of lifting. Avoid lifting heavy things from shelves. When carrying heavy bags divide the weight equally between both your hands. Later on it will become difficult to hold objects close with a protruding belly - get help if you are unsure of any possible strains and pains.
  • When carrying your toddler - avoid carrying your older child on your hip to avoid the possible back strain. Try having her stand on higher grounds like a stool or chair so you don't have to bend so far down. The other way is to hold her close and bend at the knees.
  • When bending down - for chores at home or in your backyard or when you need to work at floor level, sit or kneel down so it is in easy reach. Don't let your legs go numb though.

Do it Right

The best way to stand Keep your feet slightly apart and legs straight with hands by your side or behind you (helps you to roll your shoulders back and open your upper chest for easy breathing).
The best way to walk With your spine and head erect, look straight ahead. Wear low heeled, comfortable footwear. Carry your bag across your body or carry bags so weight is balanced in both hands. Roll your shoulders back without bending your spine backwards.
The best way to sit Keep your table at the correct height so you don't have to slump forward. Your feet should be on the ground a little apart or on a footstool whichever suitable; knees should be lower than your hips. Wedging a cushion on your chair will be helpful as it will push your spine into the right position. Avoid sinking into your pelvis. Keep your spine straight and chest open to aid in breathing and working in comfort.
The best way to relax Use the back of the sofa or a couple of cushions to support your spine, neck and head - they should remain in a line and you should not be slumping. Keep your feet up to increase your comfort. Make sure your shoulders are not rounded to allow deep breathing.

Posture Extras

  • Sit in a hard, straight-backed chair.
  • Under no circumstances you would want to cross your legs - this causes poor circulation and promotes varicose veins.
  • Do foot exercises when sitting.
  • In an office environment get up and walk around for a few minutes once every half hour.
  • In a car get sufficient leg room to prevent legs from bending.
  • Small pillows or cushions add support - use them whenever in car rides, at work etc
  • When shifting from standing to sitting let your thighs do most of the work. To stand from sitting, once again make the most use of your leg muscles.
  • Do not strain to lift anything heavy; all women are built differently but anything over 35 pounds is too heavy - you can do serious damage to your back and abdominal muscles
  • Throwing your shoulder back too far strains your lower back.
  • Tucking your buttocks in gives your pelvis the correct tilt and shifts your weight so that your center of gravity is directly over your hips.
  • Do not lock your knees; instead stand with your feet apart. Make sure your weight rests on your feet and not just your heels.
  • If you must stand for long, make sure you stand upright with one foot resting on a low stool for some time and then switch. Studies show that women who stand for prolonged periods are more likely to deliver smaller babies.
  • Your abdominal and back muscles are resting and need warming up so that is why the extra caution when getting off the bed.

Related Article of Posture Care during Pregnancy

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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