According to Esther Dolowich, MPT, a physical therapist with Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California, who specializes in women’s issues, the biggest mistake expectant moms make is letting their bellies lead them to an excessively swayed back. “Because there is more laxity of ligaments due to hormonal changes,” she says, “there is less stability of the joints. Maintaining optimal alignment can help reduce excessive forces that may be applied to the joints when posture is compromised.” Follow these tips to assume a smart stance:
- Contract your abdominal muscles and buttocks to act as a natural “corset” for your lower back.
- Keep your chin tucked in. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders.
- Avoid standing in one position for long periods of time, when possible. When it can’t be avoided, put one foot up on a step stool to decrease the sway in your lower back.
- Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes.
- Sit into a chair so that the length of your thighs is supported by the chair. n Sit so your knees are level with your hips.
- Do not cross your legs since doing so decreases circulation.
While lying on your side:
- Place pillows between your legs to support the weight of your top leg and decrease low back strain, under your abdomen to help support the weight of your uterus, and behind you for back support.