No one, even your doctor, midwife, or even your mother, can predict how your labor will be like. The good news is that still there are a few exercises you can perform to help make your body ready for what’s coming.
Kegel exercises are small internal contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that support your urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum. If you want to improve circulation to your rectal and vaginal area, then you have to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, which helps to keep hemorrhoids at bay and speeding healing after an episiotomy or tear.
You can do the exercise anywhere, at any position, watching TV, standing in queue at the cashier, or sitting on the couch, Here’s how:
- Tighten the muscles around your vagina as if trying to interrupt the flow of urine when going to the bathroom.
- Hold for a count of four, then release. Repeat ten times. Try to work up to three or four sets about three times a day.
Pelvic tilt or angry cat
This workout strengthens the abdominal muscles and eases back pain during pregnancy and labor.
- Get down on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart, keeping your arms straight but not locking the elbows.
- As you breathe in, tighten your abdominal muscles and tuck your buttocks under and round your back.
- Relax your back into a neutral position as you breathe out.
- Repeat at your own pace, following the rhythm of your breath.
You may think it’s not suitable position, but squatting is a way of preparing you for giving birth. This exercise strengthens your thighs and helps open your pelvis.
- Stand facing the back of a chair with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward. Hold the back of the chair for support.
- Contract your abdominal muscles, lift your chest, and relax your shoulders. Then lower your tailbone toward the floor as though you were sitting down on a chair. Find your balance — most of your weight should be toward your heels.
- Take a deep breath in and then exhale, pushing into your legs to rise to a standing position.
Tailor or Cobbler Pose
This position can help open your pelvis and make your hip joints more flexible which prepares you for forgiving birth. It can also improve your posture and ease your back pain and pressure.
- Sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other (sit on a folded towel if that’s more comfortable for you).
- Gently press your knees down and away from each other, but don’t force them.
Stay in this position for as long as you’re comfortable.
Remember to start slowly and work at your own level for each exercise.