Sitting Positions to Avoid During Pregnancy

a pregnant woman reading a book


Your pregnancy journey is a memorable and exciting time in your life, so don’t let that excitement be dulled from pain in your lower back, hips, ankles, and feet! When it comes to being pregnant your body is going to go through a ton of physiological changes. To keep up with your evolving needs during this time, it’s important to learn how to sit properly while pregnant and which sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy.

We’re here to help guide you through some of these needs with a few sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy, the added importance of posture while pregnant, and some tips for how to sit that may help keep you comfortable and healthy!

Importance of Posture During Pregnancy

Before we hop into which sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy, let’s talk about the impact of pregnancy on posture while pregnant. Learning to improve posture is beneficial for everyone, but there’s an extra importance on maintaining good posture during pregnancy that you’ll want to know about.

First, in case you need a refresh or a more thorough understanding, what is good posture? Good posture is when your body is in alignment while sitting, standing, or lying down. In more simple terms, it means you’re standing up straight and the natural curvature of your spine is supported.

During pregnancy, the importance of posture becomes even more crucial to your overall health as poor posture could lead to added aches and pains as well as more serious complications during pregnancy that could jeopardize the health of your baby.

In the later stages of pregnancy, posture ups its importance again as your ligaments and tendons begin to soften for the labor process. During this time, even simple movements like overstretching can cause potential soreness, meaning that poor posture may exacerbate those issues.

As if you needed any more encouragement to understand the importance of good posture and why you need to learn which sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy, good posture can also help your baby get into the proper birthing position more easily. This may help decrease the likelihood of delivery complications.

A Few Sitting Positions to Avoid During Pregnancy

Okay now you’ve got it that posture is extra important when you’re pregnant, you need to know what position to avoid during pregnancy, right? We’ve got you covered! Some of these items may be difficult to make routine at first since you’re so used to doing them, but once you’ve made the conscious effort (and experienced how much better you feel) to sit properly during pregnancy they’ll become second nature.

Some sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Crossing your legs
  • Using a chair or stool without a backrest
  • Sitting too long in the same position
  • Turning or twisting at the waist
  • Sitting in a chair or recliner without leg support

Avoid Crossing Legs While Pregnant

First up on our list of sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy is one you may struggle with the most at first! So often when we sit down the first thing we do is cross our legs. Unfortunately, this action during pregnancy could lead to discomfort due to swollen joints, poor circulation, and possible inflammation.

Restricting blood flow here could even possibly raise your blood pressure (learn helpfuls methods for how to lower blood pressure during pregnancy after this article). 

Importance of Back Support for a Chair While Pregnant

This sitting position to avoid during pregnancy may seem strange at first. What’s the problem with using a chair or stool with no backrest if good posture is all about sitting up straight?

Sitting properly while pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t rest your back against the chair, though! In fact, if you’re sitting in a chair or on a stool with no back, you’re actually putting extra pressure on your lower back and pelvic region. This is a common cause of back pain and may lead to experiencing sciatica symptoms while you’re pregnant.

Instead, choose a comfortable chair that has ample back and seat support. For those wanting to really up their self care game during pregnancy, consider something like a luxury zero gravity chair to not only provide comfort but also boost your health, as well.

Sitting Too Long in the Same Position During Pregnancy

It’s important to relax and get off your feet while pregnant, but if you don’t switch up positions or use a chair that will help prevent pain from sitting too long, you may accidentally do more harm than good.

This is why the next item on our list of sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy is actually more about sitting in the same position too long! If you’re sitting on a couch or traditional recliner try to change positions safely every 10 to 15 minutes. Using a zero gravity chair may help avoid bad sitting habits during pregnancy and actually work to heal your mind and body while you relax, instead.

Pro Tip: Learn more about choosing between a zero gravity chair or recliner and which is better for your needs after this article.

Dangling Legs Can Lead to Lower Back and Leg Pain While Pregnant

Whether you’re sitting in a dining chair, on a couch, or in a zero gravity chair you got for your pregnancy journey (and afterward!), the next sitting position to avoid during pregnancy is letting your legs dangle. This may be especially challenging for shorter individuals but not impossible to fix.

The simplest way to fix this is to make sure your chair allows you to sit with your feet firmly on the floor or reclines in a way that supports your legs and prevents them from dangling. Allowing your legs to dangle may result in blood circulation issues and result in painful swelling and inflammation.

To avoid slouching if you have to sit away from the backrest in order to let your feet touch the floor (for example, at your dining table), you may want to consider a back pillow for lumbar support. This back support will help keep your spine in its natural alignment and improve your posture during pregnancy.

As you can see, the importance of good posture means there are a number of sitting positions to avoid during pregnancy and what position to avoid during pregnancy might surprise you. While getting used to these and making sure you’re not practicing bad sitting habits may take a little adjusting, you’ll find they may be extremely helpful along your journey. So don’t cross your legs, make sure you’ve got proper back and leg support, and consider choosing a zero gravity chair for a variety of health benefits during pregnancy. Your body will thank you!

Want to learn more about using zero gravity chairs during pregnancy and beyond? Check out these resources: