Natural Relief for the Common Discomforts of Pregnancy
By Dr. Donohoe
Before this column delves into the conditions that affect children and how chiropractic and other natural healing methods can enhance their well being, I think we should give some special attention to the ones who make it all happen, the pregnant moms. Over the next couple of months I intend to discuss how to address some of the more common discomforts that this unique population may have to deal with. Much of the information I will share here comes from the booklet by Carl Jones of the same title. It is published as part of the Keats Good Health Guide, The Women's Self-Care Library.
Pregnancy, though a wonderful experience comparable to no other (from what I hear), can take a toll on the mom-to-be.During pregnancy women are more likely to experience a myriad of symptoms occurring throughout the 40 weeks they carry their developing infant. Some occur early and last a short time, others occur late and last what seems like forever.First, let's cover some of the basics. Pay close attention to these recommendations and minimize the effects of many of the other common discomforts.
Standing, Sitting and Lying Down Comfortably
- Standing - "Think Tall and Proud". Tilt your pelvis back to prevent your heavy uterus from angling forward and putting excess stretch on the abdominal muscles as well as compressing the lumbar region in an exaggerated curvature. Tighten your belly and tuck in your buttocks. Think of carrying your baby in the pelvis and not in front of you.
- Sitting - Try to sit with your back straight and your pelvis square with your shoulders. Always maintain some curvature in the lumbar spine. This will often require using a support cushion or small pillow behind you when you sit. It should press into the small of your back and provide a lifting sensation. When arising, slide to the edge of the chair, lean forward and lift yourself to a standing position using your legs. Taylor sitting allows the uterus to lean away from the spine and can relieve pressure on the back.
Lying Down - Your options include choices from 3 primary positions.
Supine (flat on your back) - place a pillow under your knees to flatten your back and try to raise your feet above the level of your heart to increase circulation and prevent varicose veins and swelling.
Semi-reclining - Use pillows to raise your head and shoulders to about a 30 degree angle. Place pillows under your knees/thighs for comfort.
Side-lying - Support you head with a pillow that keeps your neck in line with the rest of your spine.Slightly bend your knees and keep them together with a pillow between them. Use a pillow under your belly to prevent forward rotation of the pelvis and a strain on your back.