Having difficulty getting a good nights sleep during pregnancy?
Many adults suffer from poor structure in their spine due to picking up bad posture habits over time. I.e slouching, sitting improperly, having a lack of back support, hunching over – the list goes on. Poor posture adds a huge amount of stress to our bodies and we often suffer from back and neck pain as a result. So when you discover that you’re pregnant, more pressure is placed on the spine. This means you could be in for even more problems if it’s ignored, poor sleep during pregnancy being a big one.
As your body puts on weight, already poor posture is likely to get worse, contributing to a downward spiral in spinal health. However there is good news! If you become aware of the changes that your body is undergoing, you can take steps to correct your spine and move your body back in to alignment. Once your back is aligned (biomechanically speaking) it will remove stress from compromised muscles and joints. This ‘freeing up’ and returning the system to its natural state, will more easily enable you to ease pains, improve posture and comfort.
Improving sleep during while pregnant
You obviously want to maintain your overall health as much as possible for the benefit of your baby, but also for yourself. The way you position your body during pregnancy, during both waking and sleeping hours, can help to ease the heavy burden you’ll carry for the next several months. It’s really important that you keep as comfortable as possible throughout the pregnancy process.
Pregnancy Sleep positions and posture basics to get you started
- Sleep on Your Left Side
If you’ve read any literature pertaining to what you should expect when you’re expecting, you’ve no doubt discovered that sleeping on your stomach is a major no-no. Well, that’s just common sense. You might be more surprised, though, to learn that you should also avoid sleeping on your back. As your baby grows and you gain weight, this position can lead to laboured breathing and pressure on internal organs. Sleeping on your side is best and sleeping on your left side is actually better than the right. This position aids circulation and it stops the growing baby inside you from putting undue pressure on your liver all night long.
An important point to make, proper posture and spinal alignment during slumber can generally be better maintained by sleeping with a body pillow. Place it between your knees and arms to keep your body in the most desirable and comfortable position.
Stand Up Straight
If you don’t want to end up looking like Igor or Quasimodo in your twilight years, you should probably strive to stand up straight all of the time you can. It is especially important to observe proper posture when pregnant and you have an extra 10 to 20’kilos weighing you down. Standing up straight does require some amount of attention, because practice makes perfect. Here are a few points to keep in mind where posture is concerned.
- Hold your head straight and try to keep your earlobes aligned with your shoulders (as viewed from the side).
- Keep your shoulder blades pulled back (but not up – be mindful of shrugging your shoulders up as it will increase the tension in your neck).
- Pull your stomach up and in, and tuck your pelvis so that your back doesn’t arch.
- Point your feet forward and don’t lock your knees.
These are the “basic” steps to excellent posture. And when you’re pregnant, try to move around frequently rather than standing in the same spot for any great duration.
Sit Up Straight
Sitting is seen by most people as a chance to relax, but sinking into your favorite La-Z-Boy is nothing but an excuse to slouch. If you want to preserve your spinal health during pregnancy, it’s important that you sit up straight. If you’re having trouble doing so, try to sit in straight-back chairs and add lumbar support in the form of a lumbar pillow as mentioned below.
Support Your Lower Back
Remembering to sit and stand tall is all well and good, but it does take some work. Luckily, you can cheat a bit by using lumbar support, at least when sitting. You will not find a shortage of pregnancy-related products, and that includes pillows. A sturdy bolster or even a rolled towel will do the trick. Simply position it behind your lower back when sitting for an extra measure of support. This will help you relax and feel comfortable while still maintaining proper posture.
Try Pregnancy Yoga
If you’re looking for ways to strengthen the areas around your belly, pregnancy yoga can be a godsend. Gentle stretching will help to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, while also improving circulation and minimising swelling. Yoga routines will strengthen key areas of the body. This will allow you body to better withstand the increased burden of gravity as your baby grows.
There you have it. Just a few tips to help make your pregnancy (or someone you care about) a little more comfortable.
Still having trouble with sleep during pregnancy? Consider adding Chiropractic to your 9 month care regimen!
I am a mother myself and offer complimentary consultations to pregnant mothers to discuss gentle and safe structural correction to strengthen your spinal health. Please share with mums, mums to be and aspiring mums as they all deserve the best possible care!
For a Chiropractic Pregnancy check up, visit the Revolution Chiropractic and wellness clinic in Auckland, North Shore.
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