Exercise to Help you with Childbirth | Dr Monika Agrawal

(Repeat each Exercise slowly 20 times in the morning & evening )

Most women derive great benefit from exercising throughout their pregnancy. Exercise has a much better effect on easing pregnancy discomfort and complaints. Exercise during pregnancy will improve your muscle tone, strength and endurance. Regular exercising during pregnancy prepares a lady for the physical stress of carrying a baby and labour. A healthy body can greatly ease labour and delivery. The following exercise can help you prepare for childbirth. They require no special equipment- just comfortable clothes, and a little space to do them. You can start doing exercise at any time during your pregnancy, but it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting any exercise programme. 

Exercise 1: Sitting Exercise
How to do 

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight, soles of your feet together, and your knees dropped comfortably. 
  • Holding your ankles, bring your pelvis (lower portion of the trunk of the body) and feet together. 
  • As you press both knees gently towards the floor using your elbows, you will feel a stretch in your inner thighs. 
  • Sit this way, back straight, knees almost touching the floor, for a few minutes several times a day. 

Benefits 

  • This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles of the inner thigh and pelvic floor, and improves your posture.
  • It also keeps your pelvic joints flexible and eases delivery 

Exercise 2 : Squatting Exercise

How to do 

  • Slowly go down into a squat (sit on your heels) keeping your back straight. 
  • Try to keep your heels down placing your weight evenly.
  • Press your elbows against your thighs, stretching the roin (area between the thighs and abdomen) and thighs. 

Benefits 

  • Practice this several minutes a day. 
  • This is a good position for labour, and if you choose this position, your body will be ready. 

Exercise 3 : Pelvic Tilt 

How to do 

  • Lie on your back with one hand resting on your belly and the other near the small of your back. (after your fourth month, prop your shoulder with pillow so your head is higher than your heart) 
  • Bend your knees. 
  • Inhale to expand your belly, then exhale and draw your belly button towards the floor, continuing to use your abdominal muscles rather than your legs 
  • Your pelvis (lower portion of the trunk of the body) may lift slightly off the floor. 
  • Hold for 1 second and release. 
  • Repeat 10 times, Work up to 3 sets of 30 repetitions 

Exercise 4 : Kegels Exercise

  • Kegel exercises strengthen your muscles and support the bladder, uterus, and bowels. Strengthening these muscles help during your pregnancy, it develops the ability to relax and control the muscles in preparation for labor and birth
  • This Exercise is highly recommended during the postpartum period to heal perineal tissues, increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, help these muscles return to a healthy state, and increase urinary control.
  • Try to do five sets of Kegel exercises a day.
  • Each time you contract the muscles of the pelvic floor, hold for a slow count of five and then relax.
  • Repeat this 10 times for one set of Kegels Exercise .

If you become dizzy, do this exercise from a side- lying position with your back braced against the wall.

Exercise to strengthen your Abdominal Muscles 

Lie down with your knees bent and your flat on the floor. Slowly extend both your legs in front of you till they are completely straight, but keep your  back well pressed onto the floor. Draw one knee up and then the other, without lifting your back off the floor. Then relax your legs until they are straight. Repeat five times. 

Breathing Techniques

Breathing exercises can help you to manage pain during labour, and can be especially helpful if the labour is prolonged. Breathing should be slow and smooth, with deep breaths. Inhale with a slow deep breath through your nose at the beginning of a contraction. This will help to provide oxygen for your uterus. Exhale by letting air out like a sigh through your mouth. During a contraction, you can concentrate on each exhalation, as this will help you to relax. 

Some Tips For Your Labour

  •  Use breathing techniques to ease the pain of labour 
  • Do fingertip massage during your contractions. You or your partner can place the fingertips of both hands on the basal portion of your abdomen. With light pressure, bring your hands upwards towards the top of your abdomen and then downwards and outwards to the place where you began. Draw circles on your abdomen for the duration of the contraction 
  • During a contraction, focus your eyes on some object or spot that can help deflect your attention away from your contractions. Alternatively, you could keep your eyes closed during contractions.
  • Since all pains are not labour pains, you must differentiate between “true” and “false” labour pains. True labour pains will come at regular intervals and steadily increase in intensity. They may be accompanied by rupture of the membranes in your uterus, leading to a discharge from your vagina of a fluid mixed with blood. On the other hand, with “false” labour pains, the frequency of contractions will be irregular. False labour pains will not get progressively stronger, but may in fact, weaken and disappear for a while, particularly if you move around. 

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