Of course your back aches—you’re pregnant! Or you’re postpartum and carrying a newborn more than you even carry your own purse.
During pregnancy, your lower back is stressed as your baby grows and your uterus enlarges. By keeping the muscles and ligaments around your back strong and mobile, you boost your back support and work toward a pain-free pregnancy and recovery.
When I created my Expecting More program, I specifically wanted to help women keep their backs strong. Use these three exercises to prepare and persevere through all the changes your back will endure during pregnancy and beyond birth. Say goodbye to back ache!
As your belly grows, your posture may pay the price, giving you pregnancy back pain. As you practice this yoga-based deep breathing, you strengthen your diaphragm, and all of the muscles along the spine.
Hint: Perform a pelvic floor squeeze (both the muscles that stop the flow of urine and those that stop you from passing gas) as you take in and release a Baby Breath.
The plank is especially important when you’re pregnant. A strong core is essential in keeping your back safe and strong.
Focus on “hugging your baby closer to your spine,” an exercise which will protect and support your back. The more you let your back arch and essentially leave your baby unsupported, the more pain you may endure. So when you’re not lying down or sitting in a chair, try hugging your baby close to your low back throughout the day.
Hint: In plank, spread your legs farther apart to lighten the load. Practice holding the plank on your knees first. Feel free to perform the plank on a chair to lighten the load or keep baby from touching the floor. If you experience wrist pain, hold the plank on your forearms.
Once you’re about 20 weeks gestation, lying flat on your back is no longer recommended. This means you need to replace sit-ups with another great core-strengthener. Plank is a great option, but pelvic rocks, a.k.a Rock-A-Bye-Baby, not only activate the core but can also ease back pain or discomfort.
Hint: Sing Rock-A-Bye-Baby to yourself as you do these to create flow and control in the movement.
Champions for Change: You’re Invited! Become a champion for change in maternal health--attend the Champion for Change 2018 Summit.
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