Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
Pregnancy is an ideal time to learn about good posture and how to position your body while standing, sitting, and lying down. Bad posture can have negative affects on your health and can cause your baby to be in an undesirable position for labor and birth. It's also important that you learn how to perform necessary daily movements without putting additional strain on your uterus and pregnant body.
When you are pregnant, it's especially important that you practice a good stance to avoid strain and keep your balance. As your baby grows and your belly expands, your center of gravity is not quite the same as it was for your non-pregnant figure. Because of this, you should learn to position yourself while standing so that you can keep your balance well. Good standing posture can also help you avoid the common pregnancy back pain.
Stand with your hips shoulder length apart and your feet planted evenly on the ground. Your feet should be parallel to each other; This means that one foot should not be in front of the other. Do not lock your knees; Instead, keep them loose and slightly bent. Your bottom should not be tense. Your shoulders should stay relaxed while your arms hang loosely at your side. Put your chest slightly forward and keep your head facing directly forward.
When sitting, keep your feet planted firmly on the floor and your back straight so that your body is at a 90 degree angle. Avoid slouching your shoulders and sit up tall. If you are writing or using a computer, your arms should not be reaching uncomfortably forward. The computer screen should be just slightly below eye level. You should avoid recliners and “slouching” chairs as much as possible because they can contribute greatly to a malpositioning of the baby.
If you sit on the floor you should sit directly on your butt bones, crossing your legs as much as possible , and let your knees drop naturally. Again, sit tall and avoid slouching your shoulders, relaxing your arms on top of your knees or in your lap. You may sit against a wall for support if possible.
While you are pregnant, you should lie down and sleep on your side to avoid the weight of your expanding uterus and baby on your spine. Ideally, you should sleep on your left side to avoid putting pressure on major arteries as well. Lie down with your belly tilted forward and either your hips stacked or your upper leg bent slightly, resting just in front of your bottom leg. Keep your spine straight by leaning the upper half of your body forward as well and avoid twisting your spine too much.
Getting up from Lying Down
To avoid straining your stomach muscles too much, especially later on in your pregnancy, you will need to learn a new way of getting up from lying down. First, roll onto one of your sides and pull up your knees slightly. Without tensing up your body or twisting your spine, use your arms to support your upper body while you swing your legs over and onto the floor, bringing yourself up slowly. Stand up slowly without straining too much, paying close attention to your posture.