4 Exercises to Prepare for Childbirth
Have you ever played a sport? Or ran a race? Or committed to an exercise regime? What did you do before participating in these events? You practiced and prepared your body for the strenuous activity ahead! Giving birth can be quite similar to a sporting event or fitness activity. Even though you are capable of doing all of the work that comes with labor, it is still a challenge that can be tiring for your body. Proper preparation will allow you to have a positive birth experience.
If you are wanting to prepare for your big day, knowing these 4 simple exercises may help!
- Deep Squat
Squatting helps open your pelvis up, allowing more room for your baby to descend. Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart and slowly squat down as far as you can go. Use the back of a chair for support or have your partner spot you. For the best form, be sure to keep your knees from going over your feet. You don’t need to do high quantities; 10-15 may be just the right number may be a good number! Your care provider can talk to you more about how many and how often is safe for you.
- Wall Sits
Wall sits are comparable to squatting since they also open your pelvis and strengthen the muscles in your torso or abdomen. This exercise is also great for toning your legs! Lean your back against a wall, leaving about 2 feet between your feet and the wall. Slide down until you are in a seated position, hold for 10 seconds, and then slowly slide back up. A chair can be helpful with this one, too. Even easier, place an exercise ball in between your back and the wall and roll up and down instead of slide. Repeat 10 times or whatever feels comfortable for you. Placing a birth ball between your back and the wall can make this exercise even easier – you’ll need to place your feet farther away from the wall, of course, and then just roll instead of slide up and down.
This stretch is perfect for strengthening your muscles in your back, thighs, and pelvis. It improves posture and keeps your pelvic joints flexible. Both can aid in an easier delivery. Simply, sit on the floor and put the bottom of your feet together so they are touching. Try to push your knees to the ground in slow-motion and hold. Avoid bouncing your knees up and down, as this can be counterproductive and strain your muscles.
- Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles and help relieve backache during pregnancy and labor. As your pregnancy progresses and the baby gets bigger, the extra weight can strain your pelvis. The Pelvic Tilt can be crucial to relieving that stress. Check out this video for a demonstration on how to do a variation of the Pelvic Tilt!
These exercises are an important part of preparing for childbirth. During pregnancy, while your body is changing and growing so rapidly, it can feel good to be active so try to schedule a little time every day to get moving! Afterward, if you are still feeling a little sore, schedule a massage to relax your muscles, and calm your mind. We hope these tips help you get ready for the birth of your dreams! If you want to learn about Celebrate Birth’s model of care and how we can partner with you to achieve that dream, send us a message.