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Is proning safe for pregnant women? A gynaecologist explains

Published on:3 May 2021, 16:53pm IST
Proning is believed to raise oxygen levels and can be particularly useful when suffering from coronavirus but is it safe for a pregnant woman? A gynaecologist sheds light on the matter.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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coronavirus pregnancy
If you're planning on getting pregnant, make sure that you get vaccinated. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

India is in the middle of the second wave of coronavirus. People are trying to amp up their immunity level and more importantly, their oxygen level. Various remedies are coming to light, from food to yoga poses. Prone-position is another neat trick that has been buzzing all over social media and even the Health Ministry agrees that it helps in increasing oxygen levels.

But, is the prone-position safe for pregnant women as well? Let’s find out.

Is proning helpful for pregnant women?

Unfortunately, proning should be avoided by pregnant ladies as it can lead to some major problems.

“If a pregnant woman practices full-proning on her tummy, she can find it really hard to breath. In addition, it will put a lot of pressure on the womb which is not good for the baby. Having said that, she can do side-to-side proning,” suggests Dr Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar. 

proning for pregnant woman
Lying on your tummy isn’t recommended for pregnant women. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Proning can make pregnant women feel dizzy and nauseous. Plus, the movement of the baby can also be hampered, especially if someone is doing proning when the due date is just round the corner. 

The doctor suggested yoga poses like the cat-cow pose to help a pregnant woman maintain her oxygen level.

“According to me, a woman should avoid full-proning from the third trimester onwards. But, side-to-side proning can be practised even till the delivery date. It’s advisable to take support of a pillow for the overgrown uterus. The woman should also put a pillow beneath her head,” suggests Dr Siddhartha.

But, if you are not pregnant, you can try the prone position

The ideal oxygen (SpO2) level is somewhere between 94 to 100. If you are infected with coronavirus, you will notice a drop in your oxygen levels. One key symptom of low oxygen is breathlessness. You will need oxygen support in such a scenario.

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Doing proning is very easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Start by lying down on your belly
  • Then, lie down on your right side
  • Sit up with your legs extended in front of you
  • Lie down on the left side
  • Go back to lying on your belly

Do not practice proning for more than 30 minutes in one go. Keep in mind that this technique is for those who have mild symptoms of covid-19.

Some tips that will come in handy if you are doing self-proning:
  • Avoid proning for an hour after meals.
  • Maintain proning for only as many times as easily tolerable. 
  • Pillows may be adjusted slightly in order to alter pressure areas and for comfort.
  • Keep a track of any pressure sores or injuries, especially around bony prominences.

So, mommies-to-be, please don’t get influenced by what you see on social media, especially proning.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.