Teaching Prenatal Exercise: Part I - Posture


  • Madeleine H. Shearer R.P. T.

    1. Madeleine H. Shearer is a registered physical therapist and editor of Birth and the Family Journal. She taught childbirth education privately for 10 years and for the Berkeley Maternal and Infant Care Project for 2 years. Address inquiries to the author at 110 El Camino Real, Berkeley, CA 94705.
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ABSTRACT: Even if they are well-motivated, most people will not remember or practice more than 3 exercises. Thus, it is necessary to tailor the exercise to the needs of each woman. Analysis of the pelvic tilt reveals that, during pregnancy, the maneuver is maintained mostly by the external obliques, with the cooperative synergy of the muscles of the torso and thighs. Common abdominal leg- and head-raising exercises do not use these muscles as they are used during the pelvic tilt. Rather, maintaining the pelvic tilt for longer and longer periods is the best exercise for promoting good postural alignment during pregnancy.