Everything has its own process; childbirth is no different. Although it is a beautiful experience, it can also be quite difficult a situation to handle. One important milestone during pregnancy is the labor and for this, it is important for pregnant women to know the right way in which they should prepare for the same. This article will run you through 7 best exercises for easy childbirth.
Most babies wriggle themselves into the optimum position for childbirth, with their head down, facing your back. These movements can feel like twinges, and these easy labour exercises that you practice during your pregnancy will lessen your pain and difficulty during the labor hour, making the process smoother for you.
Exercises for Easy Childbirth
First and foremost, make it a habit to consciously breathe. Taking long, deep breaths is always helpful and this needs to be done during labour as well. Deep breathing restores energy in the body by filling up air in the body which is noted to directly reduce anxiety and stress.
Specially for an easier labour process, start training yourself to take slow, deep breaths in, almost like yawns, and then breathe it out with your mouth open. Also, called the ‘ocean breathing technique’, this breathing should sound like waves swooshing in and out. You will know you are doing it right when you will suddenly feel relaxed and there is a usually a noticeable reduction in the pain levels.
Let’s now jump to the list of exercises to make labour easier. For improved ease of understanding, we are dividing the exercises in to 2 categories: a) the first 4 and b) the last 3.
The First Four: The below 4 exercises are best practiced during the early stages of labour.
The Butterfly Stretch
Labour will make you move through different positions, and that can put a lot of stress on your thighs. That’s why this exercise is beneficial to you because it will help your hard-working inner-thigh muscles relax. Put your back against the wall, and sit on a cushion. Now, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet together. As you breathe out, let your thighs relax downwards as far as they will comfortably go. This is one of the most important exercises for an easy labour.
The Deeply Relaxing Dip
A baby with its head downwards will generally experience smoother childbirth. A great way to let this happen is through squatting, essentially allowing gravity to work with your body to help your baby’s movements. Stand behind a chair and hold on to its back. Keep your legs spread slightly wider than the hip-width, and your feet turned out a bit.
Now, bend your knees slowly, allowing your hips to flex, and your pelvis and bum to stick out, imitating the movement of getting down to sit on a chair. As you do this pose, you will feel your pelvis widen.
The Pressure Easing Lunge
This exercise will help you widen your pelvis and turn your baby so that he is facing your back. This is an exercise to prepare for natural childbirth. Place a chair against the wall, making sure it’s stable. Stand by the side of the chair and place your left hand on the wall for stability. Put your left foot on the seat and point your knee and foot towards the wall. As you lunge forward, bend your knee to make a 90-degree angle and move diagonally towards the wall. Hold the lunge for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Pro-Tip: Amidst pregnancy, not just exercises, it is important to also pay attention to the foods to eat or foods to avoid during pregnancy
The Gentle Circle
Another exercise for easy labour is called the Gentle Circle. Sometimes, you may feel that your baby may be pressing against your spine. This is what you can do to ease that pressure.
Carefully get on your hands and knees, keeping your knees wide apart and your hands just wider than your shoulders. Keep your back flat. Slowly shift your weight in a clockwise circle by leaning over your right arm, then over your right hip, then your left hip, before moving forwards over your left arm. Then circle your body anticlockwise, keeping your movement smooth.
The Last Three: The below 3 exercises will come in handy when your contractions strengthen.
The Back Soother
The weight of your bump puts a lot of stress on your back as your labour progresses. Thus, take some time to stretch out your spine and back muscles. One of the exercises to prepare for natural childbirth, this one requires you to kneel on the floor and widen your knees, then lower your buttocks over your feet and reach forward, so your arms are stretched out in front of you and your hands are flat on the floor.
Here are few more exercises for back pain relief during pregnancy.
The Tension Reliever
You may start feeling that the contractions are getting a bit intense. Do this exercise to help relieve the discomfort, which is also one of the best exercises to prepare for labor. Place a chair against the wall or use the side of the bed. Kneel on the floor and rest your elbows on the chair, shoulder-width apart.
Press the palms of your hands together, then point your fingertips up to the ceiling and relax your neck. Rest your forehead on the edge of the chair, placing a towel or cushion under your forehead, if you need it. Keep your back straight, then tilt your pelvis and arch your back so the base of your spine points up and out. Take three slow breathes, then rest back on your heels and repeat when ready.
The Curl- Up
Easily the best exercise for easy labour and delivery, this position can help open up your pelvis during the later stages of labour, to make that crucial little bit of extra room for your baby’s head to squeeze through. Start on your hands and knees, then widen your knees and come down onto your elbows. Interlace your fingers. Now, slowly shift your body weight backwards, curling the base of your spine down towards the floor. Pause, then slowly move your body weight forwards onto your elbows again.
Pregnancy, labour and childbirth can be exhaustive affairs for your body to go through, especially if it is your first time. We hope the above simple and easy labour exercises can help you in dealing with the pain and discomfort, as well as prepare your body to bring a child into the world. Do these exercises, as well as others recommended by your doctor and increase your chances of having a smoother childbirth experience.
Check out some more pregnancy tips and tricks to help you ensure a safer and happier pregnancy.
Note: All these exercises are safe for practice during pregnancy. Labor starts only when the baby is ready for birth; you need not worry about the same. Hence, you can practice these on daily basis during your pregnancy.