Literal Balance Becomes an Issue During Pregnancy

When you become pregnant, literal balance becomes an issue. Pilates can both offset this physical imbalance and prevent injuries because of it. When women become pregnant, they typically gain an additional 25 percent to 30 percent of their usual weight. Unlike a normal weight gain, where those extra pounds would be spread fairly evenly throughout your body, weight gain during pregnancy is all in your belly. This in itself throws off your balance a great deal. In addition to upsetting your balance, the weight gain means a greater threat of injury.

When you increase in size and weight in your abdomen, you have a tendency to sway your lower back, and this causes discomfort and in extreme cases constant pain or even injury. If you injure your lower back, how will you get relief? Your doctor will not give you an injection or prescribe drugs for your pain. Alternative medicine will also be limited. What chiropractor will work on a pregnant woman? Your pregnancy limits what a physical therapist can do for you. You are essentially left to your own devices. Pilates will allow you to elongate the spine and to strengthen your abdominal muscles. The strengthened abdominal muscles, dubbed “the girdle of strength” by Joseph Pilates, will improve your posture,  allow the spine  to straighten, and dramatically offset your imbalance due to your added frontal weight.

123In addition to affecting your physical balance, your pregnancy is also causing an imbalance of hormones. While this hormone is at work, its effects are compounded by a decrease in testosterone and an increase in estrogen. Nature intends for you to slow down when you are pregnant. The natural increase in cortisol increases our fear or tentativeness in movement. We are chemically placed in a protective mode. We become uncomfortable around strangers, among crowds, and in unfamiliar places. Testosterone is a major player in hand-eye coordination as well as balance. Even before pregnancy, women have lower levels of testosterone than men do (which may explain the number of women who walk the high wire or drive race cars), but when they become pregnant their testosterone levels decrease even further. So in addition to becoming more protective and tentative, pregnant women have a diminished capacity for balance. The result is that each step they take is unsure or feels unnatural, and they have a greater possibility of bringing harm to themselves and to their unborn children. When men fall, they have the innate ability to break their fall with their hands, but when women fall, they tend to land like logs.

Obviously, falling during pregnancy can be problematic. When you do Pilates, however, not only does your cortisol level drop significantly, but there is also a notable rise in your testosterone level. By raising your testosterone levels and decreasing your cortisol level, you will become much more confident in your movement, you will have better balance, and you will both eliminate the sensation of being ungainly and lower your propensity for injury.

Another level of balance, a figurative definition, refers to a big-picture notion of our lives as a whole. If this is your first child, you will be amazed at how much in your life will need balancing over the coming months and years. You will have to balance the immediate needs of your child and your own needs. You will have to balance time between what you normally do and the additional tasks you need to perform as a parent. Soon you will need to balance time between your child and your mate. After a while you may have to balance time between work and your family. You have to balance your energy between those you love and the things you love to do.

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Common vision changes during pregnancy

Pregnancy is definitely a really hard time for a woman’s body. Sure, it’s the best feeling in the world, but we can’t neglect the fact that our bodies change tremendously and that there are several aspects of our health that can be affected by the state our body is in. Some of these problems are changes in skin and metabolism, fluid retention, hormones and changes in eyes and your eyesight, affected by blood circulation. And even though most mothers are fine with morning sickness, back pain, feeling tired and having cravings, most of them are more than surprised when they experience heavier changes like heavy acne and, especially, changes in eye sight. It’s even been noted that some women develop a lens prescription when they have never before had troubles with vision.

Pregnant

Still, no need to worry – once the baby is born, eyesight typically returns to normal or just slight changes occur. It’s recommended you have a checkup at your eye doctor just to see how things are going. Sometimes, vision problems that have occurred in pregnancy may require medical attention so it is better you dealt with it in time.

Here are some vision changes you may experience while pregnant:

  1. Blurry Vision 

A common side effect of pregnancy is fluid retention which can change the shape and thickness and of the cornea. Even some minor changes in its shape may lead to distorted and blurry vision. After pregnancy or after you stop breast feeding, these changes usually go away. If the slight changes you experience don’t bother you, you don’t even need to do anything to solve the “problem”. But, if this blurry vision situation messes with your everyday activities, it’s best you talk to your eye doctor.

In case you have a prescription, you may need to change it. If you don’t have prescription, you’ll probably need to start wearing glasses. Still, given that pregnancy is a delicate time for any woman, most doctors will advise against being fitted for new contacts or undergoing surgery while pregnant. As mentioned before, after your pregnancy is over, it’s probable the shape of your cornea will revert to normal.

  1. Preeclampsia and Vision Problems it causes 

Even though not a common problem during pregnancies, it still is a serious matter happening to 5% to 8% future mothers. It is marked by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine. Vision changes typically include blurry vision, auras, and temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity and the appearance of flashing lights. If you experience any of these symptoms it is of utmost importance to contact your doctor.

  1. Dry Eyes                                                                             pregnant woman

Since during pregnancy hormones do all kinds of stuff to your body, it’s no surprise they mess up with your vision too. Namely, these changes cause the body to produce fewer tears which is why you’ll often feel your eyes are dry, gritty and irritated, sensitive to light and a bit red. Luckily, there are eye drops, so called artificial tears, you can use – they should help with eye strain of this sort. They are designed to lubricate your eyes and ease dryness. In case you are wearing lenses, you need to make sure the lubricant you’ve chosen can be used with contacts. Don’t buy artificial tears without consulting your eye doctor, though. He will know which type to prescribe and what is safe for a pregnant lady.

Things you can further do to help your dry eye syndrome is limit exposure to forced air from radiators or air conditioners as much as possible, as well as staring at a computer screen/phone screen sitting under fluorescent lights. Try spending a certain period of time during the day looking at something green or blue. If you have a yard, look at the plants, the grass let your eyes rest.

If you have diabetes, see an ophthalmologist before you get pregnant to get information on potential risks during pregnancy. When you get pregnant, see him while still in early pregnancy to get screened for damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy and it is known to usually worsen during pregnancy. This is why you will probably need to get more frequent eye exams. On the other hand, if you have glaucoma, it will probably improve during pregnancy. See your ophthalmologist for potential medication adjustment. This can be even done before the pregnancy, that is – while planning it. By starting you off with as low a dose as possible, your doctor may be able to lessen your baby’s exposure to the medication.