Saturday, July 14, 2012

Watch Your Back

You may have given yourself a pat on it, asked someone to scratch it (while you've scratched theirs), or covered your best friend's.  But most of us ignore a part of our bodies we really should be watching out for- our backs.

The pregnancy and post-partum stages of life bring about many challenges to your posterior, such as hormonal changes, altered gait and posture, low activity levels, new and difficult movements, and lack of rest. 

When it's time to deliver your baby, you'll be thankful for high levels of the hormone relaxin, which cause your joints to loosen.  But from the time you see two little blue lines until about 6 months after giving birth, relaxin creates an environment where it is easier to injure yourself.  You can't reduce the amount of relaxin in your body, nor would you want to, but you can take other steps to lessen your chances of hurting your back.

1. Sit up straight.  Couches, recliners and beds promote slouching.  Instead, sit on firm, straight-backed chairs, a exercise/birth ball, or the floor.  You'll be engaging the muscles that support your spine, and keeping your skeletal structure properly aligned.

2. Exercise gently.  Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga will keep your blood circulating, muscles stretched, and core muscles working.  If you're fighting nausea or fatigue, short, low intensity exercise is better than total inactivity.

3. Retire the cape.  It may be tempting to help put together that new nursery furniture or pull gear out of the attic, but no task is greater than taking care of your body right now.  Hand off the to-do list to someone else, and relax.

4.  Once baby comes, skip carrying a heavy car seat and opt for babywearing.

5.  Our bodies conduct almost all repair operations while we're asleep.  And yet, sleep is notoriously scarce for most mothers.  As tempting as it may be to tackle some laundry or thank-you notes, you'll do the best for yourself and your baby if you make sleeping a priority, second only to water and food.  It's that essential to your health.

6. Finally, consider visiting a chiropractor.  Some are better trained and more experienced than others in caring for pregnant patients, as well as new mothers and their babies.  Chiropractic care has become an important part of my family's healthy lifestyle.

Motherhood is an adventure which keeps us on our toes, and requires a strong back.  Minding your spine will help you enjoy the journey with vigor.

This article was written by guest blogger Amanda Gilbreath.  Amanda, a customer of Promise Prenatal Vitamins and Promise DHA says, "as the richest woman in the world, my treasures include my faith in Jesus Christ, husband, 3 children, and thesaurus.  I write in the slivers of time wedged between chunks of a blessed life." 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info.