A balanced pelvis for Optimal Labor – Exercises and Stretches for Pregnancy
Here is a guide on How to prepare your body for the marathon event that is labor.
We want our pelvis to be balanced, aligned and roomy for baby. When we have a balanced, aligned and roomy pelvis we allow baby to get in the optimal position for birth.
A couple disclaimers before I start with the instructions:
1. Make sure to discuss any stretches or exercise with a practitioner before starting them. I like the watch my patients do these in office. If you end up doing them incorrectly or you have a restriction you can do more harm than good.
2. It is important to make sure you are in proper alignment before doing the exercises. That is where a chiropractor like myself would come in to play. I check for proper alignment and make any necessary adjustments. An example of this would be if your hips. If you are out of alignment and then go do a bunch of squats you will be tightening one side more than the other which is not good in late pregnancy.
Ok, like I said in the beginning of this video we are preparing ourselves for a marathon event…labor! We need to train our bodies and get it ready. We also want our bodies to be at our peak performance.
The first thing to be aware of is your body. We are in a seated position for many hours throughout the day. It might be at work behind a desk, on the couch, or in the car. Take a few moments out of your day to sit on an exercise ball. When doing so you want to make sure your knees are lower than your hips and you are always coming foreword with baby. Think about gravity here. If you are always back, in a big comfy couch on seated baby is going to come back and put babies back to your back. This is very painful for your back and for labor.
You can use an exercise ball for a lot of different things while pregnant and during labor. You can pick one up at target or a sporting good store for around $30. I highly recommend the investment.
The next thing you can do is leaning. Lean on the ball and let your belly just hang. You can stabilize it against a wall or use your core muscles to keep the ball in place. If you are really far along in your pregnancy you can sit on the ball and lean on something in front you.
Now lets chat about baby position for a couple minutes. The reason why baby position is so important is that it can add to the pain of labor OR make it easier. I prefer easier! Babies get into the best position they can in the space that they have. This is great to keep in mind during the last weeks of pregnancy. Baby wants to be head down and they want to come out the easiest way possible, but sometimes restrictions in our abdomen or hips don’t allow for it. Here are a couple things to do to promote baby moving into position. The best way for baby to come out is occiput anterior. Baby will also come out in a clockwise position, so occiput anterior, and then back and then leg bundle is the simplest. If babies back is lying on your left hand side that is going to be the fastest way out. There are a couple great ways to get baby in that position. One, is making sure you hips are aligned, by getting adjusted and doing the above movements. The second is using gravity to our advantage again. Now we talked about not sitting back on the comfy chair because that puts baby’s back to our back but think about positions that will get baby’s back to the left. One is side lying. Lying on your left side during sleep and relaxation can help baby settle on the left side.
The next thing you can do is a butterfly stretch (as seen at the end of the video) this helps open up the space and gets baby’s head in proper position.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.
All the Best
Dr. Becky Perry-Domres