Want to know some tips to help you manage the changes going on in your body while pregnant?
Firstly, did you know that pregnancy could cause your whole posture to change for the worse? Did you also know that if you don’t stretch the muscles that tighten during pregnancy and tone the muscles that stretch your posture could change for the long term and result in pain?
I don’t want to sound grim or negative- but the number one step for a problem to be resolved or avoided is true awareness of the (potential) problem!
Whether you like it or not- pregnancy changes your body and posture (it is all so so worth it for the bundle of amazingness at the end!).
Due to your uterus expanding and your ligaments becoming more lax your center gravity shifts. With the extra weight at the front of your body, your hipbones tend to tilt slightly forward. This contracts your hip flexors, thighs, and deep lower back muscles. With your milk production, your chest becomes bigger (a bonus that some women love, and their partners too I’m sure) and heavier and shoulders can begin to roll forward.
Your buttocks muscles, hamstrings, abs, upper back, and of course your pelvic floor muscles all weaken during pregnancy. If you have never heard of your pelvic floor, you definitely will now you are pregnant. These are the muscles that stop you from going to the bathroom; your key birthing muscles.
This doesn’t mean that these muscles HAVE to respond like this during pregnancy.
If you stretch the muscles that tend to tighten and strengthen the muscles that tend to become weak you can avoid many of the issues that can result from pregnancy or having a baby such as lower back pain, slumped posture, leg cramps, pelvic floor weakness, etc!
Here are some easy 5 tips on how:
1) Now every time you are driving and you hit a red light- do your pelvic floor muscle exercises. Imagine you have 3 levels to your pelvic floor, pull up and slowly pass through level 1, 2 and 3, and hold. Slowly release through level 3, 2 and back to 1. Repeat until the light goes green!
2) Every morning when you are lying in bed do 20 pelvic tilts. You do this by tilting your pubic bone towards you and then slowly relax back down. This increases mobility in the hips and lengthens the lower back muscles.
3) When you are cooking interlock your fingers behind your back and straighten and lift your arms as high as possible. This opens and stretches out the chest- a great one to carry on doing while you are breastfeeding. It is addictive, because it feels so good!
4) Got a Swiss ball? If you don’t, I am sure you know someone who does. Hamstring curls assist to lengthen your hamstrings and tone your butt! Lying on your back, place your feet on the ball and peel your buttocks off the floor, so you are engaging your abs to simply hold you and stabilize you there. If you feel comfortable draw your heels and ball towards your butt and then straighten your legs again. The whole time your buttock is hovering off the floor. Do 12 reps 3 times. 3 times a week- a quick 5 mins in your day!
5) Put your legs up the wall. I lie on my bed with a pillow under my butt and straighten my legs up the wall for about 10 mins. As you reach you 20 weeks you are not lie on your back, put if you place a bolster or pillow under your buttocks and you feel supported you will be fine. If at any stage you feel dizzy, simply bring your legs down and lie to your side for a few moments before you sit up.
I am about to launch my Fusion Wellness Pregnancy DVD – I filmed it while I was pregnant with Darcy who is now 4 months in Fiji and Wilson’s Prom, Victoria. I’m really proud of it and I go into a lot of details of how each pose and movement benefit you. The DVD goes into sequences that will help nurture your body throughout your entire pregnancy as your body transitions.
I also offer Yoga & Pilates for PREGNANCY instructional cards. The instructional deck has 40 poses and movements, and each card has an image of the pose or movement on one side and detailed instructions on back, highlighting the physical, mental and emotional benefits too!