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Rx: Rest

I'm realizing in these last weeks of pregnancy, now more than ever, that there's a reason we have the stereotypical image of pregnant women lying around with their bare feet up. It's because that's what we should all be doing at this stage! My body is aching in ways I didn't know it could ache, and when I talk to other women who are in their ninth month, they, too, feel discomfort like they've never known before (for the most part). So what is it with our society these days that we work up until our water breaks and try to keep up with normal life until the very last minute before the baby pops out?

 

I'm realizing in these last weeks of pregnancy, now more than ever, that there's a reason we have the stereotypical image of pregnant women lying around with their bare feet up. It's because that's what we should all be doing at this stage! My body is aching in ways I didn't know it could ache, and when I talk to other women who are in their ninth month, they, too, feel discomfort like they've never known before (for the most part). So what is it with our society these days that we work up until our water breaks and try to keep up with normal life until the very last minute before the baby pops out?

I certainly don't have the answer because I consistently push myself to the limit in many aspects of my life -- often not the smartest thing to do. But these days, I'm finding I just can't keep it up anymore. This past weekend I developed a new pain -- terrible soreness in my inner thighs -- that got so bad I couldn't even walk from my bedroom to our living room without wincing. (Sorry to be dramatic but it's true!) It felt as though I'd just done the most intense inner thigh workout of my life. My midwife explained that my thighs actually are going through their most intense workout ever: Apparently because the baby is so low now (her head is down -- yay!), and my pelvis is widening at this point, the muscles in and around my pelvis and thighs have to work extra hard just to maintain some stability and help me walk. She compared walking around with a low-lying baby to walking around while trying to keep a ball in between my thighs. And yeah, that's kind of what it feels like. Lovely.

To try to ease the pain, then, I'm now forcing myself to sit -- or lie -- on my couch as much as I can when I'm not at work, I've gotten a few prenatal massages (which have been heavenly and healing), and, at my midwife's recommendation, I've been going to a physical therapist, Marianne Ryan-Swanson at MRPT Physical Therapy, who specializes in pre- and postnatal issues. The good news is that I think these things are helping. My thighs actually feel a little better right now. I'm not saying I'm going to run a marathon tomorrow -- in fact, I now limit all unnecessary movement -- but I think the concept of slowing down and taking care of myself is paying off. Who knew? I'm annoyed with myself that it took this much pain for me to acknowledge what my body needed, but now I'm seriously focused on feeling as rested and pain-free as I can before I begin the true marathon: Labor and new mommyhood.

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