The Role of Pregnancy in Postural Control and Standing Postural Orientation: a Comparison between Before and After Delivery and Non – Pregnant Subjects



Falling is common in pregnant women. Ability of accurate postural control and
orientation is important to prevent falling. The aim of this study was to assess and
postural control and orientation during different stages of pregnancy and after
delivery. Three groups (13 subjects in each group, age range 20-28 years)
including non – pregnant women (I), pregnant women in their first three months of
pregnancy (II) and those in their last month of pregnancy (III) were studied.
Postural control and orientation were assessed using BIODEX stability platform.
In group (III), all measurements were repeated after the delivery. MANOVA and
ANOVA with repeated measures were used to analyze the data (?=0.05). Results
showed that group (I) with 53.07+8.17 score obtained the highest postural control
and group (III) with 31.8+14.7 score significantly showed the lowest postural
control. There was no significant difference in back, left and right orientation
between the last month of pregnancy and after delivery while a significant decrease
in other orientations was observed. After delivery, postural orientation increased
to 25% (P=0.001). This study suggested that pregnancy-related physical changes
are associated with poor postural orientation. However, it is not clear if this
deficiency is due to the muscle weakness or proprioceptive deficits. Although
postural orientation improved after delivery, it was still lower than normal
subjects. Postpartum postural rehabilitation is recommended during pregnancy
and after delivery.