Welcome to Part 4 of ‘The Safe Return to Exercise Series’ where we are looking at Post Natal Posture. How your posture has changed during pregnancy and how this may be affecting you now.
How your Posture Changes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy there are a number of postural changes that can occur to accommodate your growing baby. Once you have had your baby these muscular changes can remain which can lead to pain locally, in and around the surrounding areas.
Although we are all individuals, and therefore may have different issues with our posture, what we do have in common is the changes we see that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. I can honestly say that the majority of post natal women that I have worked with, present with the changes shown below.
What your Post Natal Posture Looks Like
You may have weakness around the shoulder blades, in the abdominal muscles
You may have tightness in the tops of the shoulders, the chest, back and front of the hips
Known as ‘Upper and Lower Cross Syndrome’ the picture to the left shows what this looks like.
These areas of change can continue post birth due to all the lifting, carrying, feeding you are now doing which are all new tasks that the body isn’t used to!
Tips to Improve your Posture
Ideally, we need to embark on a postnatal exercise programme that helps to release the tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones as this will enable the body to return to its optimal position. However, there are a number of things we can do daily to help our posture:
FEEDING (whether breast or bottle)
- Make sure you are sitting in a supportive chair and that you are able to sit right back into the chair with your feet on the floor.
- Place a cushion behind your back to keep you upright.
- Make sure your baby is close enough so you don’t have to lean or slouch, pop a cushion under them for support
PUSHING THE PRAM
- Make sure you are standing up tall
- Keep you shoulder back and down
- Ensure that you are not pushing the pram too far ahead of you causing you to lean forwards
SITTING / STANDING / DRIVING THE CAR
Try and bring awareness each day to your posture. Are you standing / sitting tall with your shoulder back and down? I know for me, that my posture is at its worst when I am driving the car!
Keep standing tall!
Other blogs in this series:
Part 1 – Understanding your postnatal body
Part 2 – The postnatal healing process
Part 3 – Why the 6 week check is not enough
Part 4 – Postnatal Posture
Part 5 – Understanding Diastasis Recti
Part 6 – Your Pelvic Floor
Part 7 – Postnatal Exercise Do’s and Don’ts