Doctors say that delivering a baby is like running a marathon because it takes a lot of effort, preparation, and exercise to do, if you want to have a relatively easy pregnancy and a normal delivery. Therefore it’s really important to talk to your doctor beforehand and to listen to your body’s needs.
For all moms-to-be that want a less painful delivery here are some exercises that will help you to tone your body while getting ready for labor and delivery, as well as to ease some of the most common pregnancy pains.
We should mention first that it’s probably not the best idea to hit the gym once you get pregnant especially if you’ve never been there before. Unless it’s not a high-risk pregnancy, then your exercising routine should remain the same or at least become a bit lighter.
It’s a common misconception that exercising can lead to a miscarriage, but we do recommend light cardio like walking or swimming. It will help build stamina which you will need during labor.
This can also help you lower your risk of having a C-section or in the case having your newborn with a weight that’s abnormally high. These are some of the best exercises we recommend for every mom, newbies or professionals.
Side leg lifts
This kind of exercise will help you tone your thigh muscles. What you need to do it lay on your side with your shoulders, hips, and knees lined up.
In case you don’t feel stable enough, bring the leg you are laying on forward; You can support your head with your arm and bring the other one forward for more balance, then slowly lift the upper leg as high as you can without experiencing any discomfort;
Switch sides and repeat.
This exercise makes your pelvic more flexible, your thigh and hip muscles more flexible as well. The way to do this exercise you need to sit on the floor with your back straight and the soles of your feet together and gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hips and thighs.
Your back needs to remain straight; Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
The clamshell exercise is perfect for toning your core, hips, thighs, and pelvic floor muscles, and it also helps reduce back pain. The way to do this you need to lie on your side with your legs and hips stacked and knees bent.
You can support your head with your lower arm and make sure to keep your back straight and as well as that your toes are touching; Then just raise your upper leg with the knee still bent and feet touching, spreading your knees as far apart as possible.
Hold it for a few seconds, then put your leg back down. Switch sides and repeat.
Doing squats during pregnancy has so many benefits for you. It will help you tone your pelvic floor muscles, reduce your lower back and pelvic pain, and it’s a great birthing position.
So stand up straight and put your feet shoulder-width apart. If your stomach is already big and you feel unsteady, hold on to something like a chair, a couch, or a wall.
Keep your back straight and start squatting down. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes and go as low as you can without experiencing any discomfort;
Hold the squat position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
Hip Flexor Stretch
You can stretch your hip flexor muscles with this exercise and this is very helpful to stay limber and is sure makes it easier for you to open your legs wide during labor.
To do this exercise you need to put one foot in front of you and slowly get down as low as possible and make sure that your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle so that your knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Lean forward onto the front leg and hold the stretch for a little bit;
Switch legs and repeat.
The plank is a great core exercise. It doesn’t put pressure directly on the abs, making it safe for the baby. To do this just get down on your hands and knees, lower yourself onto your elbows, and put your forearms on the floor.
Straighten your legs so that your body forms a straight line and in case if it’s too difficult, slightly bend your knees or put them on the floor completely;
Stay in this position for as long as you can without experiencing any discomfort.
This exercise works great with the pelvic floor muscles and helps open the hips:
To do this you need to stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and make sure your feet are looking outward. Slowly bend your knees so that they’re over the ankle bones;
Stay in this position and breathe steadily.
Last but not least do belly breathing. It’s a great exercise to perfect your breathing technic. Sit down in the cross-legged position, close your eyes and put your hands on your belly.
Take slow deep breaths. Make sure that your jaw, neck, and shoulders are relaxed. Relax your pelvic muscles as well and slowly exhale and repeat.
Bonus exercise: Keeping your posture correct
As your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, it gets really hard to maintain good posture. The best way to fix this is to practice standing close to a wall, so that the back of your head, shoulders, glutes, calves, and heels touch the wall.
Another great way is to strengthen your core muscles by doing plank regularly.
We hope these exercises will help you feel better during your pregnancy. If you have anything to add –feel free to do so in the comments!