Let’s talk posture! Posture is one of those areas that’s easily overlooked. We think that if we aren’t hunched over when we walk that we are doing pretty well. But, the thing is – our posture plays a big part in how we feel throughout the day. Overactive muscles can lead to a lot of aches and pains. Underutilized muscles aren’t firing as they should, which just leads to progressively worse posture. So, let’s talk about what poor posture can cause.
1. Low Back Pain
Lower back pain plagues many pregnant and postpartum women. There are a variety of issues that can contribute to lower back pain, but poor posture is definitely one of the big ones. When you’re standing, your low back should have a slight inward curve. What often happens during pregnancy is we tuck our tailbones under to compensate for the extra weight in the belly. While this might sound good in theory, it overstretches those low back muscles and underutilizes the glute muscles, causing lots of low back pain.
2. Neck and Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain is particularly prevalent postpartum. We are holding and feeding the baby, which causes rounded shoulders and an overstretched upper back. Being in that position on a constant basis can lead to a stiff neck and stiff shoulders, which in turn can lead to other issues like headaches. The back muscles are overstretched and underused and your chest muscles are constantly being pulled forward.
3. Poor circulation
This one applies equally across pregnancy and postpartum, particularly in regard to sitting. If you are consistently sitting with poor posture, this can significantly decrease productivity of your circulation. Well-oxygenated blood is an important part of growth and healing. We want to make sure that blood is flowing properly to the baby while you’re pregnant and circulating well throughout your body postpartum to aid in healing.
4. Increased fatigue
The perinatal period is already exhausting enough – we don’t want to make it any worse! But that’s exactly what poor posture can do. Poor posture puts pressure on parts of the body that are meant to constantly bear that extra strain. This leads to muscle fatigue, which will eventually lead to whole body fatigue and make you feel more tired and worn out throughout the day.
Looking at these 4 points, we definitely want to make sure that we are maintaining good posture during the day! Stay tuned this week for exercises and stretches to assist with having better posture!