Hi! Welcome to Hug the Baby!
“Hug the baby” is a term I use to describe proper posture during pregnancy - supporting the weight of the baby, and protecting vulnerable joints by engaging the abdominals while pregnant.
Instead of ‘belly to the spine,’ I say ‘baby to the spine’ or ‘hug the baby.’ The action of hugging the baby or bringing baby to the spine, brings the fetus closer to the body so the extra weight does not compromise posture or add weight onto the spine and surrounding joints.
Safe For All 3 Trimesters
Why Hug the Baby
By learning to ‘hug the baby,’ we:
1. Strengthen the abs and pelvic floor
2. Prevents and alleviates back pain by supporting our surrounding joints.
3. Feel stronger and more in-control over what is happening to our bodies.
4. Decrease our succeptibility to Diastasis Recti
5. Overall we keep our posture in tip-top shape!
If you have ever been pregnant, you may know the pains associated with the amazing changes the body goes through to prepare for the growth of the fetus and ultimately the birth.
Hugging the baby helps to alleviate those pains!
How to Hug the Baby
As with any form of physical activity, please check with your doctor before starting a new workout routine
Hugging the Baby:
1. Stand up tall, lengthening the spine to the ceiling, like you have a string on the top of your head.
2. Inhale, allowing air to fill the lungs, expanding the sides and back of the ribs (Lateral Thoracic Breathing).
2. Exhale, hugging the baby (pulling baby or belly to the spine), while also lifting the pelvic floor. Keep the pelvis neutral (don’t tuck). This action contracts the transverse abdominals and pelvic floor creating a total support system for the fetus.
4. Feel equal weight on your feet, pressing down into the floor. You should feel a vertical, oppositional pull through the spine, up through the top of the head, down through your feet.
5. Continue with lateral thoracic breathing feeling the spine lengthen every time you exhale.
Poor posture is simply an invitation for life-stopping back pain. No matter where you are, think about lifting your head up and back, as if a string were pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. As you lift up, you relieve some of the tension in your spine. (YOU Having a Baby, pg. 216)
When to Hug the Baby
- On all 4’s when gravity is pulling baby away from your center
- When standing for long periods of time and your back begins to hurt – at the grocery store, in the kitchen, etc.
- Any time you’re working out
- Doing chores
- Getting out of bed or into bed
- Blow drying your hair
- When your laying on the couch and your cat, dog, or kid is about to walk over your stomach
- Can you think of any others?
Hug the Baby extras
Anytime we practice a certain position for long periods, the muscles and joints can become tight and uncomfortable. This is why breathing is crucial, and checking to make sure your posture is active – having energy through the spine with supported limbs, not tight, static limbs.
To prevent tightening up, add Pelvic Tilts and Standing Roll-Downs to Hug the Baby. These movements will keep the spine mobile and help prevent pain, especially in the low back.
The beauty of these simple movements is that they can be done anywhere, at almost anytime. Yes, I’m talking about standing in the long line at the kids’ consignment sale and your back begins to get tight. I’m sure some savvy moms would be happy to join right in on some tilting and rolling with you! And if you’ve got little ones, get them in on the action too!
Contact Me! Alison B. Marsh at HugtheBabyPilates@gmail.com
YOU: Having a Baby, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen MD