If You're Standing A Lot, What You Can Do To Relieve The Strain
I work as a cashier and am on my feet all day. What can I do to relieve the strain on my body as pregnancy progresses? Anything I can do on breaks or at the end of the day, too? - Tammy in Santa Rosa, California
The expert answers
Being on your feet all day, especially during pregnancy, can be brutal! Please make sure to take enough breaks so that you don't over-stress your back, knees, ankles, and feet. Also, don't stand in one place for more than 10-15 minutes at a time -- instead, shift your weight, walk between registers if possible, and be sure to do ankle circles at every opportunity.
During your breaks, do some neck circles, pelvic tilts to stretch your lower back, shoulder circles, and gentle stretching. If you have a long enough break, try to go for a short walk to improve your circulation. During the day, drink LOTS of water, even if it means you have to take a couple of extra potty breaks.
Once you get home, try to find some time for exercise, even if it's just 15 minutes. A brisk walk, some squats and lunges, and some gentle stretching will do wonders for how you feel. If you have time for a complete workout, try to find a prenatal fitness class in your area or invest in a pregnancy exercise video.
Finally, end the day with a warm bath to relieve any lingering tension in your body. If you can afford it, treat yourself to a pregnancy massage once a month (or more!) -- you'll feel like a new woman!