During pregnancy, the benefits of regular, gentle pregnancy exercises are immense and unlimited. To encourage your baby to get into the right position, protect your perineum and facilitate your delivery, rely on these simple and effective exercises! As you are beginning to wonder (and get a little anxious…) about how you want to give birth during your first pregnancy, let´s look at these best pieces of advice that you’ve ever received: treat your birth like a sporting event and train to go through it like an athlete and succeed like a champion! You may be a bit confused at first. Don´t worry; the more you read, the more everything will make sense. As everyone was advising you to take it easy, not to make too much effort, to relax, to enjoy yourself… In fact, these advices came at the right time to reverse all the good old clichés that pregnant women are told from the first months that they are fragile and must take it easy. So we are guessing that you have now lot of questions in mind:
- Did I really need to prepare myself physically for my delivery?
- Were there any appropriate exercises?
- When should I start training?
And what we will answer here; will change completely your vision of pregnancy and childbirth. We would now like to share with you some pregnancy exercises for easy delivery that can help open up your pelvis and position your baby in an optimal way for childbirth. Don’t panic, you will soon realize that we are not offering you a high level athlete’s workout, but only a few positions of pregnancy exercises at home to adopt and repeat every day if you can. You can start these pregnancy exercises from the beginning of your pregnancy, after having obtained the green light from your gynecologist.
Walking is the most important routine of easy pregnancy exercises because in addition to improving your cardiovascular health and toning your muscles, walking provides all of the following benefits:
- Decreases the threat of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, cesarean section and stillbirth.
- Ensures optimal weight for you and your baby.
- Helps you manage your stress and anxiety levels.
- Increases your chances of having an easier pregnancy and delivery.
If you were walking frequently earlier you got pregnant, remain to do so. If you think you are not used to walking, you can make a softer start. Walk for 15 minutes at least 3 days a week. Once you get used to walking regularly, you can walk at a slightly faster pace and increase your walking sessions to 30 minutes four or more times a week. If you feel fit and are in good physical condition, you can walk longer than that. Just remember never to force yourself and slow down or stop if you feel tired, sick, or in pain. Your body will usually be able to tell you when it is time to stop.
2. Good Standing and Sitting Positions
If some people tell you that sitting or standing isn’t really physical activity, you can tell them that when you’re carrying an extra 50 pounds, certain standing and sitting positions are very effective and best pregnancy exercises in increasing your heart rate and stabilizing your pelvis. The key is to avoid settling down too much (or even slouching) on your couch or in bed. One of the most effective pregnancy exercises related to this posture is to stand with your pelvis pulled forward.
In pregnancy exercises with ball; you can also invest in a gym ball to help you keep your balance. Try to be sure to buy a ball that is firm for your pregnancy exercises. In this pose, keep your hips higher and your knees lower. In these pregnancy exercises in third trimester; starting in your 7th month of pregnancy, try to sit on your pregnancy ball as often as possible, this will help keep your pelvis aligned and the baby in optimal position.
Another great posture pregnancy exercise is to sit cross-legged. This position pushes the uterus forward, stretches the legs, and helps your pelvis open up. The benefit of this pregnancy exercise lay on the fact that you may perform it at almost every condition without anyone around you suspecting that you are exercising for a natural birth!
3. Pelvic Tilts
These good pregnancy exercises help to strengthen the stomach muscles and relieve back pain during pregnancy and childbirth. It will allow you to stretch and soften your spine, while promoting good abdominal breathing. This pregnancy exercise is very indicated to relieve the sacrum, the bone that joins the spine and the coccyx and that is very solicited during the pregnancy. It can also help place your baby in the best possible position for birth. How do you go about it?
- Get on all fours, shoulders straight and hips perpendicular to your knees. Keep your arms straight and your elbows flexible.
- As you inhale, contract your stomach muscles, pull your buttocks in (down) and round your back, much like a cat stretching.
- Release your back to the normal position as you exhale. Repeat the exercise, but this time arch your back and stick out your tailbone (up).
- Repeat this pregnancy exercise at your peculiar solitude, ensuing the tempo of your breath.
4. Butterfly Wings
You can do this very simple pregnancy exercise throughout your pregnancy. It strengthens your perineum and thighs, makes your pelvis more flexible, while stretching your knees and groin area. This posture is recommended for great help during childbirth. Furthermore, these pregnancy exercises in first trimester can be performed as early as you prefer. It can be done in two ways:
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and falling towards the ground and the soles of your feet touching: the legs form the wings of a butterfly.
- As you bend your knees towards the floor, verify your heels are near to your bottoms. The lower back will dig in, this is normal. You should not force this arching.
- Breathe slowly and deeply and try to relax in this position by staying like this for a few moments.
- To return to the initial position, start by putting the pelvis back in place by contracting the glutes, and lifting the buttocks.
- Then bring your knees back to the center.
- Sit on the floor and bring both of your legs at the level they can touch the pelvic area.
- While holding your ankles with both hands, gently bounce your knees between fifteen and twenty times, as if you were flapping your legs.
- Stop for a few seconds and then repeat the pregnancy exercise about ten times while taking deep breaths.
5. Back Stretches in The Squat Position
The squat position is a natural birthing posture: this pregnancy exercise is ideal for preparing you for childbirth because it helps you strengthen your thighs and open your pelvis:
- Stand facing the back of a chair, your feet slightly wider apart than the width of your hips, toes forward. Grip at the back side of the chair in order to get stable maintenance.
- Bond your stomach muscles, boost your chest, and ease your shoulders. Then subordinate your tailbone to the ground; imagine you are looking forward to sit in.
- Try to retain your back side straight, or only a little bent, when you are moving. Find your balance: much of your heaviness should be focused in your heels.
- Take a deep breath and then blow out, pushing off your legs to return to a standing position.
6. Muscle Your Perineum
If you follow these pregnancy exercises to soften and strengthen your perineum throughout your pregnancy, you’re putting the odds in your favor to avoid a possible tear or episiotomy on the day of your delivery. These exercises will also help strengthen the muscles in this area to facilitate expulsion on the big day and prevent future bladder weakness. The perineum is set of muscles which strength your uterus and bladder. It is located between your vagina and your rectum. So with these pregnancy exercises; you need to work these two areas separately or, when you get used to it, simultaneously.
7. The Best Sleeping Position
From the fifth month on, most doctors and midwives will advise you not to sleep on your back, as this position can cause back problems, breathing problems, a slowing down of your digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and less blood flow between your heart and baby. These pregnancy exercises in second trimester urge the best sleeping position:
- Turn to your left side to avoid compressing the vena cava under your uterus.
- Rest your belly and right leg on a nursing pillow, duffel or pillow.
- Be sure to use as many pillows as you like to feel cushioned and supported … especially between your knees to keep your pelvis balanced and aligned with the rest of your body.
It’s up to you! With these seven easy-to-remember pregnancy exercises and postures which you can even do listening to nursery rhymes so that you can learn some before the arrival, you’ll have every chance of having a beautiful pregnancy and a natural birth. For some extra information you may read about benefits of teaching nursery rhymes.