Maintaining solid postural balance can be difficult during pregnancy and potentially result in serious consequences for both mother and unborn baby.
The Connection between Balance and Pregnancy
Achieving and maintaining a steady balance is a major undertaking that requires the proper function of numerous systems in the body.
However, in expecting women, balance can be a challenge for a variety of reasons that include:
- Bodily Alterations – It is no secret that, as pregnancy progresses, the belly of the soon-to-be mother grows. Excess weight and expanded frame could place added pressure on particular and unexpected muscles and bones. This shift may result in injuries that trigger problems with balance.
- Hormonal Fluctuations – The bodies of expecting women secrete increased levels of numerous hormones. One such chemical is called relaxin. This substance’s primary purpose is to prepare the reproductive organs for pregnancy and the eventual birthing process. The chemical is also known to loosen internal structures like muscles and bones. If levels of relaxin are especially heightened, this can cause expecting women to become more susceptible to potentially dangerous falls.
- In some cases, women may experience what is medically referred to as ligament laxity. This condition involves the loosening of joints, which are soft tissue structures that connect muscles and bones. This malady can induce significant physical discomfort, as well as cause potentially serious balance issues.
- Transient Dizziness – Most expecting women experience short-lived periods of vertigo. Doctors and researchers believe that common causes include added stress and strain on the body as well as rapid hormonal fluctuations. Sometimes, the entire room or environment may feel like it’s spinning a mile a minute. Even during mild occurrences, dizziness can prevent you from standing or walking steadily.
Arguably, the most dangerous consequence of imbalance in expecting women is the increased risk for falls. Even falls that only yield minor injuries at the start could have major repercussions. Any type of physical injury could greatly challenge mobility, which could result in her gaining more weight and experiencing numerous physical and internal health issues that may threaten the health of her unborn child.
In the most severe cases, serious falls, such as those that occur down a flight of stairs, could lead to miscarriage.
Fortunately, expecting women may be able to overcome equilibrium issues and avoid potentially dangerous falls by adhering to specific practices such as:
- Performing Muscle-Strengthening Exercises – Stronger and limber muscles and bones render the body fit and better able to maintain adequate balance. Soon-to-be mothers should focus on exercises and stretches that strengthen the hips and legs in order to prevent falls. However, they should consult with their doctors before beginning any specific exercise regiment.
- Engaging In Balance-Stimulating Activities – Many exercise regiments that improve balance have been created specifically for expecting mothers, but only she and her doctor can choose the one that would be safest and most beneficial for her. That said, practices like yoga and Pilates are recommended as balance-enhancing methods.
- Avoiding as Much Excess Weight as Possible – Naturally, would-be moms will gain weight as their term progresses. That said, they can avoid unnecessary girth by consuming a healthy diet low on unhealthy fats and junk food. Additionally, proper diets can help avoid blood sugar fluctuations that might precipitate transient incidents of dizziness that may cause them to lose balance.
- Obtaining Adequate Rest – Getting enough sleep is critical to enabling the body to rest properly. Individuals who do not obtain at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night stand at risk of developing illness or experiencing diminished cognitive functions. Any of these circumstances might increase an expecting woman’s chances of sustaining a potentially serious fall.
Related Content: The Role of Protein During Pregnancy
Most women recognize that the foods they eat play a huge part in helping their child to grow in the uterus. The quality and composition of foods eaten during pregnancy is just as important as the amount of food eaten. Protein is particularly useful because it helps to form new cells and build the body of the fetus.