Enhancing Your Comfort During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a natural process in life that can be enjoyed in good health. Everyday activities continue, but you may have some concerns and discomforts that are common to most pregnant women. Some of these are due to the increase in your hormone levels, and others are due to physical changes in your body.

This information can help you be more comfortable, and sometimes safer, during your pregnancy.

Overall - Avoid standing, sitting, or lying in any one position for any long period of time.

Lying Down - Lying on your back is safe, and probably most comfortable, only early in your pregnancy. Position one pillow so it supports both your head and shoulders, and place another under your thighs. Slightly bend your elbows, and let your knees relax and your legs and feet roll outward.

Posture - For correct standing posture, keep your feet parallel, with weight evenly distributed. Let arms fall naturally at your sides, and keep knees straight but not locked. Tighten your abdomen, pulling in and up, and tuck your buttocks in. Keep your head erect, shoulder level and back straight.

Carrying - Maintain correct posture when carrying anything, and be sensitive to loads that may be too heavy. Divide packages in half to balance their weight. When possible, use two bags with handles to distribute the weight evenly.

Lifting - Avoid lifting as much as possible. Do not bend at the waist to pick something up. This puts too much stress on your back. If lifting is necessary, place one foot forward, keeping it flat on the floor, and lower yourself to the other knee. Then bring the object close to you and rise slowly and carefully.

Bending - Bend knees and slowly lower yourself to a squatting position while you hold onto something stable. Keep your feet and knees well apart and your back straight. Slowly rise, using your leg muscles, while holding on to the stable object.

Clothing - Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Especially avoid wearing tight bras, belts, garters, pantie girdles, and knee socks or hose with tight elastic at the top.

Wear a good, well-fitted maternity bra to support your breast and to help prevent backache. Cotton undergarments can help keep the skin outside your vagina dry and free of irritation from any vaginal discharge.

Wear well-fitting shoes, paying special attention to the width and arch support. Select low-heeled shoes to avoid putting any extra stress on your back at a time when it's supporting your increased weight and changed shape.

Reprinted with permission from Her Healthcare.