Pregnant women are excessively concerned about their physical appearance especially the weight they have gained. Most women devise strategies to shed the post pregnancy weight. One aspect of pregnancy health that is often overlooked is the woman’s posture and its ramifications on her overall health.
Good posture and an erect back can help you manage the baby’s weight especially in the third trimester when you are likely to suffer from joint pains and backache. Let us see the commonly adopted poor postures in pregnancy and the steps you can take to maintain good posture during pregnancy.
The Head Forward Posture
In this, the growing belly causes your abdomen to expand. Since most of the weight comes to the front, it is very natural for many pregnant women to hunch forward and rest their head and neck on their bellies. This posture is commonly seen when the woman is sitting.
Resting your head and neck on your belly compresses the upper body and leads to poor circulation and breathing problems. You would be taking sharper and deeper breaths and there will also be poor circulation of blood and other bodily fluids to other parts of the body. This also leads to swelling and water retention.
Rounded, Bent Shoulders
This posture too is very common during pregnancy. In this, the shoulders are rounded and hunched forward, thus putting a strain on your back muscles. This happens due to the excess weight of the baby and poor muscle tone, which prevents you from keeping your shoulders aligned with your back.
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This is one of the most common reasons for lower back pain. It also causes pressure on your pelvis and leads to difficulties in labour. Try to keep your shoulders erect and in line with your back without slouching forward. It will be easier to do this if you have a strong back and strong abdominal muscles.
Tips For A Stronger Back And Better Posture During Pregnancy
Avoid lifting heavy weights. When you lift heavy weights, your body tends to arch forward exacerbating the back pain and the poor posture. Delegate weight lifting to other people in the house. If lifting becomes essential, bend from the knees and keep your back straight.
Exercising is very important to have a fit and healthy pregnancy. Start exercising even before you conceive a child. Do some strength training and core strengthening exercises for your back and abdomen. Try Pilates and yoga, which helps to improve posture. Good posture will take the pressure off your back.
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Do not wear high heels. High heels during pregnancy can be very harmful for the body posture. Heels shift the centre of gravity to the front. This does not help as you already sport excess weight on your belly. Wearing heels can lead to irreversible back pain and back problems.
It is natural for most of us to recline while reading or watching TV. This is not good for the back or the posture. Use comfortable chairs, which have good arm and back support and sit straight while reading or watching TV. This in turn will help to keep your back and shoulders aligned and improve posture.
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