5 Best Exercises for an Easy Birth (2023 Updated)

Exercises for an Easy Birth

Looking for easy and effective exercises to prepare for birth? Our expert-approved article is designed to strengthen and stretch your body, improve flexibility, and increase endurance. From prenatal yoga to pelvic floor exercises, we have a variety of options to suit your needs and preferences. Start your pregnancy journey with confidence and ease with our Exercises for an Easy Birth.

Exercise Movements That Facilitate Birth
Exercise Movements That Facilitate Birth

During pregnancy, serious changes occur in the normal body physiology of women.

With the effect of pregnancy hormones and increasing body weight, the uterus expands, the body’s center of gravity changes, and the muscles relax.

As the time of the baby’s birth approaches, the value of the working system of the muscles, especially in the lower body, begins to increase. For this reason, the importance of exercising increases in order to manage the muscles well and provide breathing control at the time of birth.

Expectant mothers can prepare themselves for birth by doing exercises that make birth easier.

So, what are the exercise movements that facilitate childbirth? What are the benefits of these movements in childbirth? When is it appropriate to start? We have compiled the answers to all your questions for you.

Introduction to Preparing for Birth with Exercise

Exercise during pregnancy can help to prepare the body for an easier birth by strengthening the muscles used during labor and delivery. It can also help to improve overall physical and mental well-being during pregnancy. In this article, we will explore five exercises that can help to prepare for an easy birth.

At the time of birth, the hip, uterus, and pelvic muscles play quite a large role. The stronger the muscles here are, the more it will be possible to control the pain that occurs during contractions and relaxations, and the labor will be easier. For this reason, it is very beneficial for every pregnant woman to start light exercises at the end of the first trimester and to advance the movements towards birth when the last trimester comes. Here is a list of 5 exercises for easy birth:

Exercise 1: Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are a simple exercise that can help to strengthen the muscles of the lower back and pelvis, which are important for labor and delivery. To perform pelvic tilts:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Inhale and arch your back, tilting your pelvis backwards.
  • Exhale and tuck your pelvis under, flattening your lower back.
  • Repeat this movement for 8-12 repetitions.

Exercise 2: Kegels

One of the most effective exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles is the kegel exercise.

Kegel exercise is a movement that works the muscles that help hold your urine. It can be done easily anytime and anywhere during the day. The biggest advantage is that the exercise is not noticed from the outside while it is being performed.

Exercise Movements That Facilitate Birth

Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which support the uterus and help to control the release of urine. To perform Kegels:

  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine.
  • Tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor and hold for a count of three.
  • Relax the muscles and repeat for a total of 8-12 repetitions.

Exercise 3: Squats

Squats are a useful exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower body, including the hips and thighs, which are important for labor and delivery. To perform squats:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Inhale and lower your body into a squat position, keeping your back straight and your knees aligned with your toes.
  • Exhale and straighten your legs to return to the starting position.
You may also be interested in reading
Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women 101: The Best Comprehensive Guide

Exercise 4: Lunges

Lunges are a great exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower body, including the hips, thighs, and buttocks. To perform lunges:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Step forward with one foot and lower your body into a lunge position, keeping your back straight and your knee aligned with your toes.
  • Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Exercise 5: Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help to strengthen the muscles of the entire body and improve cardiovascular fitness. It is also a great way to relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains. To swim for exercise:

  • Begin by warming up with some gentle laps.
  • Incorporate some more vigorous strokes, such as freestyle or backstroke.
  • End with a cool-down period of gentle laps.

Muscle Softening Exercises

The muscles that help hold the urine are tightened for 5-6 seconds as if they are holding the urine, then they are relaxed. The application can be repeated 3 times a day for 4-5 minutes. As the muscles get used to it, you can extend the time if you wish.

These movements can be applied both to prepare yourself before birth and to help the birth progress in the hospital.

Hip Rolling Movement

You can work with a Pilates ball for this move. If you don’t have a Pilates ball, a chair can be used instead.

First, sit carefully on the pilates ball. With the back in an upright position, the legs are spread out slightly wider than the hips. Toes should be pointing outward.

