Exercises to Prepare for Childbirth

This period of the second trimester of your pregnancy is a good time to begin to prepare your body for giving birth to your baby. There are specific exercises you can do at home, as well as formal classes that will help you and your partner understand the labor and delivery process and prepare for it.

Personal Exercise

In addition to the overall benefits of participating in sports and exercise activities, improved general well being, self image, and relaxation, there are two exercises that specifically will help prepare your body for childbirth.

Pelvic Tilt

  • Benefits - strengthens abdominal muscles, relieves lower back discomfort.
  • How to do the pelvic tilt
    • Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
    • Exhale as you tilt your pelvis up by pulling in your abdomen and then pushing your lower back up toward the ceiling.
    • Hold this position while you slowly count to six. Then inhale and relax, returning your back to the initial resting position.
    • Repeat 10 times, a few times each day, or as recommended by our doctors and nurses.
  • The pelvic tilt can be done anytime your back feels tired. It is a helpful exercise that relieves the tension in the lower back.

Pelvic Floor Contraction (Kegel Exercise)

  • Benefits - strengthens, tightens, and tones abdominal and urinary tract muscles; increases tone and elasticity of the vagina.
  • How to do the pelvic floor contraction (Kegel exercise)
    • Sit, stand, or lie down comfortably.
    • Think about your vagina and anal area, and tighten these muscles in the same way that you would to stop urinating in midstream.
    • Hold this position as tightly as possible for a slow count of five while breathing normally.
    • Relax completely.
    • Do a few sessions of several repetitions every day throughout your pregnancy while watching television, at a traffic light, or at the office.
  • In addition, when you urinate, practice starting and stopping the stream of urine, before emptying your bladder completely.
Republished from Her Healthcare.