Being pregnant is a transformational stage of your life.
Your body physically changes shape. You often feel fatigued. Your emotions can become fragile as your hormones go haywire.
It completely alters your identity and sense of self at times.
During pregnancy is it very common to experience discomfort – be it from your lower back as bump gets bigger, your upper back as your boobs prepare for milking duties, or from being unable to get comfortable to sleep, drive, sit, stand, walk – you name it, most normal functional day-to-day tasks can become a “chore”!
So – how do you prevent pregnancy pains?
Knowledge is power as they say.
Here are a few simple tips and tricks and helpful reminders everyone should know about during pregnancy to prevent pregnancy pains and keep any niggles at bay.
The three P’s:
Posture – your posture can undertake a massive transformation during your pregnancy.
Our spines are naturally “S” shaped with a small inwards curve (lordosis) classically seen in our lower backs.
During pregnancy as your baby grows and your tummy moves outwards and upwards then your lower back curve can be drawn into a HUGE lordosis.
Ladies who suffer with severe Pelvic Girdle Pain often have huge lumbar lordosis spinal curves inwards and they are unable to feel their normal spinal positions.
Getting them back into spinal neutral will massively reduce their pains – but finding it and maintaining this position is extremely difficult.
How do we maintain our normal spinal curve?
It is important to keep practising your pelvic tilt exercises during pregnancy to help keep your lower back mobile and help reduce the strain felt in the lower back muscles and ligaments.
To do this imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water.
Place your hands on your hips and gently tip that bucket of water backwards and out – return to an upright neutral position.
We want to avoid postures where our bucket of water is spilling out forwards as this position increases our lower back lordosis curve and causes huge loads to our lower back muscles and ligaments which results in pain.
Try practising this at a wall with your knees slightly bent and forwards away from the wall. Try flattening your lower back into the wall – tipping your imaginary bucket backwards.
The wall is a very good teacher and will help you to feel just how altered your spinal curves can be in pregnancy.
Sometimes this movement will be uncomfortable but it is important to maintain your normal spinal curves.
Hurt does not always mean harm and if you are unsure then you should ask to see a women’s health physiotherapist who can assess and advise you accordingly.
Pelvis position – it is hugely important in pregnancy that we make a conscious effort to keep our pelvis level like an un-tipped see-saw.
Our Pelvis is an amazing structure that houses our pelvic organs extremely well.
During pregnancy the many ligaments that help keep our pelvis stable start to stretch and lengthen in preparation for labour.
Our bodies are incredibly clever at what they allow us to do.
If you think about your pelvis as a ring, we have left sided and right sided ligaments and muscles that help keep the pelvis in a good position.
If we put one side on a tilt then we cause that side to shorten and tighten and the opposite side to stretch and lengthen.
This creates huge unequal forces through the pelvis ring which can result in pain if repeated excessively.
Try to avoid any postures or positions that make your pelvis unequal such as sitting crossed legged or with your ankles crossed and sitting with your feet up to the side on the sofa.
Pelvic floor – these muscles are extremely important to exercise in pregnancy, daily and regularly with functional tasks.
During the nine months that you are pregnant, your pelvic floor muscles are exposed to a gradually heavier growing uterus and baby.
This lengthens and weakens your pelvic floor muscles if you don’t actively work to maintain their strength and function.
It is quite common for pregnant ladies to experience incontinence issues when they are pregnant.
Not being able to hold your wee in long enough to get to the toilet is known as urge incontinence and not being able to keep your wee in if you cough, sneeze, laugh or jump is known as stress incontinence.
So practising your daily pelvic floor exercises is more important than ever.
If you would like a copy of my FREE pregnancy guide “Five top tips to prevent pregnancy aches and pains” it explains in more detail how exactly to do your pelvic floor exercises.
Get your free copy <<<here>>>.
Be prepared and prevent as many aches and pains in pregnancy as possible following these handy tips.
They do really make a huge difference at reducing discomfort.