5 Tips To Support a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy should be a time that you can enjoy every phase with ease. Unfortunately, many pregnant women are suffering from back pain and think that this is normal and goes hand in hand with being pregnant. This is not the case. Many of our clients experience wonderful pregnancies with minimal pain doing the majority of things they love to do during this time.
Here are 5 things you can do to give yourself the best opportunity to get through your pregnancy pain-free:
- Keep Moving
It is essential that your body gets movement every day regardless if you are pregnant or not. During pregnancy, you may need to modify the type of exercise you’re doing so that it is safe for both yourself and your precious bub. It is best to avoid any jerking, jumping, and jolting movements. If you are suffering from any dizziness, are light-headed, or feeling nauseous it is best to stop.
If you have not exercised in the past, just get started even by walking 10 minutes per day and gradually build this up to 30 minutes per day. You could walk, do yoga, water aerobics or go swimming.
Doing exercise during pregnancy helps to keep your pelvis and lower back mobile as well as increase the strength of the muscles and improving the circulation to the area. This is important so as they can better support your body as it is changing throughout the pregnancy.
- Practice Perfect Posture
As you progress through pregnancy and the baby grows this causes the center of gravity to shift forward. As a result, to prevent you from falling forward you may compensate by leaning back. This can strain the muscles of the lower back.
There is more to having good posture than decreasing pain and looking good. If your posture is good this has a massive impact on how your brain and nervous system are functioning. In good posture, you are maximizing your nervous system function. As your nerves are supplying all your cells, organs, and tissues in the body, good posture is leading to a healthier version of yourself. If you are healthy this is obviously impacting the health of your precious one too!
To prevent strain on your lower back focus on the following principles:-
- Keep your body up tall with your chest out and shoulders pulled back and down. Imagine there is a string from the center of your head lifting up towards the sky.
- If you are standing in one spot for a period of time it is best to rest one foot up on a small step. Having one foot slightly raised helps to relax your lower back and keep your hips balanced, otherwise, you may tend to stand on one hip more than the other or sway your pelvis forward. You can alternate which foot is raised slightly.
- Make sure your knees are not locked
- Take care not to slouch on the couch or lounge chair
- You are best to sit in an upright posture with the arch of your lower back protected.
- Make sure that your knees do not raise up higher than your hips
- Sitting in a good posture is important for the positioning of your sacrum (tailbone). Good sacrum positioning is important for optimising natural delivery.
- Lying on your left side is best to encourage an ideal position for bubs
- When lying on your side use a pillow between your knees to stop you from rotating your pelvis and lower back throughout the night.
- Also, remember to use a supportive pillow for your neck so as your head is not dropping down or angled up. It should be in a neutral position.
- Take Care Of Your Feet
Be mindful of your feet. It is important to take care of them as they are supporting your body as bubs are growing.
At the end of the day rolling a frozen orange under the arch of each foot for a few minutes can help to relieve some of the increased strain your feet are under.
The shoes you are wearing may also be impacting on your feet and lower back. Wearing slides or thongs is hard work on your feet to hold them on your feet. As the feet have to work harder this activates the muscles in your legs to work harder and can then irritate your lower back.
Wearing high heels can cause an increased pelvic tilt which can then lead to low back pain, due to pressure on the nerves here. Wearing a low heel of around 1cm is ok but any higher may have a negative impact on your body.
- Eat with Awareness
It is important for you to be aware that everything you are eating is directly what your body is using to provide your unborn baby with what it needs for its development. It would require writing a book to give every detail in regards to diet during pregnancy so a few main points to consider have been highlighted below.
If you are eating a diet of high sugars, high carbohydrates, or highly processed packaged foods these are not providing ideal nutrients for yourself, let alone your baby, to achieve an optimum functioning immune system. Don’t underestimate how these initial times are having a lasting effect on your child’s health for their future. Your body requires nutrients from a diet of living foods. For example foods, you have just picked off a tree, pulled out of the ground, or cut off an animal. These foods are what we call living foods and provide you with life. Foods that are packaged and have a long life are referred to as dead foods as they do not support the health of your body.
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases both heart rate and blood pressure. This is definitely not recommended during pregnancy. Also, caffeine does pass through the placenta to bubs. Your unborn baby is not able to fully metabolise caffeine as its metabolism is still maturing. If you definitely need to have a caffeine stick to one glass a day. Remember caffeine is also found in chocolate, tea, soft drinks, and even some medications.
Vitamin D has a role in supporting the immune system as well as healthy cell division and bone development. Vitamin D definitely supports the health of yourself as well as your baby. Dr Sarah Myhill recommends that a high dose of Vitamin D is important to decrease inflammation as well as supporting a healthy immune system. She recommends 10,000IU per day.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 fatty acid is important for the neurological and early visual development of the baby in utero. When the baby is breastfed this omega 3 impacts the visual and cognitive development of your child. It has also been shown that omega 3 can improve the immune system function and as a result may decrease the chances of your child having allergies.
It is the EPA and DHA quantities in the omega 3 fatty acid that you require. The EPA supports heart function, immune system and inflammatory response whereas the DHA supports brain, eyes and nervous system.
- Improving your nervous system function
Everything your body does, whether you are consciously aware of it or not, is under the control of your brain and nervous system. Thus for your body to be functioning optimally throughout your pregnancy you need to make sure your brain and nervous system are functioning without any interference. This ensures the messages from the brain are getting out to all areas of the body and back to the brain again without any distortion so your body can perform at its best.
A Chiropractor who has experience working with pregnant women focuses on making sure the brain and nervous system are functioning without interference. This then allows everything to occur at the body’s best ability throughout the pregnancy. Keeping the nervous system functioning optimally allows the pelvis and lower back to be balanced and can alleviate low back pain.
Including Chiropractic Care as part of your wellness lifestyle during pregnancy can be very beneficial.
Our Chiropractors here at Global Chiropractic have extensive experience, to give pregnant mammas the best care and to provide positive support for them and their precious baby. If you would love any further information please contact us on (03) 54443388 or email [email protected]
Dr. Deanne Esposito (Chiropractor)