Having a baby is one of the most joyous and wonderful experience. When a woman is pregnant there is a whole list of suggestions and recommendations. Women can often be heard complaining about different body aches specially in their back, neck and shoulders. All these pains are associated with the body postures. One has to be particular about their body postures as it contributes to the healthy pregnancy.
Why so? Primarily back pain experienced throughout nine months is due to the strain on your back which is from the weight of your growing baby. Adapting the proper posture can help and also relieve the unwanted pain and most importantly affect your labour during child birth. There are certain guidelines laid that will help you maintain healthy pregnancy.
Body posture and labour
Who wants to endure a long painful labour, when one could most likely get into a short active labour if care is taken right at the beginning with the right body posture. The link between the two is that the body posture will determine the lie of the baby for birth. An ideal birthing position for the baby is its head down and feet up, with the baby facing inside the body and aligned slightly to the left side of the body. This will help the baby slide out easily and result in quick and easy labour. To achieve this one has to avoiding sitting for a long time or sit with their back upright and feet up or lie down to their left side. On the other hand, when you sit casually with the back slumping over, you are creating a nice hammock style cuddle area for the baby. The baby will lodge itself in this hammock in such a way such that its head faces the world and the back is in parallel to your back. This is not an ideal birthing position and for the baby to turn and navigate around will result in a long and tiresome labour.
Effect on your own body
During pregnancy, with the baby growing inside, its weight misaligns your body. With the baby weight, your lower back bends further as the centre of the gravity goes forward. With a wrong body posture, your muscles will stretch abnormally and thus proper alignment is lost. The increase in hormone levels during pregnancy relaxes the ligaments and joints and this laxity can worsen the posture and hence the pain. This can be corrected by ensuring that the upper back, the hip and the shoulder are also aligned and in one straight line.
How can you have a good posture?
For a good posture you have to control the body against gravity in any position- standing, lying down or sitting. This comes with proper training where the stress on the ligaments and joints is minimum. This helps you avoid backache, peculiar pains in the joint that may result in arthritis.
Take notice that while you sit, the back should be straight and the buttocks should touch the chair’s back. It’s advisable to sit in a chair or sofa that is hard. The feet should rest completely on the floor and the knees should be at 90 degrees. Just in case there is space between the back and the chair support use a pillow or cushion that adds to the support. Don’t sit with your legs hanging as it may add to the weight and get you into an uncomfortable position. It’s a good idea to keep a footstool that will help keep your feet in an elevated position. Also, simple exercises should be done at equal intervals that will prevent cramps and also aid in blood circulation. Do not ever bend forward as this will only add to the pressure in the abdomen.
Care should be taken while standing too. Always stand straight with your head up. Balance the body weight on both the legs. Avoid wearing high heels. It’s always better to wear flats or platform sandals that will support the entire leg equally and thus help in balancing body weight. Do not stand for a long period of time as the body posture will not be right with the added baby weight.
Most doctors recommend lying on the side preferably the left side so that there is no tension on the lower back side. Also, the blood flow to the placenta and the baby is better if slept on the left side. It is advisable to place a pillow between your legs so that the weight is distributed and there is no pressure on the back, the abdomen and the feet.
Adaptation of these simple guidelines can make your nine months journey truly memorable.