Posture During Pregnancy

While it's important to pay attention to your posture throughout your life, it's even more important during pregnancy. During pregnancy, you see, your body's posture is naturally changing, with the curve of the lower back becoming more pronounced as you carry a heavy load in the abdominal area. Correct posture throughout pregnancy can help alleviate the lower back pain that is so common in pregnant women, and it can help get the baby in an ideal position for delivery.

Well, part of the reason that interventions are so common is that hospitals and doctors push them on women because interventions make the lives of the doctors easier. However, the real reason that we started needing such interventions in the first place is changes in the basic human diet.

  • When standing or walking, focus on engaging the abdominal muscles and hugging the baby into your body. Your abdominals can help support the baby from the front, meaning you'll have less pressure on the lower back.

  • In any upright position, keep the shoulders rolled back rather than hunched up tightly. This can help prevent shoulder and neck pain as well as headaches and other related problems.

  • When sleeping, support the lower back with pillows. The ideal with for a pregnant woman to sleep is on her left side, with the top (right) leg pulled up at a ninety degree angle and supported with a pillow. While there are other comfortable ways for a pregnant woman to sleep, supporting the lower back is always a must!

Getting the baby in position

While modern medical practitioners would have pregnant mothers think that there is little or nothing they can do to ensure that their babies are in a good birthing position, traditional medicine knows quite differently. In fact, having proper posture throughout pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your baby is in a good position for birth.

Here, we're mostly talking about turning the baby so that he or she is facing your back while in the head-down position. Regular posture doesn't affect, as much, whether a baby is head-down, breech, or side-lying. For more information on how to turn a baby that is not head down, check out

However, once your baby is in the head-down position, she still needs to rotate so that her face is looking at your spine, and she will continue to rotate during the actual birthing process. This face-back position helps the smallest part of the baby's head come through the pelvis first, which helps move the birth process along and make it easier.

The best way to ensure that baby is in the proper position is to watch how you are sitting throughout the day, especially if you have a job or condition that requires you to sit frequently. Sitting forward rather than reclining backwards will "teach" your baby to turn in the correct position. When you recline, the baby's natural movement is to recline into your back, with his head facing forward, but when you sit forward slightly, the baby's natural movement is to recline into your stomach with his head facing your back.

To get and keep your baby in an ideal birthing position, avoid reclining positions like you would use in lazy chairs, car bucket seats, or on a couch. Instead, sit with your feet on the floor slightly spread apart or with them propped up if you're struggling with some swelling. Then, lean forward slightly, whether you're working on a computer, having a conversation, or eating dinner.

Also, you can help your baby turn into the right position during the night when you're sleeping. While it is technically safe for a pregnant woman to sleep on her back as long as her shoulders and upper back are propped up to keep the uterus from lying on any major veins, this position is unhelpful to getting a baby in the proper position for birth. Instead, pregnant women should attempt to sleep as far over onto their stomachs as possible. As long as you can get comfortable by supporting yourself with various pillows or rolled blankets, this stomach-down position is completely safe for your baby and can result in a baby who is more properly positioned for birth.

For more information on what you can do to prepare for childbirth throughout your pregnancy, see the book Healing Our Children. It is full of information on different ways that you can prepare physically for birth so that you can have the healthiest, easiest possible birth experience.

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Notes From Readers:

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