Top 5 Moves to Prepare for Labor and Delivery; A Prenatal Exercise Routine
Updated: Mar 17
Pregnancy can be tough! In my opinion, my 4 weeks postnatal were more tough...but who's keeping track?
Carrying a child does a lot to the body! During pregnancy the body creates a hormone called relaxin. Put simply, this hormone’s function is to loosen joints and muscles for labor. The body creates the hormone early, however, and our normally strong muscles become more flimsy and allow joints and muscles to pull in different ways than they did pre pregnancy. Either way, a shifting pelvis as well as added weight in the belly and chest creates new imbalances in the body AND can exaggerate existing imbalances. These shifts and imbalances open opportunity for a myriad of unfortunate pregnancy pains; welcome PGP, diastasis recti, SIJ and SPD (see separate blog post).
It is important to continue exercising throughout pregnancy (so long as your OB approves) for three reasons; 1) to help combat these imbalances and correct them to ease pregnancy symptoms, 2) to feel prepared going into labor and delivery, and 3) so your postnatal body can heal better. Obviously, there are days when your best intended workout will NOT happen. And that's fine. However, there are days when you REALLY, really, want to workout, but you just don't have it in you. That's when I did this workout!
These exercises function to help reestablish the proper diaphragmatic breathing patterns and pelvic awareness necessary in the labor and delivery room. 9 times out of 10, I find during my movement assessments with prenatal clients that they are unaware their normal day-to-day movement patterns of simply breathing and bending are incorrect. To breath properly, the belly should fill with air first, and only during the last 2/3rds of the breath should the chest rise. These exercises help bring awareness to the diaphragm and pelvic region as well as help the supporting hip and low back muscles. This will not just help you in labor and delivery, but throughout your pregnancy as well.
I've labeled it a warm up for 2 reasons; 1) the end of 2nd trimester and throughout the 3rd, workouts become shorter, unless you get a really good warm up (DO THIS), and 2)in the 3rd trimester when I could barely wobble, this served as my entire workout for a handful of days. It still was a great warm up for the day and helped keep my hips, low back and core continue to function properly.
This same warm up was where I started POST pregnancy. I started my hip bridges 4 days after delivery. I thought my legs were going to fall off, but I did it. Well, I did 4 hip bridges, 3 downward dogs and repeated that 3 times. It took me until day 10 to go for a walk and after that it was all sunshine, breast pumping and baby.
I'll leave you with this! This is me at 27 weeks pregnant after deadlifts and prowler pushes... Not all days were that 'beast mode-ish' but when I could, me and baby G got after it!
Please shoot me an email if you have any questions!