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Exercises and stretches to help with labor

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Pregnancy exercise has numerous advantages and might even help your body prepare for labour. We’ll guide you through a few of these exercises, explain why they’re good for pregnancy and labour, and show you how to practise them. All of these workouts may be done at home with very little equipment.

Working out when pregnant can help with backaches, constipation, and edoema, as well as sleep, energy, and mood, and general health. Exercising might also help you prepare for labour and delivery.

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According to one study, women who exercised regularly throughout pregnancy had a lower risk of c-section birth, experienced less pain and discomfort during labour, and recovered faster after giving birth.

While many sorts of exercise, such as walking, swimming, weight training, and aerobics, are good during pregnancy, certain movements and stretches are especially beneficial during labour and delivery. Here’s how these basic exercises can help you, as well as how to correctly perform them

Gravity exercises

Walking

Walking is a terrific technique to build stamina and a great aerobic exercise that is also gentle on the joints. Walking at the end of your pregnancy can assist your baby in descending due to gravity and the back-and-forth action of your hips.

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Birth ball

Birth balls can be used to sit, rock, stretch, or provide support. Birth ball activities are among of the greatest exercises for assisting with labour – in fact, women who engaged in birth ball exercises, particularly in a group environment, were shown to have shorter labour times. Here are a few ideas about how to use a birth ball:

Hip-opening exercises

Squat

Squatting is a tried-and-true method of getting ready for and giving birth. The exercise strengthens your thighs while also assisting in the opening of your pelvis.

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Butterfly stretch

Another technique that helps open your pelvis while also stretching your inner thighs and lower back is the butterfly stretch. Stretch lightly and avoid overstretching because your joints are looser during pregnancy.

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Back-stretching exercises

Pelvic tilt

On all fours, on your knees, with your hands on the floor, perform the pelvic tilt (also known as the angry cat). It can help with back pain during pregnancy and delivery by strengthening the abdominal muscles. How to do it:

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Back stretch

This exercise extends the muscles at the back of your legs, as well as the spine and shoulders. When you’re feeling tense in your back, try this stretch. It can also aid in the relief of muscle tension during labour.

Child’s pose

Child’s pose is a moderate lower back stretch that can also be used as a light hip opening to help prepare for delivery.

Sit on your knees and open your knees wide, leaning forward with your tummy between your legs. Reach your arms forward on the ground and place your brow on the ground.

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Pelvic floor exercises

Kegels

The pelvic floor muscles that support your pelvic organs — the vagina, urethra, cervix, uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum – are worked during Kegel exercises. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help prevent or treat urine stress incontinence by providing greater support for these organs.

There’s even some evidence that having adequate control of your pelvic floor muscles can assist you labour more quickly during the pushing stage. The theory is that if you can relax those muscles willingly, it will make it simpler for your kid to come out. Pelvic floor exercises may also help to shorten labour time.

Kegels can be done anywhere – at your computer, while watching TV, or even while waiting in line at the store. Specific exercises can be recommended by your doctor or midwife, but here are the basics:

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Perineal massage

The area between your vagina and anus is known as your perineum. Perineal massage entails gently rubbing the tissue surrounding the back of your vaginal opening to allow it to stretch more easily after your baby is born. This is something you can do at home in the later weeks of your pregnancy to reduce perineal damage or tears during labour and delivery. Learn how to give yourself a perineal massage.

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Breathing exercises

Deep, slow breathing

Breathing deeply while relaxing and concentrating on your breath helps you prepare to breathe in this manner throughout birth. You can employ deep and concentrated breathing as a relaxing technique at any moment. It’s also beneficial to practise at times of pain or stress, or whenever your body tenses up in everyday situations.

FAQ

  1. Can stretching help with labor?

    Exercise, specifically extending the pelvic region, has been shown in a recent study in England to reduce the length of time you are in labour. In fact, women who did not exercise while pregnant had a longer labour and more difficult, aggressive pushing than women who exercised from week 20 onwards.

  2. What stretches help with labor?

    As you inhale, sit tall and push your chest forward and up, creating a natural curvature in your lower back (similar to Cow Pose). Drop your chin, lean back, and round your back as you exhale (like Cat Pose). Rep this move five to ten times, or until it feels comfortable.

  3. What is the quickest way to go into labor?

    Natural methods for inducing labour
    – Get your feet moving. Movement may assist in the initiation of labour.
    – Have some sex. Sex is frequently suggested as a way to start labour.
    – Relax as much as possible.
    – Consume something hot and spicy.
    – Make an appointment for acupuncture.
    – Ask your doctor to strip your membranes.

  4. How should I lay in bed to induce labor?

    It’s quite acceptable to lie down during labour. Lie down on one side, straightening your lower leg and bending your upper knee as far as possible. Place it on a pillow to support it. Another way to expand your pelvis and help your baby to rotate and descend is in this posture.

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