Antenatal


How Can I Help Myself

Lifestyle Changes

Rest
Take regular breaks from activities and avoid being in one position for too long.

Walking
Wear supportive footwear, use a rucksack (rather than a handbag on one side), try shortening your stride length and decrease your speed. Many women avoid walking for long distances as their main form of exercise as it can sometimes make their pain worse. Try other activities such as ante-natal yoga, ante-natal pilates, or swimming (avoiding breast stroke if it worsens your pain).

Getting into a Car
Sit first and then bring your legs in to the car. To get out: place both feet outside of the car and use your arms to push you upwards. Try to keep your knees together as you move them in and out of the car (rather than moving one leg at a time).

Sleeping
Avoid lying on your back. It is better to lie on your side (either left or right side). Place a pillow between your legs (one pillow between your knees and ankles) when sleeping on your side. When turning over in bed, keep your knees together, keeping the pillow in place. Try and squeeze in your pelvic floor, squeeze your buttocks together, tuck your bump in (as if trying to make it look smaller) as you move from one side to the other.

When getting out of bed, roll onto your side, drop your feet off the edge of the bed and then use your arms to push you into a sitting position. When getting into bed, sit first, then move sideways until your head is on the pillow, then bring your feet up onto the bed.

Avoiding Pain

Where possible, avoid activities that make the pain worse. This may include:

  • Positions where your legs are twisted, or pressure is going through your legs unevenly (e.g. standing on one leg, standing with weight going through just one leg, crossing your legs, sitting in a twisted position).
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Lifting heavy weights (e.g. shopping bags, wet washing, vacuum cleaners and toddlers)
  • Vacuuming or pushing heavy objects (e.g. supermarket trolleys, overloaded pushchairs)
  • Carrying anything in only one hand, or on one side of the body (e.g. a toddler on one hip).

What Exercises Can I Do?