Maintaining correct posture throughout pregnancy is one of the most critical factors in ensuring a healthy outcome for both mother and baby. Proper alignment can help to reduce low back and neck pain as well as weariness.
In this post, we’re going to look at does pregnancy change your posture and give you some tips to assist you in maintaining a healthy posture while standing, sitting, and lying down throughout your pregnancy.
Let’s get started.
Does Pregnancy Change Your Posture?
Does pregnancy change your posture? To compensate for your shifting centre of gravity and increasing uterus, your lower back may gradually begin to curve further, and your shoulders may also move back slightly. Furthermore, some women's abdominal muscles separate late in pregnancy, resulting in a shift in posture.
The good news is that these changes in posture are only temporary. After pregnancy your body will gradually return to how it was before.
How To Maintain A Healthy Posture While Sitting
Sitting can often cause more aches and pains than standing. For office workings, a good chair like those listed in our guide to the best office chair for pregnancy article can help, there are also a few other things too, such as:
- Maintain the pelvic tilt and refrain from slouching.
- Sit in a chair such that the chair supports the length of your thighs.
- Adjust your seat so that your knees are level with your hips.
- You should not cross your legs. Circulation is reduced in this position.
How To Maintain A Healthy Posture While Standing
If you find yourself standing a lot during the day, you can really start to feel your back aching, but don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Maintain the pelvic tilt at all times to prevent your lower back from swaying forward.
- Contract your abdomen and buttock muscles to create a natural "corset" for your lower back.
- Maintain a chin tuck. Your ears and shoulders should be in a straight line.
- Avoid standing in the same position for extended periods of time.
- High heels should be avoided since they cause your body weight to tilt forward even more. * Wear comfy, low-heeled shoes.
- Put one foot up on a step stool or sit on a high stool when doing any work that requires you to stand for an extended amount of time, such as ironing or doing dishes. This will reduce swaying in your lower back.
- Wearing a maternity support belt (often called a belly band) might also be a good option.
The NHS has a great guide that can help give you some stretching ideas to help reduce any back pain.
How To Maintain a Healthy Posture While Lying on Your Side
- Lying on your side relieves pressure on your lower spine while maintaining blood flow to the placenta and the baby.
- Place a cushion between your legs to support your upper leg's weight and reduce low back pain.
- A pillow placed beneath your tummy will assist in supporting the weight of your uterus.
- For back support, place a pillow behind you.
How To Maintain a Healthy Posture While Lying on Your Back
After the first trimester, avoid laying on your back for extended amounts of time. The baby's and your uterus's weight can compress the big blood vessels, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the placenta and unborn baby.
If you must lay on your back, raise your head and position a pillow between your knees (or even better, use a pregnancy pillow), or keep your knees bent to tilt your pelvis and flatter your back.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, hopefully you now have a much better understanding of does pregnancy change your posture and you’ve got a few tips you can keep in mind for standing, sitting or laying down.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.