Keeping Comfortable During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a magical time for expectant parents with all of the excitement of preparing to welcome a new family member. However, pregnancy is also a huge event for a woman’s body and can be uncomfortable and even painful. Are you expecting your own bundle of joy? Read on to discover some of the ways in which you can reduce the discomfort and concentrate on the beautiful new life you are growing.
During pregnancy, the scales may show your weight increasing faster than you expect. Remember, it isn’t just the weight of the baby!
· Baby 8lb
· Placenta 2-3lb
· Amniotic fluid 2-3lb
· Breast tissue 2-3lb
· Additional blood 4lb
· Fat for labour and breastfeeding 5-9lb
· Uterus 2-5lb
That averages out to around 2.5 stone, or the weight of an average three year old child! It’s no wonder that this additional weight can cause new aches and pains throughout your body.
Furthermore, as the baby, uterus and breasts grow, your centre of gravity changes and causes you to automatically lean backwards in correction.
Hormones also cause ligaments to relax to make the pelvis more flexible in time for delivery. Changes in posture combined with the loosening of ligaments can result in debilitating pains around the pelvis; this may include pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).
But don’t worry too much! Here are our tips for your pregnancy
Standing up straight with your shoulders back will help to correct your posture. Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time - a little time spent adjusting your seat will also work wonders.
Do not sleep on your back, or on your front. Instead, try to sleep on your side as it is safest for baby and kindest to your back. You could consider investing in a pregnancy pillow to support your bump; tuck between your knees or behind your back until you find your most comfortable position.
A pillow in the small of your back is advisable. Avoid long journeys, particularly towards the end of your pregnancy. If a long trip is unavoidable, make frequent stops to stretch your legs. Remember to ensure that the lap-strap of your seat belt sits below your bump, and the cross over goes above!
It is easy to forget about your feet, but with your changing centre of gravity, even a small heel on your shoes will worsen your posture and increase your chances of pain. Flat, supportive shoes are the order of the day. They don’t have to be reminiscent of your old school shoes – sparkly flats can be just as special as those towering heels!
A poorly fitting bra can cut in to your shoulders, breasts and rib cage. This will encourage you to slouch and causes more pain in your back and shoulders. Get professionally measured and be aware that you may have to go up sizes during your pregnancy and nursing!
Gentle activity will help to keep your muscles strong and supple. Swimming is a brilliant low impact option as it engages all the major muscle groups. Aqua Aerobics classes, particularly those designed especially for pregnant women, can be a great way to stay fit and meet new friends.
Note - We advise avoiding breast stroke for women who are suffering from symphysis pubis dysfunction as the frog-leg action can aggravate the problem.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can alleviate aches and pains, identify any problems with your posture, correct imbalances in the spine and help with relaxation.
Here at Cedar Tree Chiropractic our chiropractors are trained in safe, gentle techniques to balance the muscles and joints of your spine. We also have a specialist Belloost pregnancy pillow that allows our pregnant patients to lie down comfortably for their well earned treatment!