Does it feel like your posture has become hunched over during pregnancy or after having kids? You aren’t alone. Here are a few tips to keep you working towards improving your posture and eliminating the aches and pains tends to cause.
Our bodies go through a LOT of changes during pregnancy and postpartum. If you didn’t start off with good posture, prior to pregnancy, the gravitational changes and hormonal influences on your body are about to add to the challenge. Even if you did start with amazing posture, you may still have some work to do to re-balance your muscles and bring you back into the alignment that best supports you. Poor posture can lead to lower back pain, shoulder tension, neck strain, faster fatigue, and make you more prone to pregnancy related injuries like diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction.
Here are a few of the most common poor pregnancy postures that can lead to pain:
Standing with your hands on your hips, your butt out and your shoulders back. (Nicknamed the "Pregnancy Pride" position)
Standing with your feet wide apart
Standing with one hand on the back, one on the belly, tailbone up and belly jutting forward.
Rounding forward through the chest and shoulders because of the weight of bigger breasts and tummy.
When you find yourself in any of the above positions, here’s a quick check list you can mentally take yourself through:
Check to see if your feet are evenly planted on the ground, standing shoulder width apart.
Keep your knees loose and unlocked.
Let your shoulders relax and feel shoulder blades sliding away from your ears and down your back.
Position the front of your rib cage over the top of your hips. (Pregnancy tends to flare the front of the ribcage open in order to accommodate a growing belly)
Feel as if you have an imaginary string coming out the top of your head connecting to the ceiling. (A trick dancers use to lengthen their spine and stand tall)
Imagine the bottom inside corners of your shoulder blades (through your bra line) slightly slipping towards one another.
Practice good posture as much as you can. Ask a friend or partner to “lovingly” tell you when they see you slipping into a “pregnancy pride” position.
Chiropractic care is safe and recommended by many during pregnancy to correct any subluxations of the spine, releasing added stress on the body.
Practice proper diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress, activate your core and take strain out of your neck and shoulder muscles.
Get help! Regular exercise and working with a Corrective Exercise Specialist (or becoming a member of Strong Mom Society!) can help diagnose, strengthen and correct muscular imbalances. You can book a free consult with me here.
Add scapular ad-duction exercises into your daily routine. You can find these on Strong Mom Society!