SOME OF THEM MAY SURPRISE YOU…….
As your body starts to change shape, to stretch and to open up. As your ligaments lengthen and your spine gets pulled out of shape, you may assume that you just have to put up with those aches, pains, niggles and discomforts – that it’s all part of being pregnant. Well, IT ISN’T, and YOU DON’T.
I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve and lots of input and feedback from the mums in my classes, and I’m really happy to share with you the TOP 5 PIECES OF EQUIPMENT that they have recommended over the years, to ease out the aches, to get comfortable, and even to get a good night’s sleep.
1. BODY PILLOW or DREAM GENIE
Top of the list, and recommended by so many of my Mums – this simple piece of kit is absolute genious. One of the worse things about being pregnant is trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
You know that you have to lie on your side, but when you do your hips hurt, you get a pain in the back of your pelvis (the sacro-iliac joints) and it feels like your uterine ligaments are going to snap.
ENTER THE BODY PILLOW!
Cleverly designed to support you EVERYWHERE you need it – under your bump, between your legs, under your head and shoulders, around the back of your pelvis.
And you can use it afterwards for breastfeeding support.
2. YOUR KITCHEN SINK!
One of the overriding sensations as your pregnancy progresses is a feeling that you are running out of space. As your baby grows, your uterus starts to push upwards under your ribcage. You start to feel restricted. And breathless. As your belly grows outwards it pulls your spine out of shape. You start to get upper and lower back ache. And if you work in an office, I bet you have constant shoulder and upper back ache anyway!
So what does this have to do with your kitchen sink?
This fabulous stretch creates loads of space in your body – it lengthens your spine, stretches out your shoulders and upper back, gets rid of lower back pain, helps you breath more easily, and gives your baby a little bit more room. I did this every day during my pregnancy. Bliss!
Check out the video below …..
Here’s the technical stuff:-
- Hold onto the sink and walk your feet backwards until your spine is flat
- Make sure your back and shoulders are in line with each other, and as horizontal as possible
- Bend your knees if you need to
- Actively push your sitting bones away from your shoulders – imagine you are trying to push your bum into the wall behind you
- Don’t sag or sink the lower back down
- Breathe deeply and enjoy the extra space for your lungs
- Stay for as long as your like. When you want to come up, slowly walk your feet back towards the sink.
- Rinse and Repeat daily!
3. A GREAT BIG BALL!
Also known as a birthing ball, swiss ball, gym ball. These can be a godsend when your back is aching, your uterine ligaments are stretched to the max and you just can’t get comfortable on the sofa anymore.
There are lots of ways of using the ball during the last couple of months of your pregnancy – try kneeling over it, or leaning back into it, or just sitting on it. One Mum in my class said
“I am completely in love with my ball!”
Top Tip: Sitting on your ball in late pregnancy can also help with Optimum Foetal Positioning.
4. THE HUMBLE SARONG
Or a shawl. Or better still, a REBOZO – the long Mexican handwoven shawl that women have been using for centuries to provide support and comfort during pregnancy and birth. But a simple sarong will do just fine.
As your body starts to open up, as your ligaments become looser (thank you, Relaxin Hormone!) it can put a strain on your joints and muscles. The Rebozo is used to ‘tighten’ up these areas and provide some well needed support.
This technique is really useful if you are struggling with round ligament pain – it helps to support your bump and can be used during the day, and while you sleep at night. One of my Mums only got a decent night’s sleep if she did her belly binding technique.
This technique is used for any pelvic pain stemming from the softening of the pelvic ligaments. Wrapping the shawl tightly under your bump and around your pelvis can reduce pain in the sacro-iliac joints, in the hips and is one of my essentials for helping with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction). You can also wear it in bed at night if your hip pain is keeping you awake.
5. FLIP FLOPS, CROCS AND UGGS!
The softening of the ligaments is indiscriminate – every joint in your body becomes looser.
There are 26 bones in your feet – that’s a lot of joints. And then add in the extra weight of your baby, fluids and membranes. This causes the feet to become broader. You might also be prone to swelling or oedema which makes the feet even wider. And hotter.
Soon the only things you will be able to wear on your feet are anything open and spacious (flip flops, thongs, crocs) or Ugg boots if it’s winter. Not a great fashion statement, but at least your feet will feel comfortable. Sigh.