What are the benefits of childbirth preparation exercises?
- Exercising relieves pain (especially back pain), prevents constipation, and promotes better sleep.
- It promotes blood circulation, and thus also gives you a healthy glow.
- Childbirth preparation exercises also help mothers regain their “pre-pregnancy” body quickly.
- And finally, it eases the process of childbirth by increasing strength and endurance.
Childbirth Preparation Exercises for the First Trimester
Reverse lunges are great childbirth preparation exercises for the first trimester because they strengthen the core muscles, legs, and hips. Additionally, they improve balance and encourage the baby to assume an optimal birthing position.
To do reverse lunges:
- For better support and to make it safer, hold on to the back of the chair. This is your starting position.
- Brace your core and lunge by doing the following:
- Extend your right foot backward at about 12 inches.
- Bend the back of your right knee until it touches the floor.
- Stand up again at the starting position.
- Now, lunge using your left leg.
- Try to lunge using each leg for 3 to 5 times, and then work your way up to 5 to 10 times on each side.
Wall Slide is a perfect first-trimester exercise because it strengthens the lower abdomen and spine. Additionally, it also helps in soothing backache. These are the reasons why a wall slide is one of the best childbirth preparation exercises. To perform a wall slide:
- Stand with your back flat against a wall. Your feet must be facing straight in front of you. Consider this as the starting position.
- Slowly slide your back until it seems like you are sitting on an invisible chair.
- Make sure that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Raise your hands over your head with your arms flat to the wall.
- Slowly slide your arms down until your hands are on either side of your head. This position is called “Surrender position” as it looks like you are surrendering.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise for 10 counts.
Childbirth Preparation Exercises for the Second Trimester
Doing planks is one of the best ways to improve your core muscles, your arms, and your back. It’s one of the simplest childbirth preparation exercises to perform. Do this by: