The posture naturally changes during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimester when the belly and chest are getting bigger and the gravity takes over. A proper posture is not only important for a healthy pregnancy, it’s also important for increasing mobility, reduce aches and pain and to avoid injuries and complications. There are many things you can do to to maintain a proper posture and alignment and we cover them in this blog article.
Posture changes during pregnancy
As the belly grows and the weight pulls you “forward”, the pelvis is tilting forward as well, which increases the arch in the lower back. That will also change the curvature in the mid back and neck. Any changes and overcompensation in the spin can increase the risk of complications and injuries. The muscles will tighten up and overcompensate and possible cause pain. Lower back pain, shoulder and neck discomfort are common areas that could cause trouble during the pregnancy. This is something that we really focused on when we made our app STRONGMom APP. Many of the exercises are specifically selected to strengthen the muscles that supports a proper posture and will cover that in this post.
Hormones impact on posture during pregnancy
During the pregnancy the hormones, relaxin, estrogen and progesterone are being produced in the body to soften up the joints, ligaments and fascia, especially in the pelvis. This is a normal process to prepare the body for labor but it can increase the risk of overcompensation in the pelvic area. The hormones also affect the stomach muscles. When relaxin and progesterone are flowing the the body the risk of soften the linea alba which can separate the rectus abdominal muscles, a condition which is called diastasis recti. This as well is a natural process during the pregnancy to make room for the baby but sometimes you can see a connection between poor posture and diastasis recti.
What’s a proper posture?
To maintain a proper posture, a strong, functional back as well as gently activated deep core muscles to support the body is necessary. A balance between strength and mobility is important for the body to move optimally and have a proper posture.
- Stand tall with neutral curvation in the spine.
- Keep shoulders down and back and open up the chest
- Evenly distribute your body weight through your legs
- Keep knees soft bent
- Maintain a neutral pelvis and avoid tilting the pelvis forward or backwards
It’s very individuel how the body changes during the pregnancy and so is the posture’s changes. It’s easier to maintain a good posture if you are aware of your body. How it moves and you can adjust your workouts as your body’s posture change. But if your posture is not optimal, maybe you are not working out, maybe have a desk job or are sedentary you might have to put extra focus on your postural training during pregnancy. You might have to build an exercise program that focus a little bit extra on strengthen the muscles that supports your posture.
It’s also very important to be aware of your posture during your daily activities. It’s equally important to maintain a proper posture during the day as it is during your workouts. For example, how is your posture when you do chores? Or when you work? You can train (or retrain) your body to perform everyday tasks safely with a proper posture.
How can you strengthen your posture?
The best thing you can do for your posture is workout regularly with exercises that support your posture. It’s better to do shorter workouts, more often to increase the muscle memory and body awareness. You want to create a good base by strengthen the deep core muscles, hip and butt muscles. Since many women also get forward rounded shoulders during and after pregnancy. The mid back should be strengthen and the chest muscles stretched out. Postural exercises was something we put some extra focus on when we made the app. You can find them all in STRONGMom app. Here are our favorite postural exercises that can be done in all stages of the pregnancy.
5 Favorite Exercises for Optimal Posture
- Diaphramic Breathing
- Low Row
- Reverse Fly
- Hips Raise
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