You know, the moment of pregnancy is probably the most beautiful but also the most complex for a woman's body. In addition to all the changes that the woman has during gestation, what comes to change in an important way is the posture and possibly postpartum changes in the body.
Yes, because becoming a mother means not only taking on new responsibilities and looking after a little baby, but also seeing your body change day after day to ensure that nature takes its course and prepares everything to give birth to a wonderful joy.
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Posture changes in pregnancy
So let's analyze how the posture in women changes and why: we start from the assumption that the woman, during pregnancy, has a great hormonal change with the production of some hormones that loosen the structure of the connective tissue and modify her behavior with the locomotor system.
The production of relaxin in fact it serves to relax the cellular composition of the connective tissue and joints (especially at the level of the pelvis and pubic symphysis) to allow the pelvis to open during birth and facilitate the exit of the baby from the mother. This change of structure at the level of the pelvis is something absolutely physiological but generates a great change at the level of the biomechanics of the area, also involving the sacroiliac area, pelvic floor and lumbar spine.
In fact, the latter sees a lot of changes in its joint structure as physiologically the lumbar curvature (lumbar lordosis) increases greatly due to the weight of the amniotic sac and of the child himself. This is also generated by an increase in traction at the level of the viscera of the connective pack at the level of the abdominal wall (mesentery) forward; this mesentery has the function not only to keep the various organs in their position but also to distribute the pressure forces at the level of the belly. And guess where this fits and creates anchor points?
That's right, right at the level of the lumbar area.
Incorrect positions and postures in pregnancy
But now let's talk about the positions and postures that must not be maintained during pregnancy: in fact my advice is to maintain a particularly active life during gestation taking care not to maintain the position in which the mother requires prolonged activation of the abdominal wall and the abdominal muscles themselves for a long time. This is because the pressure inevitably increases in the area where the fetus is housed and could, in the long run, annoy the baby a little.
Another good rule to follow is to do not lie down on the bed on the right side as it could be harmful due to the compression of the inferior vena cava (very important vessel that collects venous blood from the lower limbs).Read also: How to sleep in pregnancy: the safest positions in the last trimester
How to maintain good and correct posture during pregnancy
Some mothers come to my office and ask me “Dr. Di Segni, but how can I maintain good and correct posture during pregnancy? "
My answer is always one:
- try to maintain an active lifestyle, work your muscles and do not think that the new mother is sick.
Yes, because, unless there are risks such as risk of miscarriage or conditions that prompt the doctor to order bed rest, the expectant mother must move and make as many movements with her body as possible. I remember a few months ago a mother I treated in the studio (for a shoulder problem) that she, despite being 4 months pregnant, continued (rightly) to do weightlifting and weightlifting activities.
So moving, walking as much as possible and doing physical activity (possibly outdoors) turns out to be the best strategy to stay healthy and help the body maintain good posture during pregnancy.
What if you don't do these things? What are the symptoms of poor posture?
Of course, with these indications I cannot swear to categorically exclude any annoyances or pains to the mother, but surely you can have a light pregnancy and without particular hassles. If, on the other hand, an incorrect posture is adopted, they can certainly appear pains that mainly involve the lumbar and lumbosacral areas (sacroiliac). In fact, in my studio we adopt absolutely safe techniques for both the woman and the baby to correct any dysmorphism that occurs during pregnancy and which can cause pain during pregnancy. In fact, the problem is that very often these discomforts are only tolerated by the mother and at most they receive a pain-relieving drug from the doctor; However, this is an incorrect approach in my opinion as the pain that is perceived by the mother inevitably affects even a minimum on the baby and therefore it is good to fix the reasons for these pains as soon as possible.
Are there any exercises to improve posture?
Some of my patients often ask me if there are any exercises that can be done to improve or maintain correct posture. I'm sorry to repeat myself but here too the best advice I can give is to move as much as possible, trying to walk and keep daily life as active as possible.
What certainly can do well to prevent posture from degenerating into a more serious pathology (an example is an irritation of the sciatic nerve) the muscle tone of the lower limbs must not go down, so bodyweight exercises without adding weights could be a good strategy to maintain the strength and vigor of the leg muscles. When I talk about legs I also include the gluteal muscles, as only if this is really strong and stable will it be possible to have a good stability of the pelvis, also avoiding any shocks or pressures from being discharged at the structural level and on the spine.
Daniel Di Segni is a Doctor of Physiotherapy specializing in Manual Therapy and Treatment of painful syndromes. His website is www.cervicalevertigini.com/
- pregnancy posture