Keeping muscles and joints flexible and maintaining strength throughout pregnancy will result in a more comfortable pregnancy and will also assist with the birth process.
Please seek clarification from Dr Collis if you feel pain or discomfort whilst performing any of the following stretches and exercises.
1. Side Stretch
From a seated position, raise one arm above the head and stretch to one side feeling a gentle pull between your rib cage and your hip. Repeat both sides.
2. Forward Bend
From a standing position, slowly walk your hands down a wall until you feel a gentle pull in the backs of your legs, or reach a 90o angle.
3. Seated Forward Bend
From a seated position with your legs spread to 90o , use a chair in front of you to bend forwards until you are able to feel a gentle pull in the backs of your legs.
4. Cat Arches
Position yourself on hands and knees, being careful not to arch your back too severely (ie, don’t let your tummy drop too far). From this position, suck your tummy up towards the ceiling and attempt to create nice curved shape in your spine. Hold for 5-10 seconds then relax.
Place a fitball in the small of your back and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slowly until they are at a 90o angle. Be sure to keep your feet in front of your knees to reduce the amount of stress placed on the knees.
If you find this exercise difficult, only bend your knees half as far.
4. Pelvic Floor
While seated on a fitball, gently rock pelvis backwards, forwards and in a circular motion. This exercise aims to strengthen the core pelvic muscles.
Caring for your Spine during Pregnancy
· Let others lift heavy items for you.
· Don’t try to sit straight up from a lying position using your abdominal muscles. Instead, bend your knees, turn on your side and push yourself up with your arm.
· Every day, gently stretch your body.
· Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen, especially when stressed.
· Avoid standing with your hands on your hips with your tummy pushed forward.
· Remember to unlock your knees when standing.
· Avoid remaining in one position for too long. If you need to stand for extended periods, place one foot on a small box or an equivalent to reduce the load on your legs. Swap legs
· Refrain from wearing high heels.
· If you have other young children PLEASE avoid carrying them wherever possible. Many pregnant women injure their abdominal muscles, pelvic floor or pelvis by carrying other children.
· Have your spine regularly checked by your Chiropractor.
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