Chiropractic Awareness Month – Pregnancy
This weeks topic of Chiropractic awareness month is Pregnancy. I met many ladies yesterday at Letchworth Baby and Toddler show that where struggling with the extra weight that is carried, the change of centre of gravity, problems with the low back and pelvis and swollen ankles, to name a few!
Please see the tips below to make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible. Please email or call me if you have any enquiries or would like to book into the centre.
Parents & Posture: Pregnancy
During pregnancy women experience an increase of their curve in their low back due to the increased weight being carried out in front. This puts more pressure on some of the joints of the spine, causing discomfort and, for some women, pain. Essentially, the centre of gravity has been moved and even after giving birth problems caused as a result of irritated joints and nerves can take a while to resolve.
* Sleeping with a pillow between the legs may help.
* As breasts grow larger, women may experience upper back aches and pain as there is more pressure being put on the upper back.
*Ensure that you get measured for bras regularly throughout your pregnancy. This will give you the maximum support possible.
*Speak to your chiropractor for advice on stretching and gentle exercising.
* As pregnancy progresses pregnancy hormone relaxin is released in order to prepare for birth and does exactly what it says; ‘softening’ the muscles, ligaments and tendons. At this time, the body is more unforgiving and it is easy to overstretch or lift something and cause more of a problem than normal. Be cautious and try to stay within your limits when doing normal daily activities.
* Elevate legs whenever possible to offset any weight pressure and reduce any swelling – ankle circles will also help.
* If suffering with back, neck or joint pain, chores such as vacuuming should be avoided, as well as walking long distances and carrying heavy bags.
*Always lift with your spine straight and bend knees to avoid leaning and over stretching.
* Do not sit for prolonged periods, take regular breaks and when sitting always make sure that your hips are higher than the knees. This is very important in pregnancy to aid in maintaining the alignment of the birth canal.
* The fitter you are and the more muscle tone you have before pregnancy, the more likely you are to be able to cope with the body’s postural changes.
* Core exercises are very useful and you can talk to a chiropractor, GP, midwife or other healthcare professional for advice on this.
* During pregnancy specialist yoga classes, taken from 12 weeks onwards, can be very beneficial.
*Swimming and aqua natal classes are also of benefit, as being in the water takes the pressure off strained joints whilst providing good exercise and relaxation.
*Be regular and consistent with pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy. This helps to strengthen the pelvic muscles and will aid you during and after pregnancy.
Post-Natal Posture Advice
* Relaxin stays in the body for a prolonged period of time after pregnancy, especially if you breastfeed, so you must continue to be very careful when it comes to carrying and walking.
* Try doing lots of gentle stretches and do pelvic floor exercises whenever possible.
* Before lifting your baby, gently suck your tummy in to provide a corset of support for your back.
* After three months start doing more brisk walks out with the pram, continue to stretch, do pelvic floor exercises and some gentle stomach exercises. Exercising and getting out will not only help you physically but will also help a general feeling of well-being. Arrange group walks with friends and other mums/dads, make it a regular social event.
*Watch out for special buggy exercise classes in your area.
If you would like any more information regarding this topic or you are suffering with pain and discomfort; Please call or email us today to book for a chiropractic appointment or free spinal screen.