The average corporate American spends 8-9 hours sitting at a desk. This is among the leading causes of obesity in America, according to the Public Health Organization. When you are pregnant, however, sitting down the whole day isn’t just bad for your weight.
Researchers have found that sedentary pregnant women have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and depression. High blood sugar in pregnancy is the leading cause of miscarriage, while depression carries on even after birth.
But that’s not the worst part. Good posture can be hard to find when pregnant, which leads to back and shoulder pain sooner than later. Sitting down for too long also helps accumulate fluid in your legs, also known as edema or swelling.
Does Sitting Position Affect Baby?
Absolutely. How you sit and the duration may not matter in early pregnancy, but it will by the third trimester. Your sitting position affects how the baby moves into the pelvis weeks before labor.
When you sit slouching most of the time, your pelvis rocks backwards, encouraging the baby to enter the pelvis in what doctors call a posterior position. This will make it very hard to have the baby naturally and prolong labor because the baby has to be turned manually. Doctors report that there are more posterior babies today compared to 20 years ago.
What Is the Best Position to Sit During Pregnancy?
Seeing that how you sit affects you as well as the baby, it’s important to find the right sitting position. Ideally, you should sit straight up with your back straight and shoulders back. The lower part of your back should touch the back of your chair.
Keep your hips plus knees at a 90-degree angle, or use a footrest to rest the feet off the floor comfortably. In other words, you can’t hunch over, slouch or cross your legs.
How to Make an Office Job More Comfortable During Pregnancy
The vast majority of human beings have terrible sitting postures. This doesn’t change when someone gets pregnant until the effects (back pain and the like) kick in. And since you have to work at least 8 of the nine months you’ll be pregnant, making your workplace as comfortable as it can be during that period seems like a no-brainer.
Any suggestions, you ask?
Use an Ergonomic Chair
Growing a human baby puts a lot of pressure on your musculoskeletal system, leading to back pain and other issues. The best way to combat that when sitting is to use a chair with several possible adjustments. The posture you will require during the second semester is different from what you’ll need in weeks 37 to 40.
Adjust the Chair for Maximum Comfort
Now that you have an adjustable chair, you have to make use of what technology has provided. Some of the ways you can adjust the chair for maximum comfort include;
- Push lumbar support forward a little to ensure the shoulders are relaxed.
- Adjust the height to ensure your feet touch the floor when your knees are at a 90-degree angle. The height adjustment also helps you sit closer to the work desk so you can rest your elbows and arms.
- Adjust the tilt of the chair to keep your posture neutral and straight.
Use a Stool to Elevate Your Legs
Again, swelling happens when you are pregnant and sitting for hours. You can minimize this by elevating your legs on a short stool or box under your desk. Lean your chair back to about 135 degrees and lift your legs up, so they are almost the same level as your waist.
Invest in a Good Seating Pillow
Last but not least, invest in a good supporting pillow. This is more necessary if your office chair lacks lumbar support because it helps support your upright sitting position. A pregnancy pillow placed behind and around you will prop you up comfortably, support your back and shoulders and also help keep your arms in the right position. It is the secret to no back pain during pregnancy.
If you are looking for good supportive seating pillows, we have cool suggestions for you.
Best Office Chair Pillow for Pregnancy
This unique square multi-functional pillow contours to the shape of your body to provide optimum comfort. It is made with a velour surface to make sitting down when pregnant or after birth quite comfortable and relieve pregnancy-related pain.
The ComfiLife Premium Comfort Seat Cushion is ergonomically designed to support and promote healthy sitting posture in the office or the car. It’s made of high-quality memory foam and has a non-slip rubber foam and machine washable cover. If you want a pillow that will relieve pain and give you comfort while sitting, this is our best recommendation.
While all the methods I have recommended will help a great deal with comfort at the office, you really shouldn’t be sitting down for more than an hour while pregnant. Get up and walk every 30 or 40 minutes to reduce water retention and increase blood flow. Being physically active will also reduce back pain, depression, and weight gain. Take care of yourself mama!