Exercise is warrior discipline – you get a stronger heart, firmer muscles, fit body and a calmer mind when you surrender to it regularly. Here we discuss in detail about some exercises that can help you achieve a natural birth.
– A consistent exercise schedule helps you get fit and makes you feel your best.
– It increases your stamina, so you have more endurance to push your little one out.
– Exercise can highlight your posture flaws and will help you straighten up naturally to avoid more damage and pressure in unwanted places that are common during pregnancy.
– If you eat healthy along with a fitness routine, it will drive away fatigue.
– It can help ease common discomforts that arise due to stiffness like shoulder ache, dull pains, neck stiffness, etc.
– It will strengthen your back and core, helping you transform into a strong, solid base for your beautiful baby to grow.
– It can relieve stress and make you feel light, give you some assurance that you can do this, ease off self-doubt and clear your anxiety.
– Studies also prove that physical activity can prevent Gestational Diabetes, the one that develops exclusively during pregnancy.
Is exercise good for you?
If you have a history of heart disease, active diabetes or asthma, take special care before exercising. It is not advisable for you to exercise on your own with the advice you found on the web because you can end up harming you or your baby.
You should never attempt exercise during pregnancy if:
– You’ve had spotting or bleeding since getting pregnant.
– You have a low lying placenta.
– You’ve had repeated miscarriages in the past.
– Your pregnancy was unstable at any time, like a threatened miscarriage.
– You have had previous premature births, or you have a history of early labour.
– You are said to have a weak cervix.
Exercises for Normal Delivery
What we described above are for novices. To really ferociously prepare for a natural birth, get yourself a trainer. Kegels, weight lifting, squats and more are definitely integral in loosening up your hips for delivery and soothing aches.
Our pelvic floor is composed of soft ligaments and muscles that hang like a swing between our hip bones, supporting all our intestines, fat, kidneys, uterus, bladder and the other organs. The pelvic floor also plays a huge role in the contraction of the vagina and the flow of urine. Kegels are fantastic because they help strengthen the pelvic floor to bear the increasing stress of carrying the extra baby weight. They also help the birth canal expand during labour and prevent urinary incontinence problems that are so common after birth. Studies have also proved that women who practice kegels regularly have shorter active labour than those who did not.
To do kegels, tighten your pelvic floor as if you are trying to stop urinating midstream. That’s it! Concentrate only the pelvic area without clenching your thighs, stomach or butt and don’t hold your breath. Those around you must not be able to tell whether you are exercising. Start holding your muscles for around 4 seconds and gradually work up to 10 seconds. Leave ample time for recovery. Work up the repetitions as you go. Aim for around 5 to 10 sets three times a day at the max.
To perform squats, stand straight with your feet placed apart in shoulder-width. To balance, you can hold your hands out straight in front of you. Keep your back straight, support your body on your heels and slowly lower yourself into a squat position. Go slowly only as far as you are comfortable. Return to the starting position. Take care not to lose balance; don’t hold your breath or push yourself – it is better if you get the help of a professional in this workout. You can aim for 3 sets of around 10 reps max.
Strength and Flexibility Workouts
If you hobble out of your bed with pain shooting everywhere as you move, stretching is the remedy. Doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you are a girl or a sneaky boy reading this far, whether you are pregnant or not, stretching feels like every bone in the body is put back in the correct place and given a squeezy hug. Stretch when you wake up, before you exercise, in the middle of a tiring day, after a comfy movie – anytime. No exercise is complete without stretching.
Sitting properly can be crucial in helping your baby descend low, ready for birth. Once you hit the 7-month mark, stop reclining. Always sit upright, in the squatting position or a cross-legged fashion with your pelvis tilted slightly forward. Wherever you sit, make sure that your hips are higher than your knees. You can also use a firm exercise ball and sit on it instead of the regular chairs.
Walking is the safest exercise, perfect for all levels, through all trimesters. Pick good shoes, choose your own pace and walk with love. Do not exhaust yourself or push yourself too hard. Walking is easy to learn, requires no special equipment and is very relaxing – tag along with a partner for an extra joy factor.
Pull all your favorite albums out and have a party with yourself every day. Choose tunes that make your heart jump with joy and shake your leg like no one’s watching. You could also sign up for that dance class you’ve been thinking of so long. Just be careful that you don’t leap in too much enthusiasm or twirl too hard so you lose balance. Ouch!
Another quick titbit – your baby will be able to hear those songs from around the 5th month! Even after birth, many fussy babies have calmed down after hearing the familiar tunes they grew up with! Pass on your awesome music tastes to your tiny tot!!
Swimming is a great way to work out while having fun, that is, erm, if you know how to swim. Many moms to be love swimming because even if they feel like a blue whale waddling around in the third trimester, the instant they hit the water, they’re absolutely weightless. Swimming also makes use of all your large muscle groups, is a good cardio work out and reduces swelling.
Runs or jogs are good for building endurance for the big day. If you are a veteran, you could start light jogs from your first trimester and progress to relaxed running in the third trimester. If you’re a newbie, stay away from this without proper supervision. Also, in the third trimester, the ligaments and tendons in your body begin to loosen up in preparation for flexibility to make way for the baby, so you’ll injure yourself or tear a tendon (double ouch!) if you run without proper prior experience or guidance.
Joining a pregnancy aerobics group is a wonderful experience. You can gracefully train with other moms, know about the creepy cravings they have, examine each other to assess stretch mark territories and can get two hundred different tips on how to make heartburn vanish. (Spoiler Alert: It is there to stay, until D-day). Oh, and also, you’ll get fit, flexible and stronger.
You can get lots of real workout videos online with sets and reps that require no equipment – discuss with your caregiver and choose one (like Pilates) and follow it religiously. Do what suits you and be consistent in following the routine.
We hope that this post energized you (yayy! time to go pregnancy workout shopping!) Bye and take care!