As your belly grows larger, you’ll probably notice that you have difficulty keeping your balance. Tasks that are normally simple, such as picking up a pen on the floor or walking down a staircase, might seem risker than usual because you can’t seem to predict which way your body will sway. This is perfectly normal. Your baby is essentially growing at the center of your body, which throws off your usual “center” of gravity. Balance can seem impossible to regain until you give birth, but there are some ways you can center yourself.
One recent study was designed to find out which women had a higher risk for losing their balance during pregnancy. Women who had a naturally wider gait were better off and didn’t feel as clumsy as those with a narrower gait. In other words, if you tend to stand with your feet relatively wide apart, you’ll be less likely to have issues with balance when you become pregnant. Of course, it’s not easy to change a lifetime of habit in your stance just for your nine-month pregnancy, but if you find yourself losing your balance while you’re standing around, try setting your feet slightly more apart.

There is no real problem with the lack of balance that many pregnant women experience, but there are risks in the side effects. If you lose your balance easily, you’re more likely to fall over, which puts your baby in harm’s way. Twenty-five percent of women have reported that they fell at one point or another during their pregnancy. To avoid falling, wear comfortable shoes and only move around in well-lit areas. If there is anything particularly physically-demanding on your agenda, consider asking a family member to do it for you. For example, if you need to carry a heavy box down a flight of stairs, there’s a good chance you’ll take a spill. Have your significant other do it for you, or wait until after you’ve given birth to take care of it.

Losing your balance during your pregnancy is perfectly normal, and it isn’t something you should be concerned about. However, you should be careful not to fall over as a result of your newfound clumsiness. Falling right on your belly is not hard, and any impact is harsh on a developing fetus. If you’re really having problems with it, consider speaking with your doctor about additional balance solutions.

Source: John Jang et al: Balance (Perceived And Actual) And Preferred Stance Width During Pregnancy. Clinical Biomechanics Volume 23 Issue 4 pp. 468-476 May 2008

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