Filling in the Information Gaps
There is little information published that can help pregnant women to understand more fully what proper posture is during pregnancy. Is it best to remain seated? Should comfort be the ultimate goal? Do I have to endure low back or midback pain? Am I going to have to endure poor sleep throughout pregnancy? We have answers and hope for all these questions.
Seated, standing, and lying down each have recommended postures or positioning that can help decrease pain and allow the body to function optimally. Let’s go through each of them individually. You can also watch the video that takes you through these suggestions step by step.
Position to Sit in During Pregnancy
When you’ve been on your aching feet for too long, it can feel really great to plop down on the couch or in bed. But did you know that you might actually be sitting WRONG? There is a proper way to sit most of the time, but this becomes especially important during pregnancy. When you are sitting down, avoid maintaining a semi-sit position in a chair or soft seat, such as leaning back or slouching. If this position is used too frequently, it may actually be the cause of low back pain. Sometimes, it can even be a complicating factor with improper fetal position, leading to breech position. The sacrum is the portion of the pelvis in the posterior. When sitting this way, the sacrum is pressed or jammed, which results in increased stress on the SI joint. This joint is the most common offender for pregnancy back pain. Instead of slouching, find a chair or seat that gives strong support of the back and encourages proper posture in the lumbar region.
Another thing to avoid while pregnant, and really all the time, is crossing your legs. Crossing the ankles is fine, but crossing the knees will cause pain, over time. Additionally, make sure you get up and walk around after 30 minutes of sitting, otherwise you risk sinking back down into slouchy positions that can cause pain.
How to Stand During Pregnancy
The position to avoid when standing is “hip sinking.” This is the common position assumed when standing for any extended period of time. It is best described as leaning to one side with the hips allowing the pelvis to tilt sideways. This is a major culprit of low back pain. Try to maintain even weight from side to side. If this is difficult, continue to move around by walking.
The best way to effectively stand is straight up, with your feet together. Add a gentle squeeze of the glutes, which creates a balance that helps distribute weight evenly between the pelvis and the back. You can also widen your stance and rock slowly and gently back and forth. This will help hold the muscles in, and prevents them from tilting. Also, and we know how difficult this one might be, but avoid waddling when you walk. Rather than allowing your toes to point outward and taking larger, awkward steps, point the toes forward and take smaller steps. This will help you maintain better posture and keep your pelvis in line.
If you feel like you might be off in your alignment, one way to effectively realign your pelvis is to take some large marching steps. This motion centers to SI joint and can help alleviate some of the pain you might be experiencing.
Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
Because the time spent on the back during pregnancy must be limited, the recommendation for laying down is to lay on the side. To avoid any rotation in the lumbar spine or pelvis, a firm pillow placed between the legs is needed. This pillow is highly rated and can be a great solution to any difficulties you might have sleeping. This will allow the spine and pelvis to maintain structural integrity while decreasing stress on the joints. It is also best to avoid any maintained posture whenever possible. Do not sit or stand for longer than 20-30 minutes. The best solution for this is walking. Mild, relaxing motion will help to balance the muscles and keep structure optimal. Avoid climbing stairs too often as this will increase strain on the SI joint.
Get Relief From Pregnancy Pain TODAY! Call or Text 801-810-4144 to Schedule an Appointment!
If you are experiencing pain during your pregnancy please know that there are options for you. Receiving chiropractic care from a pregnancy certified physician during pregnancy is safe, gentle, and effective and can provide you with additional resources that birthing professionals don’t often provide. Also, there are additional benefits to receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy outside of simple pain relief- including improved sleep, improved mobility, and decreased labor and delivery times. Call 801-810-4144 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reynolds.