4 Exercises that’ll help you during labour
There are technical ways in which you can get your body all set for labour. Although you may not know how your labour will progress, you can ease the pain that you experience during childbirth to a significant extent by doing these four exercises:
1. Kegel Exercises: These exercises target the muscles that provide support to your bladder, uterus, urethra and rectum. By strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, these exercises help in improving the flow of blood to your vaginal and rectal area. Kegel exercises involve contracting of the muscles of your pelvic floor as you would do if you had to prevent passing urine or stool. It is also known to reduce the duration of the pushing stage of childbirth, which is the second stage. You can do the exercises sitting or standing and in either of the two ways-
Slow kegels: For this, contract the muscles of your pelvic floor and hold them for 3-10 seconds. Release and repeat the exercise for ten times.
Fast kegels: To do this, you need to contract and loosen up your pelvic muscles 25-50 times. Do the set for about 4 times with 5 seconds interval between each set.
2. Squatting: Practising squatting during your pregnancy can help in preparing your pelvic muscles for labour. While strengthening your thighs, it opens up your pelvis for an easy descent of the baby. So, here’s what you should do:
1. Begin by standing behind a chair for support with your feet wide apart
2. While contracting your abdominal muscles, relax your shoulders and chest before lowering your tailbone towards the floor
3. While inhaling and exhaling deeply, push into your legs and go back into a standing position
3. Pelvic Tilt: This exercise helps in strengthening the muscles of your back, pelvis and thigh regions while improving posture. Ensuring your pelvic joints remain flexible, it eases the pain experienced during delivery. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Get down on both your hands and knees while keeping your head in a parallel position with your back
2. While arching your back, pull in your stomach
3. Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing
The exercise needs to be repeated 3-5 times - all the while maintaining a strong hold over your back and stomach.
4. Tailor Pose: The tailor pose is designed to help relax your hip joints as well as open up the pelvis. It also helps in improving your body posture while easing the aches that occur in the lower part of your back. For this, you need to perform the following steps:
1. While keeping your back straight, sit comfortably on the floor
2. Placing the soles of both the feet together, press your knees gently towards the floor
3. Keep the position for 10-15 seconds. You can repeat the exercise for 5-10 times.