How to sit when you're pregnant (and the rest of the time, too)
Pregnancy pain is unfortunately all too common. For some women it shows up as low back pain. Other's, like me, experience pelvic pain. For some really unlucky women, it's both.
Is pregnancy pain inevitable?
While pregnancy pain is common, it doesn't mean it's inevitable. Keep in mind, how you use your body has a whole lot of influence on your pregnancy experience.
Yes, growing a new human being is a lot of work. Even on a non-pregnant day it's easy to spend most of it sitting. Add in the demands of pregnancy and it's incredibly easy to say yes to your couch way more than you used to.
While decreasing the time you spend sitting (and increasing the time you spend moving) is incredibly important (pregnant or not), we're all going to sit at some point during our day. Time to learn how to sit well!
Tips to prevent pregnancy pain when you sit:
- get up and move every 20-30 minutes - the less time you spend in one position, the better
- vary your position - while sitting on the floor may not be an option during your work day, when you're at home, break up your couch time with sitting on the floor and give your joints and muscles some much needed variety
- stretch your hips while you sit - the #4 stretch is a great stretch to do during your sitting time (photo above right), be sure you're sitting on your sit bones rather than on your tailbone (see video below)
- sit on your sit bones - see the short video below for all the details
NOTE: if you're experiencing SI joint pain or pubic symphysis pain stretching your hips may not be helpful. Instead, you may find it more helpful to strengthen the muscles surrounding your pelvis (see #7).
Lastly, I made a short video for you giving you the nitty gritty of exactly how to sit without compromising your pelvic floor and pelvis and back in the process.
Again, while movement throughout the day trumps all when it comes to health and well-being, eventually we're going to sit so you might as well sit in a way that helps you prevent (and relieve) pregnancy pain.
And no, this isn't just about how pregnant women sit. It's about how all of us sit, pregnant or not, female AND male. Improve your sitting habits and support the health of your pelvis. Enjoy!