Pregnant woman squats
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
  1. It is known to open the pelvic muscles by 10 percent
  2. It is known to create more room for the baby to move down into the birth canal
  3. 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!
  4. It helps strengthen the leg muscles, which makes it easier to push the baby out
  5. 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.
Squats to induce labor

Other Exercises That Help Induce Labor Naturally
  • Walking: Believe it or not, walking helps a lot during pregnancy! Not only it is a convenient form of low impact exercise most women can do easily, it also induces uterine contractions. Further, walking can also move the baby to the lower part of the uterus, thereby dilating the cervix and inducing labor
  • Kegel Exercises: Kegel exercises work on the pelvic floor muscles, which are the most important muscles in terms of delivery. If you do Kegels for 10 minutes twice or thrice a day, the muscles become stronger, thereby making child birth easier
  • Lunges: Lunges also work great, on the same principle as squats. It makes your hip region and upper leg stronger. This gives the baby inside more room to move to the lower part of the uterus, thus inducing labor
  • Climbing stairs: While you might have avoided taking stairs for most of your pregnancy, it might actually help you in labor in the last leg. Climbing stairs (slowly and carefully, we do not want accidents that involve falling or slipping) can open up your pelvis, start cervix dilation, descend the baby to the birth canal and induce labor naturally
  • Butterflies: This is a simple stretching exercise that you will be familiar with if you work out regularly. It stretches your back, pelvis and thighs, increasing blood flow to these regions, making them more flexible and consequently easing the labor
  • Pelvic Tilt: This is one of the most popular and simple exercise for inducing labor naturally. You can do it twice daily and prepare your pelvic muscles for an easy labor and delivery
  • Leaning: Leaning (towards a wall or an exercise ball) is another great stretch for your back and pelvic muscles, which will help in labor
  • 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!