You don’t have to put up with pregnancy pain here are 5 common pregnancy pain myths busted.
Is pregnancy waddle inevitable? Will pregnancy wreck your body? and other pregnancy myths examined.
- Pregnancy will wreck your pelvic floor
It isn’t pregnancy that plays havoc with your pelvic floor, but the weight of a baby on an overtight pelvic floor, creating more pressure on your pelvic floor with unnecessary kegels, forced pushing during birth will all weaken and cause damage to your pelvic floor
Ensuring you get your pelvis aligned, create a yielding rather than overtight pelvic floor (so often avoiding kegels )keeping upright during labour and birth and allowing your body to push your baby out will keep your pelvic floor safe from damage.
- Pregnancy waddle is inevitable
If it was down to pregnancy then every women would adopt the ‘pregnancy waddle’. However a study1 shows that it is the alignment and gait habits that a woman has pre pregnancy that will dictate whether she has the pregnancy waddle.
Working on your alignment, regular calf stretches, hip and glute strengthening exercises and wearing low or no heeled shoes will help to keep you walking smoothly and gracefully.
- Your centre of gravity changes during pregnancy which causes foot, hip, pelvic, knee, back problems.
While pregnancy does give an extra mass, but our centre of gravity should stay the same as pre-pregnancy – that is in the centre of our pelvis. The main reason for this perceived change is a lack of muscle in the gluteals, hamstrings and calves. If you are moving and walking regularly then your glute, hams and claves will naturally strengthen in order to keep you balanced and stable. But as our lives are centred around sedentariness and convenience this doesn’t happen. Leaving us susceptible to pregnancy related issues that we believe are just a natural part of pregnancy.
- Hormones are the main cause of aches and pains in joints and there is nothing you can do about it.
Relaxin is a hormone that targets the ligaments, cartilage and smooth muscle – among other things it is responsible for helping the pelvis open at the pubic symphysis (the front of the pelvis) in order for your baby to move through to be born.
Relaxin doesn’t affect the muscles of the body. But what can happen is that if your alignment is off and you are tight and tense in areas and therefore unstable it can lead to pelvic pain, low back pain and joint instability.
Ensuring you are strengthening particularly around your pelvis will help to keep you pain free (pelvic list is a particularly good exercise for strengthening this area)
5. You don’t need to train for birth because it is a natural process
In a lifestyle where lots of different movements and regular walking is the norm then no it doesn’t need to be trained for. However, we live in sedentary society full of convenience rich items that hinder, reduce or eliminate most of our natural movements. This means we have overtight, weak muscles and alignment issues that prevent easy and smooth birth and often make pregnancy uncomfortable, So yes, we now need to train for birth, and that training needs to be specialised for birth just as you would choose specific training for whatever activity you want to do (you wouldn’t for example go cycling to prepare for swimming)
1 Wu W.,Meijer, O,. Lamoth, C,. Uegake, K., vanDieen, J., Wuisman, P., DeVries, J., & Beek, J. (2004). Gait coordination in pregnancy,: transverse pelvic and thoracic rotations and their relative phase. Clinical Biomeachanics, 19, 480-488
Rosie Dhoopun is a Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist, Pilates Teacher, Movement Teacher, Massage Therapist, Antenatal Teacher, Pregnancy Coach, Baby and Toddler Massage and Yoga Teacher.