During pregnancy, good posture (the way you hold your body when standing, sitting, or laying down) entails teaching your body how to stand, walk, sit, and lie in ways that put the least amount of pressure on your back.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 25th Feb 2022.
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Best Postures During Pregnancy For Standing, Sitting, Sleeping And Driving
During pregnancy, good posture (the way you hold your body when standing, sitting, or laying down) entails teaching your body how to stand, walk, sit, and lie in ways that put the least amount of pressure on your back. Although your expanding belly may make you feel like you're about to fall over, there are a few things you can do to keep your posture and body mechanics in check. Here are a few pointers.
What Is the Correct Standing Posture During Pregnancy?
- Maintain a straight posture with your chin tucked under. Do not lean forward, backward, down, or sideways with your head.
- Check that your earlobes are parallel to the centre of your shoulders.
- Maintain a forward chest and back shoulder blades.
- Maintain a straight but not locked stance with your knees.
- Extend the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
- Pull your stomach in and up as much as you can (as much as you can!). Tilt your pelvis neither forward nor backward. Maintain a tucked-in buttocks position.
- Your weight should be equally distributed on both feet while you point your feet in the same direction. To avoid back strain, low-heeled (but not flat) shoes should be worn to support the arches of your feet.
- Standing in the same posture for an extended period is not recommended.
What Is the Correct Sitting Posture During Pregnancy?
- Sit up straight with your shoulders back and your back straight. Your buttocks should be in contact with the chair's back. Your buttocks should be in touch with the chair's back.
- Sit with back support at the curve of your back (such as a tiny, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll). Pregnancy pillows are available at a variety of stores.
When you're not utilising back support or lumbar roll, here's how to select a comfortable sitting position:
- Sit at the far end of your chair and fully recline.
- Draw yourself up and emphasise your back's curvature as much as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Slightly relax the position (about 10 degrees). This is an excellent sitting position.
- Make sure your body weight is equally distributed on both hips.
- Maintain a straight angle between your hips and knees (use a footrest or stool if necessary). Your feet should lie level on the floor, and your legs should not be crossed.
- Sitting in the same posture for more than 30 minutes is not recommended.
- Adjust the height of your chair and workstation at work so you may sit up close to your desk. Keep your shoulders relaxed by resting your elbows and arms on your chair or desk.
- Avoid twisting at the waist when sitting on a chair that rolls and pivots. Instead, rotate your whole body.
- When rising from a seated posture, go to the front of your chair's seat. Straighten your legs to stand up. Bending forward at the waist is not a good idea. Do several pregnancy-safe back stretches while you're standing.
Other sitting postures are OK for a short time, but most of your sitting time should be spent as stated above to reduce back stress. Sit as little as possible and only for brief periods if you have back discomfort (10 to 15 minutes).
What Is the Correct Driving Posture During Pregnancy?
- When driving when pregnant, use a back support (lumbar roll) at the curvature of your back. Your knees should be at or above the level of your hips.
- Close the distance between the seat and the steering wheel, but not too much. Your chair should be near enough to enable you to bend your knees and reach the pedals in general. If possible, keep your belly button at least 10 inches from the driving wheel (this depends upon your height). Ride in the passenger seat as often as possible during the final month of pregnancy, when your tummy is likely to be closer to the steering wheel than it has ever been.
- Wear both lap and shoulder safety belts at all times. Place the lap belt beneath your belly and over your upper thighs, as low on your hips as feasible. Never wear your belt over your waist. Place the shoulder belt in the middle of your chest. The shoulder and lap belts should be as tight as feasible.
- It is critical to wear your shoulder and lap belts if your car is equipped with an airbag. In addition, always sit at least 10 inches away from the air bag's storage location. When driving, the airbag is placed in the steering wheel on the driver's side; pregnant women should angle the steering wheel toward their chest and away from their head and being.
What Is the Correct Posture to Lift Objects During Pregnancy?
- When carrying large items when pregnant, ask for assistance.
- Make sure you have solid footing before lifting an item.
- Keep your back straight and bend at the knees and hips to pick up a lower than your waist level. Bending forward at the waist with your knees straight is not a good idea.
- Keep your feet firmly on the ground and take a wide stance near to the item you're attempting to pick up. Tighten your abdominal muscles and use your leg muscles to raise the item. Straighten your knees slowly and steadily. Do not yank the item towards your body.
- Without twisting, stand entirely straight.
- If you're lifting anything from a table, move it to the table's edge so you can keep it close to your body. Bend your knees to get as near to the item as possible. To get to a standing posture, raise the thing using your legs.
- Lifting large items above the waist level should be done with care.
- With your arms bent, Hold packages close to your body. Maintain a firm grip on your abdominal muscles. Take tiny steps and go at a moderate pace.
- Place your feet where you lifted them to lower the item, tense your abdominal muscles, and bend your hips and knees. Do not take a step forward.
When reaching for something from above:
- Bring your body as near to the item as feasible.
- Make sure you have a solid understanding of the weight of the item you'll be lifting.
- Lift using two hands.
What Is the Best Sleeping and Lying Down Posture During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women should avoid lying flat on their backs or their stomachs in general. Lying on your back puts tremendous strain on your heart, particularly in the third trimester: The baby's weight may put too much pressure on the inferior vena cava, a primary vein that brings blood back to the heart from the feet and legs, pelvis, and belly, limiting blood flow to the placenta. Furthermore, lying on your back may give you backache!
It's unlikely that lying on your stomach when pregnant will be pleasant. More significantly, resting on your stomach should be avoided since it increases foetal pressure and reduces blood flow.
Don’t worry if you change positions throughout the night; it's a natural aspect of sleeping that you can't control. If you find yourself resting on your back or stomach, the pain will most likely wake you awake.
Some doctors suggest that pregnant women lay on their left side to allow for the greatest blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys in the third trimester. Because your liver is on the right side of your body, sleeping on your left side prevents the uterus from pushing on it.
A cushion should be beneath your head, not your shoulders, and thick enough to enable your head to be in a natural posture without stressing your back, no matter what position you're in. For further support, consider placing a cushion between your legs. Make use of your pillows to find a sleeping posture that is comfortable for you. Many “pregnancy” pillows on the market may aid in your sleep.
Try to sleep in a posture that keeps your back in a natural curvature (such as on your side with your knees slightly bent and a pillow between your knees). Sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest is not a good idea.
Choose a mattress and box spring combination that is firm and does not droop. Place a board beneath your bed if required. If required, you may even temporarily put the mattress on the floor.
If you've always slept on a soft surface, switching to a hard one may be more uncomfortable. Try to do what makes you feel most at ease.
Turn on your side, pull up both knees, and swing your legs to the bed's side while standing up from a lying posture. Push yourself up with your hands to sit up. Bending forward at the waist is not a good idea.