Congratulations! You are pregnant!
Pregnancy is a journey that will fill you full of excitement, worry, hope, anxiety, delight, anticipation, love... and many, many more emotions over the nine months until you meet your baby.
Luckily, the majority of women sail through their pregnancies. But the reality is that many changes will happen to your body as your pregnancy progresses to full term. Most of these changes are perfectly normal, and all part of being pregnant. However not everybody responds to these changes in the same way. No two pregnant women have the same experience, and indeed each of your own pregnancies will not be the same. Your personal circumstances can affect how your body responds to pregnancy related changes, such as the type of job you have, whether you have been pregnant before, or if you have a past history of injury.
Over the next few months, I will detail the most common physical changes your body will go through, how these changes may manifest in day to day life, and the ways you can adapt to these changes and modify your lifestyle if needed. Sometimes these changes can cause some aches, such as pelvic pain. I will try to help you recognise what is normal and when you should consult your GP, obstetrician or Chartered Physiotherapist (who specialises in pregnancy care) for help.
Common problems that I see in the clinic include postural changes of the neck and rounded shoulders from enlarged breasts, widening of the rib cage as bumps push up in the later stages, forward pelvic tilting as a bump gets larger, loosening of ligaments in the 3rd trimester, and stretching of the pelvic floor muscles which happens even before giving birth. These changes are felt to varying degrees by pregnant women and can make it hard to sleep, affect how you sit, work or drive for longer periods of time and can even throw you off balance. And this is all normal!
The most important thing to remember, is if you have concerns while pregnant, to report them to your GP or obstetrician. Do not suffer in silence. If in doubt, get it checked out. Not all aches and pains are part of being pregnant and it is important to resolve any issues that are affecting your ability to go about your daily business, asap. Don’t leave it until the baby is born, you’ll have enough to do then!
Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor