What exercises can mom do to help with labor

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Exercises to help with labor

When the birth approaches, it is said that the woman must rest and it is absolutely true. But rest consists in knowing how to alternate moments of relaxation (physical and mental) with healthy physical activity and a series of exercises able to help the mother in the last phase of gestation, up to the moment of labor.

The weight of the baby, in fact, presses on the pubis, on the legs, on the hips and can cause discomfort in the mother. Not to mention the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, common to many pregnant women. 

There are exercises that, in addition to preparing the woman in the best possible way for childbirth, are an important help at the time of labor. Let's find out what are the exercises to help labor, how and when to do them.

In this article

  • Preparatory exercises for childbirth
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Exercises that induce labor
Read also: Prodromal phase: what it is and when does labor begin

Preparatory exercises for childbirth

From the very beginning of pregnancy, the woman is advised to do some physical activity. Whether it's a little postural gymnastics, pilates, yoga or a simple walk, the expectant mother should not lead a too sedentary life, to avoid back pain, leg pain, etc.

Squats in pregnancy

Among the recommended exercises is, for example, lo squatting. It is a push-up on the legs that increases the strength of the latter (useful at the moment of the expulsion thrusts) and also strengthens the muscles of the pelvic area. The important thing is to practice it with your back straight and your feet shoulder width apart, without sending the knee too far forward when descending. It is suggested that future mothers do it attached to a wall with the back, so that the thighs remain parallel to the floor during the descent. This is a bit of a strenuous exercise, to be performed gradually, without overdoing it. 

Butterfly exercise in pregnancy

Also 'butterfly exercise it is recommended and consists of sitting on the ground, matching the soles of the feet and pushing the knees towards the floor. The woman will have to keep her back straight, perhaps leaning against a wall. The position abderà held for 10 or 15 seconds and then release. You can do more repetitions, from 5 to 20 times. The butterfly position benefits the back, pelvis and legs. 

Pelvic floor exercises

During pregnancy there is a lot of talk about pelvic floor exercises and to strengthen the perineum. 

Kegel exercises are those useful for training the pelvic floor and making the vaginal muscles reactive at the time of delivery. It is important, in fact, that the future mother has control of the pelvic muscles, this not only facilitates the woman at the time of labor, but also prevents widespread post-partum disorders (including urinary incontinence).

Specifically, to keep the pelvic floor active and strengthen the perineum, here are the exercises that a mother can do every day:

  • lie down on the ground, with your legs bent and contract your pelvic muscles for about 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat about 20 times (once the woman has become familiar with the exercise, the woman can also perform longer but progressive contractions, the so-called lift exercise. 
  • sit on the ground, with your legs bent and the soles of your feet well supported, take a rolled-up towel, ball or similar tool and squeeze it between your knees about 15-20 times. 
  • lie on your stomach, with your knees bent and your arms apart, lift your pelvis by doing the so-called bridge and hold the position for a few seconds, then relax and repeat about 10 times. 

these esercizi, if performed consistently, combined with a healthy life, a varied diet, a healthy daily walk and a normal sexual life are a panacea for pregnancy and labor. 

Exercises that induce labor

If the woman reaches the 40th week and there are still no symptoms that can suggest the arrival of labor, there are natural methods to induce it. Experts suggest, for example, sexual intercourse, nipple stimulation, or, a 'targeted physical activity.

First of all, physical activity is good for your health, improves your mood and stimulates contractions. The woman - who has reached the end of her pregnancy - can walk or swim, for example.

A walk

Make a nice one walk it is always recommended by gynecologists and obstetricians. It will help the mom to relax, breathe fresh air and the baby to go down to the cervix.

To swim

Alternatively the woman can swim (preferably breaststroke), in this way it will feel lighter, it will train the pelvic floor and it will favor the contractions.

Sources: Ospedalecristore.com; www.nhs.uk; healthline.com; ausl.pr.com

  • pregnancy exercises
  • perineum exercises
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