With the feet firmly on the ground, the hip rounding motion is repeated 10 times on each side, first clockwise and then counterclockwise.

Hip Thrust

Sit on a Pilates ball with your legs spread apart and toes pointing outward. While sitting on the ball, the hips are moved back and forth (forward and backward). While pushing the hips forward, the back is slightly rounded and exhaled, while pushing the hips forward, the back is straightened and inhaled. The movement is repeated 8–10 times for each side.

Whole Body Rolling Movement

  • While standing in the kneeling position, hug the ball with the upper body on the pilates ball. At this stage, the hips and knees should be in line. Hands are joined on the ball. Along with the ball, the back, hips and the whole body are rounded. First clockwise and then counterclockwise rounding is repeated 10 times.
  • While the position in the 1st movement is kept intact, the body is moved forwards and backwards with the ball while wrapped in a pilates ball. Repeat 10 times on both sides. 

Both movements are beneficial for relaxing the hip, back, and uterine muscles. If there is no Pilates ball, rolling exercises can be performed with the help of a chair.

Breathing Exercises

Jumping Movement

Sit on the Pilates ball, firmly pressing your legs perpendicular to the ground. Care is taken to ensure that the back is straight and the legs make a 90-degree angle with the ankle. A slight bouncing motion is made on the ball for about 30 seconds. This movement helps to relax all body muscles and accelerate breathing.

Diaphragm Development Exercise

Stand in front of the Pilates ball with the back straight and the knees on the floor. Hands are placed on the ball in a triangular shape. A deep breath is taken through the nose, and the diaphragm is filled. The inhaled breath is given gradually, similar to the blowing movement from the mouth. During each exhalation, the ball is pressed down with the hands. The movement is repeated 15 times. 

With this breathing exercise, you can easily control your breathing at the time of birth by improving the diaphragm.

You may also be interested in reading
Pelvic Floor Exercises in Pregnancy 101: Essential for a Healthy Pregnancy

Malasana Movement

Get into the squatting position. In this position, the legs are spread wider than the hips and the hips are brought closer to the ground. Elbows are placed to touch the knees or inner leg area and hands are joined in the middle. Wait in this position for 10-15 seconds. 

The movement helps flex the inner legs and push the baby into the canal. If there is loss of balance while squatting, an object such as a pillow or book can be placed under the heels to provide elevation.

The Effect of Exercise on Birth

Doing sports and exercising: these are the activities recommended to keep our form, strengthen the joints, and feel healthier and fitter.

Especially during pregnancy, the importance of these activities increases even more. Because expectant mothers may feel some pain during pregnancy, especially in the back pain during pregnancy, waist, and shoulder regions. It also has many benefits for easing that moment of birth that is most worrying.

The benefits of exercise for childbirth

  • The uterine and pelvic muscles are strengthened.
  • It enables the expectant mother to control her muscles at the time of birth.
  • It helps to struggle with contraction moments more easily.
  • It is effective in terms of easy progress of birth.
  • It prevents the formation of unwanted tears in the pelvic region during the baby’s passage.
  • There is less need for vaginal incision (Episiotomy) at birth.
  • The expectant mother feels more ready for birth and her self-confidence increases.
  • Recovery of the uterus and pelvic region after birth occurs faster.

Considering all these advantages, if there is no obstacle to exercise, it will be useful to learn and practice some movements before birth.

When Should You Start Exercise for a Comfortable Birth?

Exercises that facilitate childbirth can be easily performed at any time during the pregnancy period. There is no specific time to start, but it is usually better to start after the first trimester, when pregnancy can be risky.

Although the exercises do not consist of compelling movements, you should definitely consult your doctor and choose the exercises that are suitable for your pregnancy month and health condition. 

Conclusion

Exercise during pregnancy can help to prepare the body for an easier birth by strengthening the muscles used during labor and delivery. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine and to listen to your body during pregnancy. Incorporating a variety of exercises, such as pelvic tilts, Kegels, squats, lunges, and swimming, can help to create a well-rounded routine that can benefit both mother and baby.

