A pregnant woman’s profile is much more curvy than her non-pregnant state… I know that sounds like I am stating the obvious, but aside from the baby bump… I am talking curves in the spine and about changes with the muscles and bones. 9 (more like 10!) months spent carrying around a baby in your belly (followed by another 6 in your Baby Bjorn!) can take a toll on your whole body’s alignment.
Without sounding like an anatomy textbook, in a nutshell the extra weight carried in front of the body tips the pelvis forward, increasing the natural arch we all have in our lower back. When this happens, unless we are doing a lot of exercises to prevent it, the front of our hips get tight!
(Along the lines of “preventing it”, follow what we are doing in the Pilates Studio each week with Christen Gowan, who happens to be the newest addition to The Bubble Blog and half way through her 2nd pregnancy, on the Reform blog, “New Year’s Baby”. For updates on Christen each week, sign up for our e-newsletter here.)
This is the same posture I often see in the bodies of my clients that have desk jobs or spend all day sitting AND frequently in those who run or play sports. These pesky hip muscles get tight from sitting AND from moving! And not to be a Debbie Downer, but high heels do it too! Almost no one is immune.
My amazing summer intern, Alex (you can read about what she has been up to on her blog “August with Alex” here) is the model in this video. She has a strong core and has never been pregnant, so just imagine a body that does not have her abdominal strength, with hips so tight that the back is arched like Alex’s demonstration. In THAT body, with a weak core, you will see their “guts” hanging out in front! Look around and you will start to see… in so many bodies this is the case!
Strengthening your core (think Navel to spine and squeeze your seat to draw your tailbone down) and keeping your hips stretched (watch our video on this blog post) is GENERALLY just what the body needs to begin to remedy this terrible posture. Of course every body is unique, but at the very least… it is a good place to start!
Do you have any questions about stretching during or after a pregnancy? Leave your questions and comments for Meghan below!