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prenatal exercise

The #1 tip I give ALL my pregnant clients....

Every week, I meet pregnant ladies of all shapes and sizes. Some are glowing, and blossoming, and full of energy. Some are swollen and exhausted and aching, and feeling a little bit 'over' it all! Most, however, are a mixture of the two, depending on the day. Whichever best describes you, I'm sure you have days where you get home, and you are aching: hips, back, shoulders, knees, feet.... Your body is telling you it is tired, and needs to rest!

Some days, you just want to hide away....

Some days, you just want to hide away....

Lots of pregnant women end up at physios, chiros, massage therapists, or elsewhere, seeking relief for aches during pregnancy. For the women I see at bodyBEgood, there is one simple tip I like to give...

Ladies, the BEST thing you can put on your growing pregnant body, is:

 

a decent pair of shoes!

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Yes, you might have gotten away with 6 inch stilettos for the last 10 years without any issues!

Yes, you might own ballet flats in every colour, and have never felt anything but joy when you wear them!

But right now, your poor, pregnant feet are at the bottom of the weight-bearing chain, and every day they deal with increasing pressure bearing down on them. Remember that hormone Relaxin that is pumping through your body, loosening your joints to help during labour? It doesn't stop at your pelvis - it has 'loosened' your feet too. Your feet are spreading, and stretching, and trying to carry you and your baby all day... They can't do it alone. They need support! They need love!

Giving your feet the love that they need, means the rest of your body will thank you! Decent footwear will support the feet, which in turn will support the rest of those aching body parts. Good footwear is vital throughout your pregnancy!

So, when you're looking for decent shoes to carry you through these many months, here's my tips:

 

Give yourself some room:

  • Your feet may feel longer and wider during pregnancy, and if that is the case, give them a bit of breathing space. Going up half a shoe size during pregnancy is sometimes necessary.  Squeezing feet into shoes that feel too tight, is not doing your body any favours. 

  • And, once your bundle of joy has arrived, our friends at The Running Company Ballarat recommend getting refitted prior to getting back into exercise, as your foot shape may remain altered. 

 

Good support for your heel and arch

  • With the increasing weight your lovely feet have to carry, along with the increased laxity or 'looseness' through the foot, it is really important that you wear shoes with a good amount of support through the arch and heel. This support will decrease the ability of the foot to 'over-pronate', or roll in, which can put additional stress through the rest of the body.

  • And, whilst barefoot can feel lovely after a long day, try to minimise the time you spend walking barefoot too. Instead, keep a good pair of runners or other comfy, supportive shoes for use around the house. 

 

Easy to get on/ofF

  • For some pregnant ladies, the feet can be a loooooooong way down. Shoes that are easy to put on, and simple to kick off, can save you a lot of huffing and puffing and bending! 
 

Avoid 'high' heels

Pack those gorgeous heels away... just for a little while!

Pack those gorgeous heels away... just for a little while!

When pregnant, your increasing tummy causes your centre of gravity to move forwards, and wearing high heels can further exacerbate this. This can put extra pressure on your hips, knees and lower back. A slight heel is going to give your foot better support, but try to minimise how often you need to pull out your fancier heels. 

 

Seriously, put your feet up whenever you get the chance!!!

Seriously, put your feet up whenever you get the chance!!!

a few more tips...

  • Elevate your feet is swelling is an issue (lie back on the couch when you get home, and stack your feet up on some pillows). 
  • Try to avoid standing for extended periods of time. 
  • Not all 'good, supportive shoes' have to be hideous either! There are some great companies out there making shoes that your feet will love, that you wont be embarrassed to wear. Check out Frankie 4 for great shoes that don't look like what your Granny has in the cupboard!

And finally, if your aches and pains hang around despite following this great advice, please come and see our fabulous physio team for more help. You can click here to book online!

3 Tips to avoid Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy.

prenatal pilates ballarat

Pelvic pain, also called Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PPGP, can be a real 'pain' during pregnancy. PPGP usually refers to pain felt in the area low down at your front, around your pubic bone, but it can also be used to describe pain felt around the vagina, or lower back.  

Not all pregnant women will experience PPGP, and for those who do, it varies from slight discomfort, all the way up to an inability to weight-bear (think: crutches, bed rest, very frustrated, etc!).  

We don't really know why some women end up with this annoying issue and others don't, but those super smart experts suggest you are more likely to end up with PPGP if you have:

  • A history of back pain or pelvic pain
  • Previous trauma to pelvis/back; or
  • Previously had PPGP.

 

There's a few simple things you can do to help minimise your risk and/or reduce symptoms of PPGP. Have a read through these, and if you have any questions, please comment below!

 

1. Keep your knees together in bed.

No, this is not a sexual reference! Rolling over in bed is one activity that becomes a challenge for lots of women, sometimes very early in your pregnancy. This can be for several reasons, but one of them is often that it hurts around the pubic bone. 

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If you can manage to keep your knees gently pressed together when you roll over in bed, and when you get in/out of bed, you will put less 'stretching' load through the pubic joint, and likely experience less pain. 

 

2. Try not to sit with your legs crossed.

Sitting with your legs crossed is a habit for so many of us, and a hard one to break too! However, many sufferers of PPGP will find sitting cross legged exacerbates their symptoms - it's best to get yourself out of the 'crossing legs' habit as early in your pregnancy as possible. Try to sit with your weight evenly balanced between both sides, and remember to change positions very regularly (ie dont sit for more than 15 minutes at a time). 

 

3. Sit down to get dressed!

prenatal pilates ballarat body be good

Yes, this might make you feel like you've turned into a little old lady... But before you dismiss this suggestion, consider that when you stand with your weight entirely on one leg, you've just doubled the load going through that side of your pelvis. In a pregnant state, the ligaments around your pelvis are already under greater stress, so don't overload them! Park your butt back on the bed, unload your legs, and get your knickers, pants and socks on in a much easier way! Your pelvis will thank you for it!


Try these simple tips to help lessen the load upon your pelvis, and let us know if they help!

If you find you are continuing to struggle with PPGP, you can click here to book an appointment with our Physio at bodyBEgood - there's lots more we can do to help.