Written by Pradeep
If you are in the final weeks of your pregnancy, you are anticipating the labour to start at any point now. The final weeks of pregnancy can get uncomfortable and difficult. You are waiting and this wait can be bothersome with swollen feet, an achy back, acid reflux and sleepless nights.
How about making this waiting period less tormenting? You can reduce anxiety by exercising during your pregnancy. These exercises will help induce labour naturally and will also benefit from getting your body ready for the baby. These exercises also make the whole process of childbirth less painful and easy.
Walking helps the baby descend into the lower part of the uterus and helps the cervix dilate. It is also the safest method that is practised for ages by pregnant women all across the globe to induce labour naturally. Even when a woman goes in labour, walking with your back straight helps the baby to get into the perfect position for an easy delivery
An exercise or birth ball can be used to induce labour. Make sure you have a professional instructor all the time when attempting to use the birth ball. Sitting on the centre of the exercise ball by keeping the feet firmly (flat positioned) on the ground and simply bouncing up and down or rolling to and fro in the room is an effective physical activity that helps the baby move to an ideal position to start labour.
If you are scared to do the movements, simply sitting on the exercise ball in an upright position with your pelvis bent forward or leaning against the exercise ball can put pressure on your lower back and pelvic muscles which will help in inducing labour naturally. The exercise ball will also help to make childbirth quick and effortless
Any exercise that involves the movement of your legs induces pressure on the pelvic muscles. Especially wide-legged walking, where the pelvis is widely opened and this helps in inducing labour fast. Climbing a few stairs is also as effective as wide-legged walking. While climbing stairs, the ‘gravity’ helps in the opening of the pelvis region and cervix to dilate. These leg exercises help to descend the baby into the birth canal and make you get ready for the labour
The tailor sitting, also known as butterflies, refer to sitting on the floor with knees bent and touching the floor and the feet flat together. This position helps to stretch the pelvic muscles, widen the pelvis region and increase the blood flow. It also stretches the lower back and thigh muscles. Therefore, practising tailor sitting towards the end of pregnancy helps to induce labour naturally
Lunges are great exercise, which helps to rotate and descend the baby deep into the pelvis. This exercise also helps to widen the pelvic area and relax the lower uterine ligaments. Before starting this exercise, find something or someone to hold on to firmly. This is to make sure you will not lose your balance as your centre of gravity shifts significantly in the final weeks of pregnancy. To perform lunges, stand straight, but one of the legs forward and bend the knees. Remain in this position for 30 seconds. Slowly come back to the normal position. Now repeat it with the other leg. Practice it four to five times a day
Squats are counted as one of the safest exercises to practice during pregnancy, which helps to induce labour naturally. To squat, you need to stand in an upright position, slowly lower yourself to a squat position, keeping your back straight. Squat down until there is a mild burning sensation in your tummy. Slowly get back to a standing position, pushing your upper body from your knees. Make sure to hold something firmly while doing squats to avoid losing the balance. To know more on how squatting induces labour, read: Can Squats Help To Induce Labor?
Pelvic rocking or pelvic tilt is one of the best exercises that helps to induce labour naturally. This can be done while lying down on your back, getting down on the floor on all fours or standing against a wall. Choose a position according to your convenience. The main aim of this exercise is to prepare the pelvic muscles.
While kneeling on your hands and knees, lift the back upwards and tilt the pelvis down
While lying down on your back, keep your knees bent and the feet and toes flat on the floor. Now slightly lift the pelvis. Stay in this position for about 10 seconds. Repeat this rocking movement
While standing against a wall, make sure that your tailbone, head and shoulder touch the wall. There should be a low arch in the lower back so that the lower back does not touch the wall. Then take a deep breath and when exhaling, push the lower back towards the wall. Repeat this exercise not more than 10 times in one stretch
Kegel exercises can be easily done by a pregnant woman from starting till the end of her pregnancy. They help to tone your pelvic floor muscles. They help to induce labour naturally and get you ready for delivery. Having toned pelvic muscles help in easy childbirth. Kegel exercise can be done by releasing and contracting the pelvic floor muscles for 10-15 minutes every day
The last week of pregnancy is the hardest and can feel like an eternity. Labour can start by itself after the 38th week which is also considered the safest period for your baby’s birth. If labour has not started on its own after you have reached the end, you may want to try these exercises to induce labour naturally. But just remember that babies come when they are ready and don’t forget to check with your doctor if it is ok for you to do these exercises.