You don't run a race without training; you don't take a test without studying (ok, most of the time you don't); you don't have a wedding without planning... so why would you have a baby without preparing?
It is true that labor and birth is a normal, routine, and expected event for pregnant people, and it can and does happen without planning, preparation, training, or guidance of any sort.
When you intentionally prepare your body for labor and birth, you have the potential for more strength, stamina, flexibility, alignment, and potentially, a better overall experience. Who wouldn't want that?!
Get/stay/keep walking. Walking is one of the simplest but most effective ways to move your body -- and it provides benefits far beyond the physical. Incorporating regular walking (aim for daily walks, broken up into smaller increments, or one long walk) into your pregnancy and post-pregnancy life. Walking improves your strength and endurance, both of which are necessary for labor. Learn more with this resource from biomechanist, Katy Bowman, MS.
Minimize sitting. As a culture, we spend too much time sitting and sitting in poor form. This wreaks havoc on our body's alignment, flexibility, strength, and physical well being. Can you imagine how that impacts childbirth?? Learn more about the downfalls of sitting too much, along with what you can do when you get out of your chair and into your body with this resource from Spinning Babies.
Start squatting. Move over kegels -- make room for squats! When it comes to pelvic floor strength, flexibility, alignment, and leg stamina, squatting is an ideal movement. It's not that you should forget kegels altogether, but it's important to add a regular squatting program into your routine. Learn more about the importance of squatting and more from Wellness Mama, with special podcast guest Katy Bowman.
Wear flats. Heels are cute, but at what are the hidden costs? Heels, wedges, pumps -- aka "positive-heeled shoes" -- are problematic because they kick your body out of alignment. Since the pregnant body also messes with your alignment, the two combined are less than helpful. Why does body alignment matter for birth? In a nutshell, your muscles and joints work best when your body is in alignment, which also means that your body in labor and birth works best when you're in alignment. It can impact how baby is positioned for birth, as well as your ability to give birth vaginally without or with less complications* (*to be clear, complications can also occur when you're in tip-top shape and perfectly aligned). Flat or "minimalist" shoes are best for your body in pregnancy (and all the time, really!).
How are you preparing your body for birth? What kinds of exercises do you find most difficult? How are you making movement a daily habit?
TagsBirth Exercise Spinning Babies Squatting during pregnancy Katy Bowman Shoes during pregnancy Sitting during pregnancy