Exercises to Prepare For Labor

If you are like most women, chances are that by your third trimester, you have lost that honeymoon feeling that enveloped you most of your middle months.  With your growing belly, swollen limbs and a lackluster supply of energy, what’s a mom to do for exercising?   As with any exercise program, it is essential to consult with your medical practioner prior to beginning.  Once you have the green light, here are a few exercises to try at home or at the gym which will help keep you in shape but help your body prepare for delivery.

Exercise #1: Side to Side lunges.

Why we love them: lunges really open up a pregnant woman’s hips and pelvic area, creating a wider cavity for baby to navigate through during the birthing process.  This move also provides stretching for the leg and back muscles.  Place your legs farther than hip’s width apart and hold the back of a chair or table to keep steady.  Sway from side to side, deepening the leg bend gradually (but never more than 90 degrees.)  Think of the movement as really exaggerated slow dancing from junior high!  Train up to 30 lunges on each side.

Exercise #2: Wall crouches.

Why we love them: similar to the side lunges, wall crouches help open up the pelvic cavity as well.  This is an extremely great exercise to perform the last couple of weeks and is especially helpful in preparing the pelvic floor.  For moms to be who have back complications, this exercise is heaven for the back!  Slide down a wall until your crouched down a the bottom.  Try to get your knees pointed slightly outwards like a ballerina plie, keeping your feet flat to the floor.  (Try to think of how young children can crouch on the ground to examine a bug; that is the crouch you are going for!)  Hold for up to five minutes.

VBAC Is the New Black! Why VBAC Is Making a Comeback

One of the mommies featured in our Pea in the Podcast on VBACs is pregnant again! Yay! Kim’s story of her succesful vaginal birth after a c section is inspiring, and here’s hoping she has another successful VBAC.

If you’re interested in trying for a VBAC, the International Cesarean Awareness Network website is loaded with information for you, including a checklist that will get you started.

But of course the first place you should go is to Pea in the Podcast to hear Kim’s story. I would be proud of her even if she hadn’t been one of my best friends since second grade! :)

To be clear, if Kim has another c-section, that would not be the end of the world. I will be just as proud of her. Having a healthy baby is the most important thing, no matter how they’re delivered! Sometimes a c-section is necessary. That’s how my girl got here!

If you’re pregnant for the first time, VBAC is not one of the millions of things you will have to consider before your baby’s birthday. However, you may want to prepare yourself for the possibility that you might have a c-section, no matter what you’ve planned (I planned a peaceful natural childbirth, in dim room with soft music and liberal use of the birthing suite’s jacuzzi tub). To familiarize yourself with what would happen should you end up giving birth to your baby with the help of a surgeon, please check out our Pea in the Podcast on cesarean sections.

-Bonnie