Now it’s your turn – Write a Comment or Share on Social Media

Thank you for reading our article on “5 Exercises for an Easy Birth.” We hope that you found it informative and helpful. If you have any ideas or comments that you would like to share with others, we encourage you to do so in the comments section below. Your thoughts and experiences can be valuable for others who may be looking for ways to prepare for an easier birth through exercise. If you have any additional questions or would like to share your personal story, please feel free to do so as well. We appreciate your contributions to the discussion.

References

  1. “Exercise During Pregnancy” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, accessed January 22, 2023, https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/exercise-during-pregnancy
  2. “Prenatal Exercise: Guidelines for a Safe Workout” Healthline, accessed January 22, 2023, https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/prenatal-exercise-guidelines
  3. “Exercise: A Safe and Effective Way to Prepare for Childbirth” Mayo Clinic, accessed January 22, 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/exercise-during-pregnancy/art-20046896
  4. “Exercise During Pregnancy: What’s Safe?” WebMD, accessed January 22, 2023, https://www.webmd.com/baby/exercise-during-pregnancy#1
  5. “The Importance of Prenatal Exercise for an Easy Birth” Everyday Health, accessed January 22, 2023, https://www.everydayhealth.com/pregnancy/the-importance-of-prenatal-exercise-for-an-easy-birth/

It is important to note that regular exercise during pregnancy can help prepare the body for childbirth, reduce the risk of complications, and promote a faster recovery after birth. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine and to follow a safe exercise plan.

You may also be interested in reading
Pelvic Floor Exercises in Pregnancy 101: Essential for a Healthy Pregnancy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for 5 Exercises for an Easy Birth

Why is exercise important during pregnancy?

Exercise during pregnancy can help to prepare the body for an easier birth by strengthening the muscles used during labor and delivery. It can also help to improve overall physical and mental well-being during pregnancy.

What are pelvic tilts and how are they performed?

Pelvic tilts are a simple exercise that can help to strengthen the muscles of the lower back and pelvis. To perform pelvic tilts, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Inhale and arch your back, tilting your pelvis backwards. Exhale and tuck your pelvis under, flattening your lower back. Repeat this movement for 8-12 repetitions.

What are Kegel exercises and how are they performed?

Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. To perform Kegels, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor and hold for a count of three. Relax the muscles and repeat for a total of 8-12 repetitions.

How do squats benefit pregnancy and labor?

Squats are a useful exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower body, including the hips and thighs, which are important for labor and delivery. To perform squats, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Inhale and lower your body into a squat position, keeping your back straight and your knees aligned with your toes. Exhale and straighten your legs to return to the starting position.

What are the benefits of lunges for pregnancy and labor?

Lunges are a great exercise for strengthening the muscles of the lower body, including the hips, thighs, and buttocks. To perform lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one foot and lower your body into a lunge position, keeping your back straight and your knee aligned with your toes. Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Is swimming a good exercise for pregnant women?

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help to strengthen the muscles of the entire body and improve cardiovascular fitness. It is also a great way to relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains. To swim for exercise, begin by warming up with some gentle laps. Incorporate some more vigorous strokes, such as freestyle or backstroke. End with a cool-down period of gentle laps.

Are there any precautions to take when exercising during pregnancy?

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine and to listen to your body during pregnancy. It is also important to stay well-hydrated and to avoid overexertion.

Can I do all five of these exercises in one workout?

It is generally recommended to incorporate a variety of exercises into a pregnancy workout routine. It is important to listen to your body and to not overexert yourself. Consult with a healthcare provider or fitness professional to determine the best exercise plan for you during pregnancy.

Is it safe to start exercising during the second or third trimester if I haven’t exercised before?

It is generally safe to start exercising during the second trimester or third trimester if you have not exercised before, as long as you consult with a healthcare provider and start with a low-impact routine. It is important to listen to your body and to not overexert yourself.

Can exercise during pregnancy make labor easier?

Exercise during pregnancy can help to prepare the body for an easier birth by strengthening the muscles used during labor and delivery. Incorporating a variety of exercises into a pregnancy workout routine can benefit both mother and baby.

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