Posture & Sleeping
- Good posture reduces fatigue.
- While waiting/standing in line, shift weight to forward foot to rest.
- When reaching for a low sink or tub, bend knees and lean forward at hips.
- When climbing stairs, put your whole foot on each step.
- Lying on your back
You may lie on your back early in pregnancy, before the uterus grows large enough to place pressure on your internal organs. Support your head with one or more pillows if you wish, especially if you experience shortness of breath, lower back pain, or rib pressure. Place the top pillow lengthwise to support your shoulders and your head. Place a pillow or folded blanket under your thighs to help relieve back pressure; do not place it under your knees because it may impede circulation. Relax your legs and feet so that they roll outward slightly. Rotating one leg so that the knee points outward may help relieve back pain. Rest your hands on your thighs or on the bed and bend your elbows slightly.
- Lying on your side
The following steps describe lying on your left side, but you may lie on either side. Support your head — but not your shoulders — with one or more pillows. (During the third trimester, place another pillow or a folded towel under your abdomen). Rest your right arm on your hip. If your left arm becomes numb, place a rolled blanket or folded pillow lengthwise against your back and lean gently against it, relieving some of the pressure on your arm. Flex your knees and keep them together. Place a pillow between your knees, it necessary, to help relieve back pain.
- Lying in the supported front position
This position is similar to the side-lying position but may be more comfortable as pregnancy advances. You may lie on either side. Place one or more pillows diagonally under your head, right breast, and right shoulder. Extend your left arm behind you and your right arm and leg in front, allowing your abdomen to be supported by the bed (place a small pillow or folded towel beneath it, if necessary). If you have back or abdominal discomfort, try placing a pillow under your right leg.
When sitting, keep your back straight and use your leg muscles to lower yourself onto the seat. Slide back in the chair. Sit tall with your weight distributed evenly. Your back, buttocks, and shoulders should be supported by the back of the chair. Place your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool. Let your legs relax and your knees separate naturally. Do not cross your legs, which can interfere with circulation. Let your arms rest on the chair arms and in your lap. To rise, slide forward and lift yourself with your leg muscles, using your arms for support. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning forward.