3 Labor Related Exercises to Help You During Childbirth

Photo Credit: Carolyne Robbins-Pagel

Predicting how Your Labor will Unfold is Impossible

It’s impossible to predict how easy or difficult your labor will be. Every woman is different. You can, however, get your body ready for childbirth with labor-related exercises that strengthen your abdominal, back, and pelvic floor muscles. You will also want to perform exercises that help open up your hips. The following labor-related exercises will help train your body for childbirth.

Labor Exercise

1. Kegel Exercises

One of the best labor-related exercises you can do to prepare for childbirth are Kegels. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (which support your bladder, uterus, and bowels). Strong pelvic floor muscles improve circulation to your vaginal and rectal area, which not only keeps hemorrhoids away but it also speeds up the healing process if you happen to tear during childbirth. There’s also evidence that strong pelvic muscles help you push your baby out faster.

To perform Kegel exercises, you need to find the muscles around your vagina that control the flow of urine. Tighten those muscles for four seconds, then release. Repeat for ten to fifteen times. Try to perform these labor-related exercises three times every day.

What makes Kegel exercises great is that you can do them wherever you want. You could be practicing your Kegels while watching TV or while sitting in traffic.

2. Squatting

Squatting is a time-honored labor-related exercise that every pregnant woman should try. Squatting strengthens your thighs and helps open your pelvis, which gives your baby more room to descend. This exercise also shortens the pushing phase of labor, and it reduces the need for assisted vaginal deliveries (vacuum extraction or forceps deliveries) Be aware that this labor-related exercise can be tiring, so it’s important that you don’t overexert yourself. Build your stamina and practice frequently.

To squat, you’ll want to stand with your back against a wall. Keep your feet shoulder length apart. Slowly slide down the wall into a squatting position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. With the help of a pregnancy ball for support (or a chair, or your partner), hold this position for five or ten seconds. Then, slide back up to a standing position. Repeat this five or ten more times.

3. Cobbler Pose

Another labor-related exercise that you should try is called the cobbler pose. This exercise helps open up your pelvis, while loosening your hip joints. In addition, the cobbler pose eases tension in your lower back. This labor related exercise is performed sitting down. The cobbler pose isn’t hard to do, and you will find that it improves your flexibility.

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