Congratulations soon-to-be mamas! Whether this is your first pregnancy or a consecutive one, you’re likely feeling the beginning of many bodily changes. It is truly amazing how differently our bodies react to each pregnancy. Our goal at Motivate is to help support and prepare you for these changes.
While you’re possibly feeling fatigued and/or nauseous, it is important to begin to prepare your body for all these changes you’re about to go through. Over this next month we will take you through our core pillars and the best ways to prepare yourself for this exciting journey!
One of the most important behaviors we can create for ourselves is proper breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is a form of breathing that incorporates your entire core (diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep core muscles and back muscles). This breathing can be essential in maintaining rib mobility, pelvic floor activation/relaxation and reducing guarding tendencies in relation to pain.
It is best to master diaphragmatic breathing in your first trimester so it is easier to carry over as your pregnancy progresses and there becomes less room to expand through your diaphragm. However, if you’re past your first trimester, it is not too late to begin this method of breathing! Diaphragmatic breathing can be essential during the laboring process in order to help your core work together to get baby out. You can also practice this breathing in multiple different positions, especially as baby continues to grow and certain positions become more difficult.
Let’s face it, as baby continues to grow, we definitely start to feel restrictions throughout our body. Our mid back mobility is one of these areas that tends to take a hit, especially as our core weakens due to belly expansion. Maintaining mid back mobility is important for reducing possible aches and pains, but also to assist your core and PF to function at their best.
Try this thoracic foam rolling exercise to maintain mobility and reduce areas of tension.
Strength through Stability
Maintaining strength during pregnancy is essential as your body adapts and begins to carry a heavier load than it’s used to. It is also important to begin to strengthen for all those postpartum baby tasks. It can also be due to weakness or muscle imbalances that you may be experiencing pubic symphysis or SIJ pain.
Our hamstrings are often a muscle group that is neglected or not addressed typically. This group of muscles assists in maintaining good pelvic positioning, especially as baby continues to pull our pelvis forward, and are important to maintain a good balance of muscle firing. Try this simple hamstring strengthening exercise.
It is important to begin to engrain proper body mechanics prior to baby arriving. One posture you will find yourself performing multiple times throughout the day is bending at the waist to perform different tasks (ie: changing diapers, picking up baby, kneeling at the bath tub, the list goes on). Mastering a hip hinging technique will recruit the correct muscles to save your back.
Here is a video demonstrating the proper ways to perform a hip hinge to apply to your new everyday tasks!