Strengthening for birth is an incredibly wonderful journey as we welcome a new life into the world.
As expectant mothers, our goal is to be prepared for this monumental event, ensuring that we’re physically ready for the birthing process.
A vital part of this preparation involves focusing on strengthening our bodies, particularly our pelvic region, through targeted exercises.
These exercises, known as pelvic floor exercises, play a crucial role in facilitating a smoother birthing process and promoting a faster recovery.
This guide aims to provide comprehensive instruction on these strengthening exercises, offering valuable insights and practical advice to mothers-to-be as they nurture their bodies in preparation for the arrival of their little ones.
Let’s embark on this empowering journey of strengthening for birth and take a significant step towards prepared and healthier motherhood.
Kegel exercises are the cornerstone of strengthening for birth. Specifically, they target the muscles of the pelvic floor, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
By strengthening these muscles, Kegel exercises enhance the body’s ability to handle labor and delivery, potentially reducing the risk of complications.
These exercises enhance pelvic stability and endurance, enabling expectant mothers to withstand the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth more effectively.
Moreover, Kegel exercises also contribute to a faster postpartum recovery, aiding in the return of bladder control and helping to combat pelvic organ prolapse.
Therefore, their importance in the journey of strengthening for birth cannot be overstated.
Follow this step-by-step process to perform kegel exercises!
- Identify the right muscles: The first step in performing Kegel exercises is to identify your pelvic floor muscles. A simple way to do this is to stop urination midstream. The muscles you use to do this are the ones targeted by Kegel exercises.
- Perfect your technique: Once you’ve located your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie down. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Gradually strive to keep the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
- Maintain your focus: Make sure you’re tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Also, avoid holding your breath – breathe freely while performing these exercises.
- Repeat regularly: For the best results, aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions each day. Consistency is key – making these exercises a daily routine can lead to stronger pelvic muscles over time.
Deep squats are another phenomenal exercise regimen for strengthening for birth.
These exercises are powerful for building strength and flexibility in the hips, thighs, glutes, and, most importantly, the pelvic floor muscles.
As you lower into a deep squat, the pelvic floor muscles elongate and stretch, supporting the weight of the growing baby and preparing your body for the birth process.
By incorporating deep squats into your daily routine, you are taking essential steps towards strengthening for birth, thus promoting more manageable labor and streamlining the post-partum recovery process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform a deep squat:
- Position your feet: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your toes should be pointing forward or slightly outwards.
- Prepare to squat: Extend your arms straight out in front of you to keep your balance. You could also bend the elbows or clasp your hands together if it feels more comfortable.
- Initiate the squat: Start by pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting back into a chair, and then bend your knees.
- Descend: Continue lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. If possible, go even deeper so your hips are lower than your knees. Ensure that your back is straight, your core is tight and you maintain your balance.
- Push back up: Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up to the starting position. Make sure your knees aren’t bowing inward or outward.
- Breathe: Inhale as you lower your body, and exhale as you push back up to the starting position.
- Repeat: For best results, aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions each day.
Pelvic Tilt Exercise
Pelvic tilt exercises are a valuable addition to the strengthening for birth workout regimen. They focus on improving the flexibility and strength of your lower back and pelvic muscles, which are crucial for labor and delivery.
The movement involved in pelvic tilt exercises promotes proper alignment and positioning of the baby, which can facilitate a smoother and less strenuous birth process.
Regularly incorporating pelvic tilt exercises into your routine can, therefore, be significantly beneficial for expectant mothers, contributing to efficient preparation for childbirth and enhancing postpartum recovery.
Without a doubt, pelvic tilt exercises are a key component of an effective strengthening for birth program.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform a pelvic tilt exercise:
- Start Position: Begin by lying on your back on a firm, flat surface, such as a yoga mat or a carpeted floor. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart.
- Find Neutral Position: To find your neutral pelvis position, gently rock your hips towards your head, then rock them in the opposite direction towards your feet. The middle position between these two extremes is your neutral pelvis position.
- Perform the Pelvic Tilt: Slowly tighten your abdominal muscles, pushing your lower back towards the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise several times to strengthen your core muscles.
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Are you fearing the day that is meant to be the most special? If the answer is ‘YES’, make sure you download our specialist birth preparation report.
Titled 9 Effective Pelvic PT Tips To Decrease Vaginal Tearing During Birth. This report is filled with secrets, mind hack drills, and exercises to prepare you for delivery.
Written by physical therapy specialist Dr Darshana Naik who has helped thousands of women seeking help preparing for childbirth, just like you.
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Preparing for childbirth is a journey that should be marked by empowerment and confidence, rather than fear and uncertainty.
If the thought of welcoming your special little one into the world is filling you with anxiety, let us help give you a helping hand.
Feel free to arrange a Free Discovery Call to allow us to offer you a personalized plan to provide solutions to your intimate health issues.
We will work with you to identify the areas of birth you’re least confident with, help you work on your pelvic floor and have the best birth you can!
At Dr. Darshana’s Pelvic PT we love to help busy women with practical And personalized solutions to intimate health issues through all stages of life.
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Other Free Resources For Pregnancy
Our Blog – Pelvic Floor Therapy, What To Expect
Our Blog – Returning To Running Postpartum