Amatsu after pregnancy – restoring natural balance

Mother and child:

It is important to recognize the profound physical changes a woman’s body goes through throughout pregnancy and childbirth, as we celebrate the amazing journey of parenting. The need to maintain excellent posture throughout this extraordinary time is one sometimes disregarded component that demands our attention.

Most mothers prioritize taking care of the infant after giving birth, frequently at the expense of their own bodies and health. In addition, many of the things a new parent performs for a baby include holding the baby on one side, cradling the baby, and adopting a protective attitude, all of which can be bad for posture. Additionally, moving the car seat into a vehicle is a challenging, awkward, and imbalanced process.

Additionally, the body is frequently exhausted from carrying the child for nine months, while also having to deal with the necessary recovery after a vaginal delivery or a C section. In addition, ligaments have relaxed, which could negatively affect joints, and hormones need to be controlled. All this, while suffering from sleep deprivation and fatigue impact on the health of the mother. While understandably, the babies needs for medical treatment frequently take precedence over those of the moms, it is crucial to assist all moms in returning their bodies to their natural balance and posture following the delivery of a baby, in light of the busy job ahead. It is crucial to teach the body and the new mother how to recognize and adopt appropriate posture.

Why is good posture crucial for new mothers?

Spinal alignment:

By maintaining good posture, you can align your spine and lessen your chance of experiencing strain and back pain. Maintaining good posture help the spine’s natural curve and reduce stress on it after childbirth, when the body may still be recuperating. Reference: Claus, A.P., Hides, J.A., Moseley, G.L., & Hodges, P.W. (2011). Different ways to balance the spine: subtle changes in sagittal spinal curves affect regional muscle activity. Spine, 36(4), E267-E274

Stability and core strength:

The muscles in the abdomen might become weak during pregnancy and childbirth. A healthy posture, can help the belly and pelvic region regain its strength and stability. Proper posture, including maintaining an aligned pelvis, aids in activating and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Reference: Gluppe, S.L., Hilde, G., Tennfjord, M.K., Salvesen, K., & Mørkved, S. (2017). Associations between pelvic floor muscle function and activity limitations in postpartum women. Physical Therapy, 97(6), 631- 640.

Support for breastfeeding:

It’s important for new mothers who breastfeed to observe their posture while doing so in order to prevent strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. This can be achieved by sitting up straight and using cushions or a nursing chair to support the back and changing positions. Reference: Garg, K., & Manchanda, S. (2017). Effect of breastfeeding on maternal posture. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 11(7), KC01- KC04.

Energy and mood:

Proper posture allows for optimal blood flow and oxygenation, which can help boost energy levels and enhance mood. After giving birth, when sleep deprivation and fatigue are common, maintaining good posture can contribute to increased alertness and a
more positive mindset. Reference: Wilkes, C., Kydd, R., Sagar, M., & Broadbent, E. (2017). Upright posture improves affect and fatigue in people with depressive symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, 143-149.

Overall physical comfort:

Proper body alignment is encouraged by good posture, which lowers the likelihood of musculoskeletal discomfort such neck pain, shoulder tightness, and hip  pain.For new mothers who might spend a lot of time carrying and caring for their infant, this is especially crucial.

Supporting Recovery after a Caesarean Section:

Maintaining an upright posture, avoiding slouching or hunching, can help alleviate strain on the incision site and support the healing process. By being mindful of posture, new mothers can promote optimal circulation, reduce discomfort, and aid in a smoother recovery.

Delayed Wound Healing:

Poor posture can lead to increased pressure on the incision site, effecting blood flow and delaying healing. Prolonged sitting or slouching can put unnecessary strain on the incision, potentially leading to delayed wound healing.

Improved Breathing and Energy Levels:

Good posture allows for optimal lung expansion and proper diaphragmatic breathing, enhancing oxygen intake and circulation. This can increase energy levels, improve mood, and reduce feelings of fatigue commonly experienced in the postpartum period. Reference: (Ko, K.M., Ma, S.J., & Yook, T.H. (2019). Effects of deep breathing exercises on postpartum fatigue and sleep in postpartum women: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Nursing 28(9-10), 1709-1717).

Enhanced Body Image and Confidence:

Good posture can positively impact body image and self-confidence post-pregnancy. Standing tall and aligning the body properly promotes a sense of poise, self-assurance, and body acceptance, contributing to improved overall well- being. Reference: Rudolph, M., Khoo, S., & Baur, L.A. (2016). Postural alignment in women with obesity and the immediate effect of a high-heeled shoe. Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy, 40(1), 17-24.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:

After childbirth, poor posture can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. Incorrect alignment and postural habits can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Reference: Luginbuehl, H., Greter, K., & Schindler, M. (2017). Does posture influence pelvic floor muscle activity? International Urogynecology Journal, 28(1), 115-122.

Reduced Pain and Discomfort:

Maintaining good posture can help alleviate common postpartum discomforts, such as back pain and muscle tension. Proper alignment of the spine and pelvis reduces strain on the supporting structures, promoting pain relief and facilitating the healing process. Reference: Johnson, A.L., Suckling, J.A. (1996). Effect of the resting posture on intradiscal pressure in the lumbar spine. Spine, 21(22), 2640-2643

Diastasis Recti:

Diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy and may persist postpartum. Poor posture can exacerbate this condition by putting additional strain on the weakened abdominal muscles, making it harder for them to
heal properly. Reference: Sperstad, J.B., Tennfjord, M.K., Hilde, G.,  Ellström-Engh, M. (2016). Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(17), 1092-1096.

Amatsu Therapy

Finally, adopting proper posture is a simple yet effective action new mothers can do to support their physical and emotional wellbeing. We can encourage healing, ease discomfort, and improve overall recovery from childbirth by putting posture first. Let’s keep in mind to take care of ourselves as we take care of our children to ensure a happy and healthy transition into motherhood. Remember to listen to your body’s cues and take breaks when needed. If you experience persistent pain and discomfort, consult with your GP.
An amatsu therapist addresses the body realignment issues after birth and can help new mothers optimize their posture and overall well-being.

Lynda Haran
Amatsu Therapist

Collection & Use of Personal Information

By submitting your data, you are providing us with some level of personal information. This information is not stored on our website database. However, in order to respond to your enquiry, your data is emailed to our website’s email address where it is saved. Additionally, we may use your contact details to send you marketing material in the future. You may unsubscribe from any emails you receive following our first reply. We do not pass your data on to any third parties.