Exercise and staying active is good for both mom and baby during pregnancy. However, these five exercises are specifically for preparing your body for childbirth.
1. Tailor Sitting
Named for the profession that gave it, its name, tailor sitting works when you get your knees as closely to the floor as possible. When you first begin practicing your knees may be up high, but as you challenge them to go down you stretch and lengthen the muscles at the top and insides of your legs. The purpose is to prepare you for pushing. When pushing, your legs are comfortably open. But after pushing for a while this will get tiring and sometimes your legs will cramp. Remember you can push for 30 minutes or two hours, everyone is different. You legs will thank you for tailor sitting.
2. Pelvic Tilts
Rocking your pelvis back and forth while on all fours help alleviate unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as lower back pain. This position will also help increase blood flow to the legs for those who are experiencing varicose veins and sciatic nerve pain. This exercise can also help move baby into proper position in the pelvis.
As you practice this posture you will work to flatten your feet and find your footing. If need be, you can practice with a partner helping you into position while you get stronger. This exercise helps strengthen your legs for pushing but more importantly it helps stretch your perineum (the skin and muscle tissue between the vaginal outlet and the anus). The perineum does the most stretching during childbirth.
4. PC Muscle (Kegel) Exercise
Named for the doctor who invented the exercise, the Kegel is perhaps the most important exercise to do. The great thing is this is an exercise no one can see and it can be performed anywhere. To find the muscle, the easiest way is to stop your urine flow while in the restroom. That's the muscle we're strengthening. This hammock-like muscle attaches to your pubic bone in the front and to the tip of the spine in the back. It wraps around the urethra, vagina, and rectum as a thick muscular band. It holds up your bladder and uterus. The stronger this muscle the better for childbirth and for snapping back into position after the baby is born. After all that pressure on the bladder and vagina, without a strong Kegel muscle you may leak urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two and expecting her third. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie for more great info on Raising Kids.