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32 weeks

Why Do Pregnant Women Waddle?

As much as I try, I can’t help but waddle. Why do we do that?

Ah, the pregnant waddle. We all say this will never happen to us, but it can be unavoidable. That’s because, as your pregnant belly grows, it throws your center of gravity out of whack, so you end up shifting your weight to offset the added heft in front. Plus, all those pregnancy hormones cause your joints to loosen up. “Joint laxities make the lower part of the spine looser and more unstable,” says Myra Wick, MD. “That can cause muscle strain and make you waddle.” The icing on the waddle cake is the inside of your pelvis, which starts to tilt and widens your stance.

Sure, all of that shifting puts strain on your muscles, but gentle stretching and moving throughout pregnancy can help. Try prenatal yoga, walking and swimming — they won’t erase these changes, but they can make you more comfortable.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Why and When Your Posture Changes During Pregnancy

Pregnant with sore hips and pelvis?

Doing Pilates during pregnancy?

By Myra Wick, MD, ob-gyn, medical editor in chief of Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy