3 Pregnant Body Alignment Techniques

3 Pregnant Body Alignment Techniques

3 Pregnant Body Alignment Techniques

Supporting pain free pregnancy through proper body alignment

Many times when patients come to us while pregnant we wonder can I really help? (YES! You really can!). Isn’t pain in pregnancies normal? (NO, it is not!). Supporting alignment in the pregnant body is an essential component to a pain free pregnancy.

3 Alignment Techniques

During pregnancy, changes in the body’s center of gravity can cause alterations in posture and alignment or can exacerbate imbalances already present. Misalignment in the boy may contribute to pain and discomfort in various parts of the pregnant body. An essential component of providing effective care for expectant mothers is to assess alignment in the pelvis, spine and shoulders. In my labor prep sessions, I address these 3 main areas when assessing the pregnant body to help my client feel good in their body and prepare for the best birth possible.

1. Pelvic Alignment

Assessing pelvic alignment is a critical alignment technique for the pregnant body. During pregnancy, the pelvis can tilt forward or backward, leading to changes in the curvature of the spine and the position of the hips. To assess pelvic alignment, begin by observing the client’s standing posture from the front, back, and side:

What is the position of the ASIS to the pubic bone?

Is it inline, in front or behind? If the ASIS is in front of the pubic bone the patient has an anterior pelvic tilt. This position will make it harder for the baby to enter the inlet of the pelvis during pregnancy. If the ASIS is behind the pubic bone the client is in a posterior pelvic tilt. This will decrease the room at the outlet of the pelvis during the final stages of labor.

Can the pelvis move?

Check range of motion of the femur in the acetabulum as well as the lumbar spine in relation to pelvis. Can they move independently? Where there is a loss of motion, it indicates a dysfunction.

Focus your treatment on restoring motion through mobilization in supine or side lying and exercise. Remember from the 2023 Birth Healing Summit talk that sometimes you need to take the person into the restriction to have a release happen.

2. Spinal Alignment

To assess spinal alignment, begin by observing the client’s standing posture from the side, looking for any exaggerated curves in the lower back (lordosis) or rounding of the upper back (kyphosis). An increase in lordosis is usually correlated with a rib cage thrust. If your client is leaning on her belly it is a sign of kyphosis. Can your client’s spine move into flexion and extension in the lumbar and thoracic area. Limitations in spinal mobility or asymmetry in the curvature of the spine may indicate imbalances that need to be addressed either manually or with exercises. Try quadruped cat-cow to restore motion.

3. Shoulder Alignment

Changes in posture during pregnancy can lead to rounding of the shoulders and elevation of the shoulder complex. To assess shoulder alignment, observe the client’s standing posture from the front and side. Cues include how far is the arm handing in front or to the side of the body. Is one shoulder substantially higher than the other? You can also assess shoulder alignment by evaluating the client’s shoulder range of motion, particularly in flexion and abduction.

Be sure to look for motion in the rib cage (the lifting of the rib cage) when the client is raising her arms into flexion. If the rib cage lifts there is a limitation. A great exercise for addressing this is use a yoga strap. Create a slight abduction moment through the strap and begin to lift it up over head from waist level. When the rib cage lifts that is the end of the rage. Repeat with arms at different widths from each other. This will slowly help improve range along with other stretches and exercises.

Improving shoulder mobility and strength will help postpartum when mom is carrying her baby or having to breastfeed.

Guiding the Pregnant Body

These are just 3 of the areas to assess on your clients during pregnancy. Give it a try and see what you find. Remember there are a lot of changes happening in the pregnant body.

Stacking is ideal, but never force a change

Work towards it in increments. There is a reason there is an imbalance present. Forcing corrections usually only cause further issues. Incremental changes will be necessary. Use your knowledge of exercise to allow the body to remember its range. It will increase the likelihood of it being able to move into a more neutral alignment.

Assessment and Treatment Techniques for the Pregnant Body

Learning how to assess and treat the pregnant body can help your clients have smoother births and quicker recoveries. The Holistic Treatment of the Pregnant Body is offered as a LIVE or ONLINE self-paced course and is full of information and treatment techniques that will help you treat pregnant clients with confidence.

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