Labor and delivery are an amazing and beautiful physical journey that our bodies are designed for, but it can be very demanding on our body. So, I want to share with you tips to inspire you to prepare your body for a natural birth!
First of all, daily exercises like squats, walking, swimming, stretching are gentle and effective ways to keep our body strong. When stretching, it is important to remember our body produces more of the relaxin hormone when pregnant, so women during this time can be more prone to injury. I recommend using a pregnancy safe stretching routine. Bridget Teyler is a certified pregnancy and postpartum fitness trainer and has a phenomenal YouTube channel @ @BridgetTeylerFitness
Along with keeping our muscles strong, our pelvis needs to be in an optimal position for baby to descend into the birth canal and for us to give birth. The positions that we are in, especially in our final trimester, greatly impact baby’s position. So if we are sitting or reclining a lot, that can tighten our pelvis and actually encourage baby to be in a posterior position which is not optimal for birth. It can cause longer labors and a lot more back pain during labor. So training our core and back muscles to be strong, practicing good posture, and doing squats all strengthen the health of our pelvis. The Tummy Team is a phenomenal resource by a Physical Therapist that educates and offers classes on strengthening our back, core, and pelvis for labor, delivery and postpartum recovery.
Did you know our uterus is a muscle that we want to be strong and toned since it plays the essential role of contracting to help bring baby into the world?! How do we tone this muscle? No need to turn on a fitness video for this muscle. We can tone the uterus by relaxing and drinking tea…red raspberry leaf tea is packed with properties that help tone this muscle. Drinking 8 ounces daily at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, and increasing to two to four 8 ounce cups daily around the 38th week of pregnancy. Confirm this with your OBGYN or midwife to decide the dosage best for your body and enjoy the benefits!
Last but not least, breathing is a technique we can utilize to train our mind and body to stay strong in labor—specifically breathing through contractions. Practice inhaling for a count of four seconds and exhaling for a count of six seconds. This wave of breaths is the length of a contraction and is a powerful technique to stay strong and focused as contractions become more intense.
I hope these tips are helpful and inspiring to your mamas! Next time I will be sharing my final tip on building your support team for labor.