Pregnancy is the time to rejoice and celebrate for everyone. But ask a pregnant woman and she will tell you that pregnancy is not all fun and frolic. As the time to give birth nears, the body grows bigger and heavier and even smallest of tasks like sleeping feels like a battle. And not to forget the kicks of the growing baby to the ribs can be very painful. But by the end of the third trimester, most women are longing for the pregnancy to finish and are ready to hold their little bundle of joy in their hands. We’ve all heard tales of women using squatting to help with the birth process. Squatting is known to be very beneficial during pregnancy but can squatting really help to induce labor? Read on to know more.
Can Squats Help During Labor?
Yes! Squatting is known to open the pelvic area and strengthen the muscles around it. As the pelvic area opens, it gives your baby more space to move and descend towards the lower part of the uterus, which in turn will result in the cervix dilating, thereby inducing labor.
5 Benefits Of Doing Squats To Induce Labor
- It is known to open the pelvic muscles by 10 percent
- It is known to create more room for the baby to move down into the birth canal
- It is known to reduce the labor time by 11 minutes, which might not mean much to you now, but when you are in labor, each minute feels like a decade!
- It helps strengthen the leg muscles, which makes it easier to push the baby out
- It can also reduce the chances of constipation, which again helps in the overall pregnancy and delivery
How To Squat To Induce Labor?
It is most important to understand what squatting is and how to do it before mindlessly trying to perform it. A wrong form can lead to injury and accidents, both of which we want to avoid, especially in the last stage of pregnancy. Here are some tips to squat right:
- Stand straight. Keep your feet shoulder length apart
- Lower your body, as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair behind
- Make sure the knees are not in front of the feet when you lower the body
- Lift your body up again. Repeat
- Keep the feet firmly on the floor throughout
- Try to breathe in as you lower your body and breathe out when you come up
- Try to get the support of a wall or an exercise ball, if you find it difficult to do it
- Ensure there is someone overseeing you so that they can help if you need it
- Do not exert yourself. Idea is to do it as much and as many number of times you are comfortable with
There are few other exercises which, like squats, helps to induce labor naturally.
Other Exercises That Help Induce Labor Naturally
The most important thing to remember while you perform any of the above exercises (or squatting) is that you do not want to exert yourself. You have to be very careful, avoid quick or jerky movements, make sure there are no accidents and always ensure that there is someone next to you to support and help, if you need it. We do not want to induce labor at the risk of causing physical injury. So, ensure you understand the proper form of doing these exercises, especially if some of them are new to you.
Hope you have a safe delivery experience! All the best!