What Is the Right Sitting Position for Pregnant Women?

Good posture during pregnancy is essential, either when standing, sitting or lying down. Wrong position can cause pain and even harm the baby. Finding a good sitting position during your pregnancy is important to maintain comfort and avoid back and pelvic pain. Good posture can support your spine and help reduce circulation problems. Read on to learn how to sit during pregnancy.

pregnant woman sitting

Sitting Position During Pregnancy

Here’s how to improve the sitting position during your pregnancy:

  • Start by sitting up with a straight back. Pull your shoulders back and make sure your buttocks are touching the back of the chair.
  • You can use a small towel rolled-up like a lumbar roll to support your back by placing it at the hollow portion of your back.

How to find a good sitting position if you don’t have a lumbar roll back support:

  • Sit at the end of the chair while slouching completely.
  • Draw your body up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold that position for a few seconds.
  • Slightly relax the back about 10°.
  • Make sure your body weight is evenly distributed on the hips.
  • Keep hips and knees at a 90° angle and feet flat. You can use a stool or a foot rest if necessary. Avoid crossing your legs.
  • ┬čAvoid keeping any sitting position during your pregnancy for longer than 30 minutes.
  • If you work, adjust chair height and your work station so that you can sit close to your desk. Rest your arms on the desk or chair so that your shoulders are relaxed.
  • When you want to stand up from your sitting position, move to the edge of your chair and stand up by straightening the legs. Don’t bend forward at the waist. 

Sitting Positions to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • The Slouch. Avoid this poor sitting position during pregnancy to protect your spine. 
  • Sitting with Legs Hanging. This position will increase the blood flow to the legs, which can cause swelling. Although leg swelling is expected during pregnancy, a poor sitting position will aggravate the situation.
  • Sitting without a Backrest. This position can strain your back, which can lead to more backaches during pregnancy. Avoid sitting on stools and chairs with low backs and look for chairs with enough back support to keep you spine straight.
  • Bent Forward Sitting Position. Bending forward puts pressure on the abdomen, which is not only uncomfortable, but potentially harmful to your baby. During late pregnancy, your lower ribs may put pressure on your baby’s body and potentially leave marks.
  • Half Sitting Position. Many people do this position in bed. This puts pressure on your back and can give you a sharp pain when you sit for long periods.

Other Good Positions During Pregnancy

Aside from the good sitting position during pregnancy, it is also important to learn other proper body positions.

  1. 1.   Standing Position

    • Hold head straight, chin in. Avoid tilting your head.
    • Align your ears with the middle portion of the shoulders.
    • Pull your shoulder blades backward and put forward your chest.
    • Keep knees straight, but avoid locking them.
    • Imagine stretching your head towards the ceiling.
    • Tighten stomach muscles by pulling them in when able. Avoid tilting your pelvis backward or forward. As much as possible, keep buttocks tucked in.
    • Keep your feet pointed forward in the same direction while keeping weight balanced on both feet. Support the foot arches with low-heels (not flat shoes).
    • Don’t stand for long periods.
    • When standing for a long period, elevate one foot on a box or a stool. Switch foot position every few minutes.

2.   Lifting Position

  • When lifting objects, avoid those that are too heavy (more than 20 pounds).
  • Make sure your feet are steady before lifting objects.
  • To pick up objects from a low level from the waist, keep back straight and then bend hips and knee without bending forward from the waist.
  • Use a wide stance and stay close to objects being picked up, while keeping feet firm on the floor. Keep stomach muscles and pelvic floor muscles tight. Lift objects using the power of your leg muscles.
  • Straighten knees steadily. Stand upright and avoid twisting. 
  • When lifting objects from a table, slide them to the table edge so they are close to the body. Bend knees and stay close to the objects. Use leg muscles to lift object and return to standing position.
  • Don’t lift heavy objects above your waist level.
  • When holding packages, keep them close to the body with arms bent. Keep stomach muscles taut. While carrying packages, use small steps and walk slowly.
  • Lower the package/object by placing your feet steady. Tighten stomach muscles then bend hips and knees.
  1. 3.   Lying Down Position

This position is equally important with the sitting position during pregnancy. Here is how to do it.

  • The best sleeping/lying position is to place a pillow under the head (not the shoulders). Choose a pillow that is not too thick to avoid back strain. 
  • When sleeping/lying, try to maintain the back curve while lying on your side with knees slightly bent. Use a pillow between knees. Do not draw your knees toward your chest. Avoid lying on your stomach.
  • Use a bed with a firm mattress that doesn’t sag. You can place a firm board under the mattress if necessary or you can temporarily put the mattress on the floor. The most important thing is your comfort.
  • Use a back/lumbar support if it makes you more comfortable. A rolled towel or sheet around your waist may be helpful.