Prenatal Movement: A Simple Morning Routine
By Brittany Zis PT, DPT
Pregnancy changes our bodies in so many ways; it’s a beautiful and amazing process. But as our bodies grow we become proportioned differently, changing our center of gravity. Simultaneously, we produce relaxin, a hormone that makes us more lax. While this is all for good reason, to be able to grow and birth our precious little miracles, these changes have the potential to lead to pain and discomfort. Moving our bodies is an important way to keep our joints healthy, our muscles strong, and prevent pain such as neck, low back, hip, pelvic, knee, and ankle pain during pregnancy. Making it a habit to start your day with movement is so beneficial for working out the stiffness that comes after a night of sleep. When we start our day with movement, we prime our joints and tissues to handle the stress our bodies go through throughout the day. Movement really is medicine!
I love to start my mornings with a cup of warm (not cold) water and a gentle movement flow to lubricate my joints as well as stretch and activate my muscles. Afterwards, my body feels refreshed and ready to handle my daily activities. Moms and moms-to-be, you owe it to your body to nurture it with movement too! Try this routine to nurture your body and jump start your day!
*For all seated exercises, sit on a soft surface such as a meditation pillow or folded blanket.*
First Sequence - Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.
1. Left Lateral Trunk Elongation
2. Right Lateral Trunk Elongation
3. Overhead Reach
4. Right Gentle Seated Twist
(*all twists should be gentle during pregnancy)
5. Left Gentle Seated Twist
Second Sequence - Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.
Gentle Right Hip
Flexor Stretch with Overhead Reach
2. Lunge with a Twist -
Left Foot Forward
3. Gentle Left Hip
Flexor Stretch with
4. Lunge with a Twist -
Right Foot Forward
Third Sequence - Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.
Malasana (Garland Pose)
2. Wide-stance Forward Fold (straight from Malasana)
*Avoid if you tend to become dizzy with head-down activities during pregnancy*
Fourth Sequence - Flow through 3-5 times.
Puppy Pose - Hold 2-3 breaths.
2. Bird Dog - Hold 1-2 breaths.
Switch arm and leg. Alternate 5 times.
Brittany Zis is a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband, Andrew, are expecting their first child in June of 2019. Brittany is passionate about women's health and wellness through all stages of life, especially prenatal and postnatal. Brittany strives to teach women how to care for themselves through these crucial stages in life through movement and exercise, nutrition, and self-care practices.
Her goal is to share tips that can be easily incorporated into busy family life to help women reach their highest potential of health and wellness.
You can find Brittany's tips shared regularly at @dr.brittany_pt on Instagram.