Easy Exercises To Prepare Your Body For Labour

We speak to a chiropractor to find out what exercises can help prepare your body for giving birth

The countdown is on. You are in the final few weeks of pregnancy and you can really feel your body gear up for the main even—labour. At this stage of your pregnancy, your body is producing an excessive amount of the hormone Relaxin that assists in opening the pelvic joints so that your baby can lower. Some women may find this realignment uncomfortable and even painful.

The following simple exercises were suggested by my chiropractor and will help you alleviate some discomfort, promote the realignment of your pelvis and help the baby drop into position for birth. All you will need is a well-inflated exercise ball, a dodgeball and/or your partner for support.

Pelvic tilt on exercise ball

Keeping the abdominal muscles tight during this exercise helps readjust your pelvis into a more neutral angle.

Sit on the stability ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Keep your thighs parallel and your knees centered above your ankles. Maintain relaxed legs, with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Lift your arms out in front of your body at chest level. Tighten your abdominal muscles and inhale. Hold for a count of five.

Exhale as you roll your hips forward on the ball, keeping your head, arms and shoulders aligned and still. Hold for a count of five. Inhale as you roll backward, maintaining balance in the upper back, shoulders and head. Hold for a five count. Repeat this for 10 repetitions, keeping your abdominals tight and your legs relaxed.

Pelvic tilt rotations on exercise ball

Rotating the hips stretches and relaxes the hip's deep flexor muscles. Adjusting the flexors through movement relieves pain in the lower back and allows the anterior pelvic tilt to return to a healthier position.

From the upright, aligned position, rotate your pelvis in a circle as you sit on the ball with your arms extended to the sides. Rotate smoothly and fluidly to the right for two to three minutes, keeping your upper body level and still. Reverse your direction for the same amount of time before coming to an upright, aligned position.

Inner/outer thigh pulse on exercise ball

While sitting up straight on the exercise ball, place a ball in between both knees and apply pressure to the ball 10 times using just your inner thigh strength. Next, have your partner place a hand on the outside of each knee and resist your attempt to open your knees. Repeat the 10 pulses for your outer thighs.

These inner and outer thigh exercises are not terribly challenging and will strengthen the muscles surrounding your pelvis.

Repeat these exercises everyday until the end of your pregnancy. Many women find the pelvic tilts and rotations helpful even during labour.

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