Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 27, 2019
When you get the news that you’re expecting, you begin to focus on everything you can do to prepare yourself, your house and the world for the arrival of your baby. With all the focus on the impending bundle of joy, oftentimes your health as an expectant mother can take a back seat. One such area of your body that can get ignored is your spine, which is problematic because it also endures more stress as you continue through your pregnancy.
So how can you keep your spine protected and healthy throughout your pregnancy? We shine a light on some ways to safely strengthen your spine while you’re expecting in today’s blog.
Strengthening Your Spine Throughout Pregnancy
Back pain is one of the most common problems that women have to deal with at some point during their pregnancy, and that makes sense when you think of the logistics of pregnancy. Healthy weight gain leads to more stress being channeled through your spine, and the development of a baby bump inevitably leads to posture changes, which in turn places stress on structures that aren’t used to shouldering as much pressure. The majority of pregnancies involve back pain or discomfort, but you can hopefully prevent or limit it by considering these three options.
Please discuss each of these options with your physician before making any changes to your daily routine.
Prenatal yoga is a great option for many expecting mothers for a number of reasons. It’s a form of exercise that will burn calories and get the heart pumping, but it’s not as intense as running, jogging or cycling, so it’s generally considered safer. Yoga has also been shown to help with lymphatic drainage, which can help prevent bloating or joint swelling. As for spine benefits, yoga helps to strengthen key muscle groups that support your spinal system, which can make all the difference as your body goes through natural changes. Prenatal yoga from a certified instructor will work to strengthen your spine and your core all while maintaining safe poses for you and your child.
If you’d prefer a more direct workout, there are plenty of strength training workouts online for expecting or new mothers. Again, these workouts will strengthen your spinal and core muscles, which are essential for what’s ahead. Soon, you’re going to be leaning over a changing table, reaching in and out of a crib and holding a baby for long stretches, so now is the time to develop and strengthen these supportive muscles. Talk to your obstetrician about the exercises you want to perform and how to safely begin an exercise routine before diving into one. Developing these muscles now will help you later down the line when you need them the most.
The final pillar of spine health during your pregnancy is your diet. Both your body and your child’s developing body need a wide array of healthy vitamins and minerals, so be especially mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Poor dietary choices and tobacco use can inhibit healthy blood flow to the spine and lead to the onset of spinal inflammation. When you’re body is changing and you’re dealing with spinal inflammation, nerve compression can follow, and that can be quite painful. You don’t need to fight off cravings of ice cream or avoid french fries, but strive for a wide range of healthy options and indulge in moderation. You may be eating for two, but you also need to be getting healthy nutrients for two, so be smart about your diet.
Diet, exercise and stretching are very important during your pregnancy if you want to keep your spine healthy, so work to develop a routine that incorporates all three aspects, and be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have. We’d also be happy to help, so reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today for more information.