Posture and Pregnancy
It is always important to have correct posture. It helps our body function correctly and it just helps us feel better. Most people who suffer from any sort of bodily pain can probably link that pain to poor posture.
Unfortunately being pregnant doesn’t help our posture. In fact, if we don’t stay aware of what our bodies are doing when we are pregnant, our posture can get worse and lead to many aches and pains during pregnancy and after.
I always try to be aware of my posture especially being a dancer. When I was pregnant with my first child I went to yoga and felt pretty good. It wasn’t until my daughter was 9 months old that my back started to really feel the pain. I now look back and realize that I wasn’t being as aware as I could have been. I suffered for a long time with this back pain and it led to weekly headaches.
I finally started to seek help from an Alexander teacher and my ballet teacher. I had started taking private lessons in both. First, I needed to become aware of my bad habits. Then I could start to finally fix what was happening. What I have come up with for myself is that because we feel like we loose our stomach muscles when we are pregnant we forget about them. I feel like I lost the sense of my abs and as a result my body just followed. Everything sagged instead of my core engaging which would keep my body straight and tall.
This is what we need to do to keep good posture during pregnancy. What I do is think about there being a rod of some sort that runs from the top of my head down through my spine through my heels. You can also feel this energy continuing up out of your head and down into the ground. For me this is enough to straighten me out. What I feel is that my weight is over my feet, my legs feel strong, my pelvis is over my feet and not pushed back or forward. My head is not tilting up and forward but sitting on top of my neck. It feels relaxed but at the same time the spine feels comfortably stretched. Finally, my stomach muscles are pulled in to help stabilize my spine. As my yoga instructor would say, we still have stomach muscles! I think that is a big misconception when we are pregnant. We believe we have no abs but that is not true. If we allow our abs to let go all the time the spine also lets go which leads to the pelvis, neck, head etc. letting go. This causes us to be out of alignment.
I would encourage you to take a class such as yoga to help with your posture journey. If you can find someone who specifically works with women who are pregnant or who have already had children that is even better. Yoga is great for both the body and mind. It will keep you healthy and calm during your pregnancy, while giving birth as well as after the pregnancy when you have that adorable little one in your arms!