There are a lot of "how tos" that come with the news of pregnancy. How to eat anything again without first Googling it. How to tie your shoes without toppling over. How to get the tiny human out of you. Needless to say, there are a lot of questions and that's OK because what it means is that you're just a mama who's focused on having a healthy and informed pregnancy. But what about seemingly simple things, like getting in and out of bed? I will save you the search: Here's how to get out of your bed when you're pregnant, according to a physical therapist and OB-GYN.
Dr. Rachel Gelman, physical therapist and branch director at Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center, tells Romper in an email interview that it is important to keep your spine and pelvis in a neutral position so you don’t ‘tweak’ your back when getting out of bed. "Keep your knees bent and roll onto your side without twisting your trunk," she says. "Keeping your legs together, swing your legs over the side of the bed and use your arms to help push yourself up." The move, Gelman says, is called a "log roll" because you try to keep your trunk and your legs in one piece as you roll. "Everything should move together," she says.
According to Baby Center, you should take your time getting up, and "don't forget that your center of gravity has changed." The website also advised pregnant women to steer clear of sudden moves that could cause you to lose your balance or "aggravate any back pain you may be feeling."
Dr. Mashfika N Alam tells Romper in an email interview that you might also want to consider putting one hand on your lower abdomen while getting up, especially if you feel too much pressure down in your pelvis or if you suffer from symphysis pubis dysfunction, a condition that What To Expect noted may make it difficult to walk and cause "wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart)."
Um, yeah, women are kind of amazing.
And of course, your sleeping position can affect back pain. But scoring actual sleep during pregnancy is easier said than done. Whether you are dealing with heartburn and indigestion, or are simply a belly sleeper who can no longer snooze in your favorite position, your changing shape makes restful slumber difficult. Your number one defense? Pillows, pillows, and more pillows, noted Mama Natural. Use all of the pillows you can find in your house or nab a body pillow that is designed to help your pregnant body relax. U-shaped, wedge-shaped, and complete body-size pillows are all clear winners, the website noted.
Once you have your pillows of choice, you can also use them to help you get in the bed, another feat of strength as your belly begins to grow. Use them as support as you sit down on the the bed, legs draped over the side, and reverse the aforementioned log roll. Avoid lying straight back and putting strain on your abdominal and pelvic muscles.
"Moving in pregnancy gets harder as you get bigger," Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells Romper in an email interview. "Paying attention to your body mechanics and movement is especially important when getting out of bed."
Like many things during pregnancy, sleeping — and waking up — takes a bit of work when you are growing a baby. The good news is pregnancy pillows or your partner's helping hand can make it all a bit easier.
As for tying your shoes? Well, let me know if you come up with a trick for that one.
Dr. Rachel Gelman, physical therapist and branch director at Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center
Dr. Mashfika N Alam, General Practitioner
Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version