Many women seek postural correction to relieve neck or back pain that can result from weight gain and altered biomechanics during pregnancy. But even if you’re not in pain, pregnant women can still benefit from having proper posture. Aligned posture during pregnancy maintains, and can even improve, balance and alignment in your spine and pelvis. This can help your baby assume it’s optimal birthing position and reduce the risk of complications during the delivery.
The American Posture Institute utilizes a trifecta of essential components for long-term postural correction. The first component is spinal alignment to correct misaligned joints of the spine and the hips, reducing spinal nerve stress. The second component is postural rehabilitation to correct muscular dysfunction patterns. To maintain proper spinal alignment, it is necessary to rehabilitate the muscular patterns to support the spinal column. The third component is posture habit re-education, learning proper postural habits to support good posture throughout your daily activities.
Why should I consider postural correction during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joints:
- Protruding abdomen and increased curvature of the lower back
- Pelvic changes in proportion to fetal development
- Postural adaptations in the mid back due to breast enlargement
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is a key component to a healthy pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby, causing intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.
The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body function more effectively.
What can I do at home to help improve my posture during pregnancy?
- Avoid carrying other children on your hips, this contributes to a misaligned pelvis and can cause muscle strain in the low back
- When sleeping, prop pillows between your knees for comfort. Use a supportive pillow and a firm mattress for spinal support
- Avoid wearing high heels that accentuate the curve of your lumbar spine
- Keep your mind and body flexible with prenatal yoga classes
- Check your posture in the mirror. If you see abnormal postural presentations (for example, one shoulder higher than the other or an increased curve of your lower back) consult a posture expert for a complete evaluation
Dr. Krista Burns DC, DRHA, CPEP, CPS
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Health Administration
Certified Postural Specialist
Co-Founder American Posture Institute
Posture by Design, Not by Circumstance