Any woman who's been pregnant can attest that it is a highly uncomfortable state to be in, especially once the third trimester comes around. The growing belly places increasing stress on the spinal cord, getting to sleep can actually become a nightmare, your bowels go haywire, and ankles and feet swell to tree trunk proportions. Of course, some women out there (those lucky blessed few) sail through their pregnancy without a hitch. The rest of us, however, have to find other solutions in order to manage our discomfort.
Ergonomics may not help reduce symptoms like morning sickness and heartburn, nor can it help you stop craving pickles with chocolate, but it can help solve issues like sleeping comfortably, swollen ankles and feet, and spinal pain, so common during the third trimester. Once you sleep well and are in less pain during the working day, everything seems more bearable, even your baby playing a particularly vicious game of rugby in your belly.
Perhaps the most important thing to concentrate on at first is sleeping well. That lump isn't very comfortable by the third trimester. It is impossible to sleep on your belly, when you sleep on your side, your belly falls forward and sinks into the mattress (painful!), and you are left with one option: sleeping on your back. Less than 15% of people are able to fall asleep while lying on their back. Breathing passages are more likely to get clogged, causing snoring, which often wakes you up right after you fall asleep. Most people fall asleep on one side or the other.
The solution to this is a pregnancy pillow. Whether you need a full-body sleeping bean bag or a simple bed wedge, pregnancy pillows come in many shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Their purpose is to provide support for your belly and back during sleep, which eliminates most of the back pain involved from sleeping in a bad position. Cradle pillows are designed to support the neck, and pregnancy cradle pillows are designed to be placed under the belly while lying on your side for support. Full length body pillows support the neck, belly, and hips while lying on your side, placing your body in the best angle to sleep in. Placing a lumbar back support pillow under the small of your back when sleeping will provide the best support for your lower spine while sleeping on your back, which relieves the stress of all that extra belly weight carried during the day.
Legs, ankles, and feet are very susceptible to swelling during the third trimester of your pregnancy. Women who spend hours standing up while pregnant are twice as likely to have swollen ankles as women who sit down most of the day. During pregnancy, tired feet and ankles can be extremely stressful on the body. It can feel like a thousand throbbing drums are beating in your legs, and all you can do is dream about your couch or bed and lifting your legs for a very long time by the end of a long day.
To avoid tired feet and legs, use an anti fatigue mat at home and in the office. anti fatigue mats filled with special gel provide excellent support for your legs and feet, and are especially effective when you stand for a long period of time. Anti fatigue mats should relieve pressure on the lower body. This relief extends to the shoulders and neck, making the day much more bearable. Anti fatigue mats come in all shapes and forms, from mats that are dual purpose and remove dirt at entrances, to mats specifically designed for the hotel business, and mats designed to be placed under computer chairs, providing extra support for feet. Wherever you work during your pregnancy, it's possible to find the right anti fatigue mat to meet your needs.
It is important to sit in a good ergonomic chair that is specifically adjusted to your requirements and size if you work in front of a computer all day. Doing this should relieve a lot of the pressure in your spine and back. A good ergonomic keyboard and mouse will relieve the tension in the neck and shoulders, not to mention the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome (as if you really need that on top of everything?). Make sure your monitor is adjusted properly, and that your desk is at the correct height. It is difficult enough to type while very pregnant without your desk being too low or too high.
It is possible to work through your pregnancy in relative comfort. If you sleep well, if your body is supported properly throughout the day, and if pressure is relieved from your feet and legs, you may be able to sail through your pregnancy just like those few lucky women out there who are always glowing with good health.