Low Back Pain in Pregnancy? 3 Habits to Shift for relief!

Whether you are newly pregnant or very pregnant you have likely reported having “low back pain” and if not, let’s keep it that way! During your 1st & 3rd trimesters the body releases surges of hormones in preparation for upcoming shifts. Specifically the hormones Progesterone & Relaxin who are responsible for softening tissue & ligaments surrounding your pelvis. Therefore, you may be at risk for joint instability. Specifically the SI Joints, which most of you will report feeling pain on one side of the low back. 

Before purchasing a belly band or seeing a chiropractor, make an effort to shift your daily habits to maintain pelvic balance.

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Picture the back of you pelvis (your sacrum) as a triangle pointing downwards towards your tail bone. Your goal, to maintain balance of your pelvis so as not to impose stress on your now more sensitive pelvic joints.

#1. Uncross your legs!

I know that may sound impossible but it is essential! Think of your sacrum (triangle), when you cross your legs you are tipping your pelvis and placing more stress on one SI joint. With repetition the stress to this joint causes the surrounding muscles to spasm and overwork to correct. Thus leaving you with low back pain usually on one side. Sitting with both feet on the ground will feel weird at first, but trust me, your pelvis will thank you!

#2. Sit down when taking shoes and pants on and off.

It is a true balancing act to stand on one leg while putting on pants and shoes, especially when pregnant and your center of gravity is shifting. Likely you start with the same leg 1st out of habit. On top of the challenge to not fall over…think about your sacrum (triangle) and think about the wear and tear your joint gets from this very unstable habit. I like to prescribe the “Mr.Rogers Method” Sit down, take your time, and maintain balance in your pelvis. 

#3. Activate your butt while walking.

Many of the shifts in your pregnant body will create imbalance favoring the front side of your body often letting our backsides fall asleep (flat booty). Your glute muscles are some of your biggest supporters when it comes to pelvic stability and you need them to fire up. We all spend a good part of our day walking though it’s likely you are not using you butt muscles to help you move forward. Therefore, your sacrum (triangle) is lacking muscular support for its joints. Your mission, when walking, engage your booty with each step by grounding through your heels as you step. Especially going up stairs, no tip toes!

Now its not that you should NEVER cross your legs or stand on one foot or go on you tip toes. My message to you is that repetition of these mindless habits, sitting, walking and getting dressed are making a huge impact on your posture and how you feel in your body. As a culture we are quick to blame pregnancy and spread the message that it is painful and that low back pain is the norm. 

It’s time for a shift, in habits and perspective.  Pregnancy is A Wellness!


Why you should “Train” for Pushing during Childbirth?

train (v.) -teach a person a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.

Popular belief about the “nature” of childbirth and that “ it just happens” leads many families unprepared and uneducated for what lies ahead. While you don’t need to clock-in for a shift everyday to grow your baby, there are many behaviors you can implement and practice to ease your journey. 

My passion for birth work with my experience in exercise has landed me as The Fit Doula.

Here are my top 3 reasons why mothers should train to push!

1. Childbirth is an Major Athletic Event!

We train for most athletic events we set out to do, often for months on end, why not train for the physical and emotional demands of pushing your baby out of you body. And remember proper training sets you up for proper recovery and injury prevention. 

2. Body Literacy! 

The more you can learn about you body and how the muscles and bones in your pelvis function during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum the more educated birth experience you will have. There are specific muscle groups in your body that need to prepare to push your baby into the world. 

3. Pelvic Floor Preservation!

The musculature of the pelvic floor is the gateway for your baby during the pushing stage of labor. We must learn where those muscles are and how to activate them through a full range of motion. By doing so you can mitigate tearing & episiotomies and possibly shorten the time you spend pushing.

During pregnancy your body shifts into a training mode itself, including an increase in blood flow, lung capacity and the ability to dissipate heat! Training for childbirth and pushing should include: diaphragmatic breathing exercises, pelvic floor exercises, strength training and cardio intervals, rest and speaking with your care provider about standards of care.

Ready to train?


3 Ways to keep Moving when you get to the Hospital

Whether you’re in active labor or trying to get things going, keeping your body moving during labor is fundamental. Movement is an essential tool for pain relief and relaxation. As you change positions, you and baby work together to navigate the birth canal.

Below are three ways to keep your body moving throughout labor once you get to the hospital. The key is to follow your intuition and be creative.

1. Dance with your IV pole: Your caregiver will likely suggest you receive fluids intravenously (IV) to prevent dehydration. This should not limit your freedom to move; stand up, sway, squat and dance with the pole. You can even bring a portable speaker with your favorite tunes to inspire movement and rhythm.

2. Spend time on the ”Labor ThroneAKA the toilet: Emptying your bladder and bowels during labor will help make way for baby. In addition, I encourage you to spend some additional time on the toilet as you labor through contractions. It is a great place to hang out, it puts you in an upright position and encourages your pelvic floor to relax. If you are comfortable there, there is no reason to leave.

3. Bring a birth ball: If you don’t have a birth ball yet, Get one! It may seem excessive to bring in a cab but trust me you will be happy you did. Just deflate it a little and your partner can re-pump at hospital.  There are lots of ways to use the ball to get your body in positions of rest & relief and to promote progress:

-Try sitting on the ball and swaying your hips side to side & front to back, either upright or rest  your head on pillows on the bed. (adjust bed height to accommodate)

- Kneel on the bed and rest your upper body on the ball relaxing shoulders.

  • Place ball on bed and lean over it, swaying lower body. 

When buying a birth ball size is important. A ball with a 65cm diameter is best for a woman of average height (63-70 inches). A much shorter woman may require a 55cm ball, and a much taller woman may require a 75cm ball. If you are planning to have an epidural get your self a peanut shaped ball, these are great to keep your hips open and support your legs in various positions.

Movement during labor is the best comfort technique for pain relief and labor progress.  

When a position is working stay with it and have your birth team support you and remind you. And when it no longer helpful, change it up. sometimes moving positions can re adjust your mental space, which is just an influential as the physical.

Your Pregnancy is a Wellness, your Body is Wise, Trust Yourself & MOVE!