Gravity-friendly maternal posture is the 2nd Principle of Spinning Babies. Here are some Rest Smart suggestions for pregnancy. These postures can also be used in labor. Think of your belly as a hammock and let the baby lie with his or her back settling into the hammock. Don’t “tuck your tail.” Pass the flashlight test.
Jean Sutton, co-author of “Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning,” recommends we sit with our:
- Knees lower than the level of our hips
- Belly lower than our hips
- Let our belly be a hammock for our baby.
- Let our lower back sway forward as we stand and walk
When using an exercise ball make sure your hips are not lower than your knees! Keep an upright back by sitting on the front of your sitz bones, not back on your sacrum.
Many women may need more than keeping good posture in pregnancy.
Katy says on her Facebook called Aligned and Well:
I’ve said this before, but it can’t be said too many times: Posture does not equal alignment. Posture is how something looks. Alignment is how something works. “Good posture” is cultural and is typically horrible alignment.
“Rest Smart” in positions that let your baby’s back settle in your “hammock.”
While resting or while on bed rest, make a little pillow nest to lay nearly on your tummy. Pillows hold your weight off the baby. Use your breastfeeding pillow, curve your body pillow, or semi-inflate a swim doughnut to dip your belly in the “nest.” It’s so comfy.
Sometimes you may want to just lay on either side. One hip is directly over the other, like a right angle. Don’t lean back, at least not for long. Leaning back without support can give you a muscle cramp. Change sides frequently for comfort and to help the uterus be a little more symmetrical.
Which side should I sleep on?
Going to sleep and/or waking on your left side seems to protect the wellbeing of baby. You have little control of which side you wake up on. You can learn to go to sleep on your left side. Then you will have met the “and/or” going to sleep or waking on your left that was found to protect against unexplained still birth (in a New Zealand study).
If your care provider asks you to avoid a position, ask them why. It may be that monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat or your blood pressure shows that a particular position is not good for you at that time.
Changing positions may be good for the baby in general. Getting up to go to the bathroom one or more times a night seems to be protective of baby’s wellbeing, as noticed by the same New Zealand researchers mentioned in the study above.
Posture in pregnancy
..How our spine is, is primary, but how the abdominal wall is, is equally primary. We’re a whole tension-compression system. The whole thing works in harmony. There are really no parts in this system; it is a whole.
The “L” shaped abdominal wall wrapping underneath the body and holding the organs up above is a major part of the female pelvic organ support system.
So yes, our work is all about what I’m calling the natural shape of the female spine. And we come to that through posture. Exercise is fabulous, but its how we hold our body, as much as we can, throught the course of the day….It becomes unconscious, pulling into this shape that we’ve trained ourselves to be in. It becomes effortless, and ultimately supportive of our abdominal and pelvic organs.
Sit on a Swedish chair or exercise ball for a straight back. Let the abdomen become the hammock for the baby. Elbows and knees are at a 45 degree angle and wrists float above the keyboard. A ball helps your hip keep moving. Get up and move around frequently.
In the car
If you are sitting in a car, please do not sit up on a cushion. That would be dangerous if you were to need to stop suddenly. You can sit on a small physiology ball, such as a slo-mo ball in which only ONE PUFF of air is in the ball and then the plug is replaced. Put it between your tuberosities so that your tuberosities touch the car seat but the ball is between them. Now you have dynamic motion for the car. You will have less pain.
When you get in and out of the car, keep your knees and ankles CLOSE together. Swivel your hips to get your feet in and out of the car together. This will help prevent SI joint pain.