Being active during pregnancy has been shown to help you through labor and delivery. Everyone has a different experience, but overall as long as you’re medically able, there are so many benefits to exercise through each trimester.
Close to your due date, you may want to incorporate these moves to help strengthen and condition your body for labor and delivery.
Squatting is a natural position for labor, and it strengthens your thighs and helps open the pelvis.
- Stand facing the back of a chair, with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes pointing outwards. Hold the back of the chair for support.
- Tighten your tummy muscles, lift your chest and relax your shoulders. Then lower your tailbone towards the floor, as if you’re sitting down on a chair. Make sure you keep your back straight, or slightly arched, as you do this. Find your balance, remembering that most of your weight should be towards your heels.
- Take a deep breath in and then exhale, pushing into your legs to rise to a standing position.
This is one of the variations of the pelvic tilt that is done on all fours. It strengthens the abdominal muscles and relieves labor pain.
To perform pelvic tilts in the hands and knees position, get on all fours with the wrists aligned under the shoulders and knees aligned under the hips or slightly wider if needed for comfort.
- Take a deep breath, and with the exhale breath pull baby upward with your abs as you round your back and press firmly into your arms and hands.
- Slowly release the rounded back position and allow the baby weight to pull your lower back as far down as comfortable.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times, ensuring you aren’t holding your breath.
TAILOR SITTING OR COBBLER POSE
Chances are you did a lot of sitting cross-legged on the floor when you were a child. It’s also beneficial during pregnancy. This pose allows you to open up the pelvic girdle, stretching the hips and thighs, which is very useful in preparing these areas of your body for expansion and birth.
The Cobbler pose, places focus on the perineal floor, and so the organs of the entire pelvic region are toned by the practice of this pose.
Yup, simple walking can help keep your body in balance as you approach the big day. Sometimes women are even encouraged to walk during early labor to keep things progressing. Other forms of cardio can be incorporated as well during your pregnancy. Aim for 20-30 minutes a day, and if you’re outdoors in the sun, remember to wear sunscreen. Pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive and susceptible to burns.