As you are reading this blog now you are probably feeding your bub or hunched over is some strange position doing the Mum thing! … (cue sit up straight). But if not, your probably know you put your body in all sorts of position to get through the day
Baby on one hip, picking up toys with your toes, reaching into the centre of the car to do up seat belts and lugging around kids ‘stuff’.
You can quickly see how mother hood can take its toll on your body. This can manifest through sore muscles, joint pain, head aches, near falls and muscles imbalances.
Now its never as simple as just ‘sit up straight’. Because if your muscles aren’t strong enough to hold you in that position for the rest of the day, they will get tired and you will move back a position for poorer posture.
So two things we can do here. 1, Modify your Mum moves & 2, Strengthen & stretch your body
Lets Modify your Mum Moves
- Are you standing like you are still pregnant?
Do you know a better way to stand? Stand with your weight through the heel of your foot, so your toes are loose. Weight should be even through both feet, ie not popping hip out to one side. Pelvis tucked under slightly but with a relaxed bottom. Chest tall but not with your ribs popping up, keep these tucked down and chin tucked in
- Switch it up
If you are one side dominant you may find that you always carry your child or hand bag on one particular side/hip. This will make one side very strong. If the muscles all on one side of your spine are strong you can see how this will quickly throw out your spinal posture… potentially leading to pain or head aches.
Try switching side this week by carrying your bag/child on the other side. The goal is to become more ambidextrous to promote balanced strength in the body
- Move like you’re in the gym at home
It is rare that people hurt themselves (I know it does happen) at the gym or a class because they have the instructor them reminding to use their body properly. And you are more conscious about how to move your body with better technique
But when we get home we try to grab things quickly and don’t always have that same level of body awareness. People often hurt themselves doing very every day things because they were being ‘lazy’ with their technique.
So if you are hanging out washing, picking up boxes/toys and other general movements, try and move through these like I am watching. Yes me, Philippa, telling your to brace your core & bend your knees
Point 2. Strengthen & Stretch
You really need to get to a Pre/Postnatal class to make sure you are getting specific exercises that will help you correct your form and be strong through the mum moves… Yes you can tone your body so that you don’t hurt yourself when picking up toys with your toes. CLICK HERE to view our current timetable
But in brief when it comes to main elements of your posture, normally our chest is tight and upper back muscles are over stretched. This is from being in that hunched forward position holding babies/children/breastfeeding/reaching.
So you need to stretch your chest muscles & strengthen your upper back muscles so discover that muscles balance. Take opportunities when you are relaxing, watching tv or doing tummy time with your baby to enjoy a full body stretch.
Also balance based exercises where you have weight on one side of your body, eg just doing a right handed dumbbell curl with prepare you for mother hood. Of course you will still do both sides. You may even notice that one side is much more dominant than the other.
Your core is like a cube. It has 6 sides. Each side needs to be equally strong for it to remain balanced & stable. If you have a weak pelvic floor this may not just manifest in continence issues but could show up as back pain. So include pre/postnatal approved core exercises that strengthen all 6 sides of your core.
Wishing you a balance & strong week
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Founder of Nurtured Fitness
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