Written by Joanie Johnson, personal trainer, Pilates instructor, Pre & Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist, Diastasis and Core Consultant through Fit For Birth™
Find the original post and more of her amazing work at http://joaniejohnson.com/
Does it feel like your posture hasn’t gotten hunched over and terrible during pregnancy or after having kids? You aren’t alone. Here’s a little bit of information + some tips to keep you working on improving your posture and eliminating the aches and pains it tends to cause.
Our bodies go through a LOT of changes during pregnancy and postpartum. If you didn’t start off with good posture, prior to pregnancy, the gravitational changes and hormonal influences on your body are about to add to the challenge. Even if you did start with amazing posture, you may still have some work to do to re-balance your muscles and bring you back into the alignment that best supports you. Poor posture during this phase of our lives can lead to lower back pain, shoulder tension, neck strain, faster fatigue, and make you more prone to pregnancy related injuries like diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction because you aren’t able to optimally use your core.
Here are a few of the most common poor pregnancy postures that can lead to pain:
Standing with your hands on your hips, your bottom out and your shoulders back.
Standing with your feet wide apart
Standing with one hand on the back, one on the belly, tailbone up and belly jutting forward.
Rounding forward through the chest and shoulders because of the weight of bigger breasts and tummy.
If you catch yourself in any of those above positions, here’s a quick check list you can mentally take yourself through:
Check to see if your feet are evenly planted on the ground, standing shoulder width apart.
Keep your knees loose and unlocked.
Let your shoulders relax and feel shoulder blades sliding away from your ears and down your back.
Position the front of your rib cage over the top of your hips.
Feel as if you have an imaginary string coming out the top of your head connecting to the ceiling. (A trick all dancers use to lengthen their spine)
Imagine the bottom of your shoulder blades slightly slipping towards one another.
Practice good posture as much as you can. Ask a friend or partner to “lovingly” tell you when they see you slipping into a “pregnancy pride” position.
Chiropractic care is safe and recommended by many during pregnancy to correct any subluxations of the spine, releasing added stress on the body.
Practice proper diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress, activate your core and take strain out of your neck and shoulder muscles.
Get help! Regular exercise and working with a corrective exercise specialist can help diagnose, strengthen and correct muscular imbalances. You can book a free consult with me here.
Add scapular ad-duction exercises into your daily routine. You can find these on Strong Mom Society!
About the author: Joanie spent 9 yrs as a professional dancer, performing, touring and teaching dance to movers of all ages. She has spent 12 yrs teaching group fitness and offering one-on-one personal training for various gyms and methods around New York City. Additionally she works at Fit for Birth, the industries leading holistic pre & postnatal continuing education company as a Head Coach, their Graduate Liaison and Coordinator of the Pregnancy Sāf Elite program. She the original co-founder of Fit Pregnancy Club, NYC’s premiere pre & postnatal fitness studio and has been featured in publications such as Women’s Health, Parents, Forbes and Fast Company. Her daughter, Adina, was born in 2016 via Cesarean birth. The recovery she went through inspired her deep dive into developing an approach for preventing common pregnancy and postpartum injuries like diastasis recti, pelvic floor dysfunction and supporting women during the transitions that occur during preconception, pregnancy and motherhood. Since 2010, she has proudly coached thousands of pregnant, birthing and parenting bodies. She’s a passionate advocate for maternal health and spends most of her free time reading and studying the most current pre/postnatal fitness research and forming relationships with and coaching other professionals working to support women during their parenting years.