Even if you have never heard the term "mom posture", you can probably imagine just what it means. Slumped, rounded shoulders, a tucked tailbone, and a forward-leaning head are the telltale signs of Mom Posture.
If you catch your reflection or stumble upon a tagged photo of yourself, you may realize that you have Mom Posture and you did not even know it. Not to worry, this is fixable. Once you become aware that your posture is incorrect, you can easily do something about it.
What Causes Mom Posture?
Moms are not the only ones afflicted by the token rounded shoulders, but there is a reason why it is named for us. Between nursing, carrying babies in our arms, and carrying all kinds of things that come with babies and kids, our bodies are strained in such a way that we begin to hunch over all the time.
Plus, if you spend time hunching over a keyboard or a smartphone (and let's face it, most of us do), you will further contribute to your posture's deterioration.
If we do not pay attention to the strains mom life subjects our bodies to, our back muscles begin to weaken. The muscles in the front of the body become tight and short. Resulting, little by little, our bodies become curved instead of straight.
Why You Should Try and Fix or Prevent Mom Posture
Obviously, no one wants to look like Quasimodo, but fixing Mom Posture is not just about appearance. You may have a sore back, neck pain, or headaches caused by poor posture. Improving your posture can alleviate these problems. Further, proper posture improves blood flow, resulting in boosted energy levels.
Preventing Rounded Shoulders With Lifestyle Adjustments
There are several basic lifestyle changes you can make to prevent or reverse Mom Posture. First of all, reduce your heavy carrying. Minimize what you tote along as much as possible, and try to get larger loads into a stroller or otherwise off of your back.
If you have a needy but heavy baby or toddler, consider letting them sit on your lap more often and encourage them to walk on their own when you are on the move.
Nursing mothers should use supports so that they do not lean down to their baby when feeding. Always bring the baby up to the breast, rather than bending over to reach the baby. Specially designed nursing pillows or even your regular throw pillows can help with this.
Make proper posture a regular habit by remaining aware of how you stand. If you are conscious of your body's position, you can avoid letting it slowly deteriorate. Keep yourself mentally aware, especially when you are doing things like bending down to pick up toys off the floor or loading children in and out of car seats.
Because you can't always control your posture, regular stretching is essential. There is a reason Mom Posture is named what it is. The demands of motherhood simply put us into positions that do not promote proper alignment in our bodies. Frequent stretching helps counter the effects of mom life and help us stand straight.
Stretching To Treat or Prevent Mom Posture
Regular stretching can prevent or treat rounded shoulders. Try to do a combination of the following stretches every day for 10-15 minutes.
Thread The Needle
Kneel in a seated position. First, bring your forehead to the floor and stretch both arms out in front of you, palms down. If possible, keep your bottom resting on your heels. Rest here for about two minutes.
Next, take your right arm and thread it under your chest and left arm, reaching it out towards the left. Let your right ear rest on the mat. Stay here for about one minute, and then switch sides.
The Couch Stretch
You will need a sofa for this one. Lie on your back on the rug in front of your sofa. Put your feet and calves up onto the cushions, so that your knee is at a right angle. Your thigh should be right up against the sofa's front, perpendicular to the floor. Make sure you are scooted all the way up to the sofa's front.
Bring both arms up over your head and down the floor behind you, palms facing up. Stay here for five minutes.
Try to do these stretches every day or as often as you can. In combination with lifestyle adjustments and mental awareness, you can definitely reverse Mom Posture!