by Dr Rachael Veronesi
Having a baby, especially if it is your first time, can be a joyous milestone for both mother and father. However, it can also be a cause of anxiety for women who experience physiological and hormonal changes in their body which are associated with the development of a child in the womb.
On average, a woman will gain anywhere between 10 to 15 kgs. This weight gain, in conjunction with the physiological and hormonal changes in the expectant mum’s body, can lead to discomfort – including low back pain. Many expectant mothers who are in the final term of their pregnancy report experiencing irritated sciatic nerves which results from the baby’s head putting pressure on the woman’s back and lower extremities.
An expectant mum’s centre of gravity also changes, shifting prominently toward the front of the pelvis. This can put increased pressure on the joints. And as the baby continues to grow and develop inside the womb, both the curvature of the lower back and the stress on the spinal discs are increased.
While the woman’s body changes to adapt to the development of the baby in the womb, pregnancy can pose certain hazards, including trips and falls. To minimise these problems, here a few helpful tips from a trusted Brookvale chiropractor .
Exercising may seem counterintuitive, but is highly recommended for expectant mums. When done correctly, exercising can strengthen muscles and alleviate discomfort. Among the best exercises for women are walking, swimming and stationary biking. Pregnant women who actively run before their pregnancy may continue running under the guidance of their doctor. Exercise sessions should last for only 15 minutes and the heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute.
Pregnant women should temporarily trade in their high heels for flats. High heeled shoes can further increase postural imbalances. Expectant mums should also avoid lifting heavy objects. As for lifting children, the proper way to do that would be to bend from the knees instead of from the waist.
Sufficient rest and sleep are essential for pregnant women. It is highly recommended for pregnant ladies to put pillows between their legs when lying on their sides. This can minimise the pressure on their lower backs. It is also highly advisable for expectant women to sleep on their left side as this helps improve blood flow as well as help the kidney flush waste more efficiently.
Pregnant mums who work in an office should also modify their office stations to make them more ergonomically correct. Changes like modifying the position of the computer monitor and using a footrest can provide added comfort. It is also recommended for them to take short walks every 30 minutes.