You are in the last weeks of pregnancy, and it’s getting difficult and uncomfortable, right? You’re waiting, and there’s no sign your baby wants to get out into this beautiful world.
Labor is considered one of the most difficult stages before delivery. It is a natural process by which the fetus and the placenta leave the uterus and occurs in three stages before an infant is born. Problems including sleeplessness, back pain, swollen feet, and acid reflux arise, and you feel excruciating pain.
But there’s no need to worry. You can induce labor naturally with some safe exercises you can try at home. Not only are they safe, but they are easy too.
Eight safe exercises to induce labor
If someone has told you not to squat during pregnancy, never take advice from them again.
Squats are considered one of the safest exercises during pregnancy that prepares you for labor and childbirth. From getting you in really good shape, and helping the baby move down near the pelvis, squats help you naturally induce labor.
To squat, you need to stand with both feet apart and gently lower yourself into a squat position. Keep your back straight, and never let your knees protrude for about 10 to 30 seconds. Then, get back to a standing position pushing your upper body from your knees.
Repeating this process about 10-20 times daily will help alleviate back pain during pregnancy.
Are you resting on your bed the whole time, waiting to see your baby come into this beautiful world? You need to start walking if you want to make that happen early.
Yes, taking a simple walk daily comes with a lot of benefits. Though walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise, it’s easy to perform and is an effective means to induce labor naturally.
When you enter active labor, walking and moving around in an upright position helps the labor process and gets your baby into an ideal position.
However, you need to understand that the answer to “how much does walking help induce labor” does not apply the same to all pregnant women.
3. Pelvic tilt
The pelvic tilt, often known as pelvic rock, is a simple exercise at home to naturally induce labor. All you need to do is find a good space to lie down on your back, bend your knees and keep your foot on your floor. You also need to make sure that you don’t arch your shoulders.
Pelvic tilt helps to strain your muscles while keeping the pelvic joints loose to get your baby into a better position.
Put on your favorite music and do it for about 5 to 10 minutes every day, and this exercise will help you for better fetal positioning and comfort during labor.
Most exercise instructors might not consider sitting as an “exercise.” But, when your belly has grown so large, and you’re going through labor, a proper sitting position can help you ease the pain, strengthen your body and stabilize the pelvis.
Sitting just does not mean anywhere. Try avoiding beds, gliders, and soft couches. Always make sure that you sit in an upright position with your pelvis pent forward. Replace the regular chair with the exercise ball to keep your pelvis aligned.
You can also go outdoors and pick up sports like kayaking that offer great health benefits even during pregnancy.
You can also try different positions, including cross-legged, where you stretch your legs and push the uterus forward. One benefit of this exercise is that people won’t even know how helpful sitting is to naturally induce labor.
Another easy exercise that can help you transcend into labor naturally is leaning. The best part is you can lean on everything; on counters, walls, tables, and even people.
You can also buy a birth ball to make learning more fun as it’ll help you to exert pressure on your back and loosen the pelvic muscles so that the delivery process becomes easy. Start rolling on the exercise ball, and your body will prepare itself for natural labor in no time.
Stretching muscles below the hip, on the back, thighs and pelvis is what butterflies can do. Also called tailor sitting, butterflies is a simple exercise that makes the pelvic joints flexible to help induce labor.
You can do it any way you want to. Get in a sitting position, find a wall to support your back, and put your feet together. Press the knees with your hands and try to stretch your inner thighs.
You can also have someone assist you in stretching your thighs more. Perform this exercise for about 5 to 10 minutes, and you’re all set.
7. Stair climbing
You must have gained a lot of weight, and climbing the stairs might be the last thing you’d want to do. But, fear not, as climbing a few flights of stairs can help you towards safe labor.
Climbing stairs might be difficult at first, but it works like a charm and will prepare you for the stressful situation you will have next.
Climbing will help you maintain your blood pressure and position your baby properly while opening the pelvic region and starting the contractions required to ease the labor.
If you’ve never exercised or done yoga before, you can have poor posture causing your uterus to be cramped and twisted. This can create a lot of pressure for your baby to get into a good position inside your bump. This is where lunges can help you with.
An exercise that can help to untwist the lower uterine ligaments and lunges also prepares you for easy labor.
Stand and put one of your legs ahead and maintain a bent knee position. You can either try vertical lunge or push against the wall while maintaining a similar position.
If it’s getting difficult, take help from your partner and try to flatten your lower back as much as possible until you feel it burn. Hold the position for about 30 seconds and repeat about 3-5 times daily.
What exercise are you most comfortable with during the pre-delivery stage during pregnancy? Write us in the comments below!
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.