The fact that a mother is always concerned about her child during the crucial period of pregnancy, is nothing but the mere truth. From eating nutritious food to drinking plenty of water, every mother adopts a healthy lifestyle. One thing that is often relegated to the backseat, however, is physical exercise. Most mothers are afraid of physical activities, for they fear it is going to negatively impact the baby.
That, however, can’t be further from the truth. Keeping in good shape while you’re pregnant is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Exercise helps you to gain an appropriate amount of weight without putting on too much. It also helps you to get ready for the rigors of birth. It can also help you feel better and sleep better.
With your body changing, you might be wondering what kind of exercises you could do without harming your baby. The good news is that you don’t have to give up on most of the activities you enjoyed prior pregnancy.
Read on as we list down on some of the most effective exercises you could do to have a safe and normal delivery.
Instructions to Remember Before Exercising
Like any other workout routine, pregnancy exercises to require proper preparation before getting into it. Working out during pregnancy makes it even important for you to prepare your body well before starting your routine. Any wrong step will have a detrimental effect on not only you but also your baby.
Below mentioned are some of the must-to-do that you need to keep in mind before starting any kind of exercise during pregnancy:
- Don’t constrain yourself by wearing tight- fitting clothes. Choose clothes that help you breathe and move easily while exercising.
- Keep away from the new fad of working in too cold or too hot weather.
- Keeping yourself hydrated is of utmost importance. You need to drink a good amount of water while working out. You could even pick an energy drink of your choice while exercising.
- Invest in good and comfortable shoes for your workout routine.
- Before getting into the below-mentioned exercises, it is important for you to make your body ready for the routine. Stretching is a good way of warming up your body. Other than acting as a warm-up routine, it also helps to make your body flexible.
- As your pregnancy progresses your center of gravity will also change. Position yourself carefully as women tend to lean back to compensate as their center of gravity shifts onward.
- Do not exercise if you are feeling tired or uncomfortable with the routine. You need to have enough rest before starting the routine.
- Any exercise that requires long standing duration should be avoided. It could lead to accumulation of blood in the lower limbs which cause swelling.
- While beginning any workout routine, it is essential to keep these points in consideration at all times. Once you are comfortable with these instructions it is now time to get into the various exercises that could aid in having a normal delivery.
What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy for Normal Delivery?
Normal and safe delivery is something that every women dream of, so why not ease the process yourself. Below mentioned are some of the most effective exercise you can do to have a safe and normal delivery:
1) Pelvic Stretch
When we think about pregnancy exercises, pelvic exercises are the first thing that pops in our mind. Considered as the best exercise for having a safe and normal delivery, most women prefer doing it during pregnancy. A simple, but effective, exercise, it could be done on pretty much any platform. You could use a pillow, ball, or even a chair to do this exercise. To do this exercise, keep your feet firmly on the ground. Try to stretch your legs apart, and maintain a straight back. The movement will help your pelvis to stretch and shift onwards and backward. Repeat the exercise at least twenty times or till you are comfortable with the routine.
2) Angry Cat Pose
We are all aware of the amount of pain that a woman undergoes during labor. While there is no avoiding the pain, we could reduce it a bit from our end. Pelvic tilts or angry cats are a great exercise to decrease labor pain.
It strengthens your back muscles, as your back is under a lot of stress during pregnancy. To do this exercise, you will require a yoga mat. Get on all fours on the yoga mat, with your knees touching the ground. Pull your abdominal muscles inside and line your hips with your stomach. Hold the position for a second and then release slowly.
3) Opening the Hips
One of the reasons that a woman’s pelvis, hips, and back are given importance is because these regions are under a lot of stress during pregnancy. Your hips play a crucial role during delivery and, hence, need to be strengthened for the job. Opening the hips is a great way of achieving that feat. It helps you to release energy from your pelvis, which in turn helps in an easy delivery. For this exercise do deep squats. Take deep breaths before doing the squat position. Refrain doing this exercise after 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Swimming is not only an exercise but also a form of recreation. As such it is highly recommended for expecting moms. It helps to improve circulation and prevents your body from muscle injuries.
Swimming also gives a boost of strength to your muscles and helps in overall fitness. However, it is best to avoid using hot tubs during pregnancy.
Squats have always been a boon and bane for health fanatics. Seemingly easy to do, it takes a lot of effort to push the body, especially when it’s tired. They, however, play an important role during pregnancy. Squats are known to ease the delivery pain by loosening up your pelvic muscles. It gives the necessary pressure on your pelvic area and thighs, which makes it easier for you to bear the contractions. You can do this exercise either with the help of a holder or a gym ball.
While the other exercises mentioned in the list are important, nothing could negate the effectiveness of walking. It is considered as the best exercise for expecting moms.
Walking helps with pregnancy problems like constipation, high-blood pressure, and restlessness. It also stops you from gaining too much weight during pregnancy. It is an exercise you could do either at home or even outside at a park. Even a 30 minutes walk a day is beneficial for pregnant women.
Kegel exercise is also known as pelvic floor exercise. As your vaginal and rectum muscles go through a lot of strain during pregnancy, these exercises become essential for pregnant women. The good part of these exercises is that you can perform it anywhere and without even assistance. For this exercise, all you need to do is contract your pelvic muscle. Hold the contraction for a while and then release. Repeat this at least 15-20 times in a day.
An old form of exercise, yoga has varied benefits.
Many pregnant women opt for yoga these days as it not only helps them in normal delivery but also keeps them calm and relaxed throughout the pregnancy period. It strengthens their core muscles for delivery and improves their endurance.
9) Downward Dog
The downward dog position is considered as the best exercise to strengthen and support your thighs. The good part about this exercise is that you can do it at any stage of your pregnancy. As your thighs need to have a high holding capacity during delivery, this exercise strengthens your body for what is to follow. The exercise is also beneficial to get your baby into an optimal birthing position. For this exercise, you need to bend on all fours and extend your legs. Keep your buttocks pointed towards the sky. Hold the position for a second and then release.
10) Cobbler Pose
Also known as the tailor pose, this exercise helps in opening up vaginal muscles and make it more flexible.
As most women suffer from strained pelvic muscles during labor, cobbler pose is a good exercise to make your opening more flexible. It will also make it easier for your baby to pass through the birth canal with ease. a good stretch for your pelvis area.
Benefits Of Pregnancy Exercises
Other than the benefits already mentioned above, pregnancy exercises have many other good points. Here are a few to list down:
- They reduce the risk of Gestational Diabetes.
- Women often have a shorter labor and are less likely to develop complications requiring surgery if they exercise regularly during pregnancy.
- Reduces the strain and back pain.
- Helps to prevent or relieve constipation.
- Pre-pregnancy exercises also help women with postpartum recovery.
- It also helps women to quickly return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
Seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any routine. It should not harm you or your baby. At times you may need to modify your existing exercise routine after consulting with your doctor.
What kind of exercises did you do during your pregnancy? Do let us know along with your feedback in the comment section.