Oh those last few weeks of pregnancy, when your level of uncomfortableness approaches Defcon-1 and you start wishing you could speed things up and get this baby out FAST!
We feel for you. The achy back, swollen feet, sleepless nights, and overheating are not exactly fun.
Which is why we’re sharing some easy exercises to induce labor that you can do right at home!
Now before you try any of these exercises to induce labor, be sure the bun is truly ready to come out of the oven.
You want to be past your 38th week and, more importantly, you want to get your doctor or health care provider’s okay.
Using exercises to induce labor may be not be safe if you have a condition such as placenta previa, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, or any other condition that warrants bed rest and relaxation…so talk to your doc first!
Then once you’re cleared for take-off, listen to your body, start slowly and ease into these exercises.
Babies come when they’re ready. You can use these exercises to help the process along, but ultimately your baby decides when he or she will make their appearance in the world.
Use these moves to pave the way for your little one’s grand entrance. You’ll be holding your beautiful baby in your arms in no time.
7 Best Exercises To Induce Labor
1. Tailor Pose (Butterfly Stretch)
You can use yoga to induce labor and one of the best poses to try is tailor pose, also known as a butterfly stretch.
To get in the pose, sit up straight on the floor (you may want to put your back against a wall for extra support), bend your knees, and place the soles of your feet flat together.
As you sit with your feet together, allow your knees to drop towards the ground to stretch your inner thighs.
This pose helps spread the pelvis while stretching the muscles in your thighs, pelvis, and back. It also helps with blood flow to your lower body which eases labor.
Remain in the position for 10-15 seconds, then relax. Repeat the stretch 5-10 times.
Walking to induce labor has been done by countless women for generations, and for good reason.
It’s an easy, low-impact exercise that helps baby descend into the lower part of the uterus and it can also help the cervix dilate getting it ready for labor.
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Plus walking is good for your overall fitness, so why not give it a try?
This is one of the simplest exercises to induce labor, anyone can do it.
3. Cat-Cow Pose (Pelvic Tilts)
Another one of the ways to induce labor is the yoga cat-cow stretch, also known as pelvic tilts.
This move helps relieve the weight of the baby off your back. It also keeps pelvic joints loose and is an excellent way to get your baby into the optimal birthing position.
To do, carefully get down on all fours on a yoga mat. Slowly arch your back up and tilt your pelvis down, like an angry cat. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
Then release and allow your belly to drop back down (cow) and hold for 5-10 seconds.
Continue this cat-cow flow as a rocking motion for 10-20 reps.
As long as your doc gives you the okay, you can swim right up until the day you go into labor.
Exercising in water takes the pressure off joints, and it helps tone your entire body for the work of childbirth.
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Plus swimming close to your delivery date can stimulate the muscles in the lower half of your body, which is one of the ways to start labor at home.
5. Birthing Ball Exercises
Birthing balls are a great tool to help prepare your body for baby and induce labor naturally.
Sitting on your birthing ball with wide legs helps increase blood flow to your uterus, placenta, and baby. You’ll also be opening your pelvic outlet and getting baby into the right position for delivery.
Wondering how to use an exercise ball to induce labor? Start by just sitting on the ball and gently rolling your pelvis in circles to help relax the low back and hip muscles.
Then you can also lean against the ball, rock back and forth, or do some gentle bouncing to give baby a gravity-assisted push towards the exit.
6. Climbing Stairs
Climbing a few flights of stairs will place your body at a 40-45 degree angle, which can encourage your baby’s head to drop down into the birth canal.
Just remember, your balance may be a little wonky so be careful. Use those handrails!
If you’re able, you might also want to try skipping a step which opens your pelvis even more and puts pressure on your cervix, encouraging it to thin and dilate.
This little trick can bring you one step closer to labor.
7. Garland Pose (Squats)
Another way you can use yoga to induce labor is to practice garland pose, or squats.
Squats allow gravity to help open your pelvis giving your baby more room to descend into the birth canal. It’s a great move to help prepare your body for childbirth.
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To perform a proper squat, make sure you are standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
As you gently squat down, keep your back straight and be sure your knees don’t protrude.
Hold for 10-30 seconds, then get back to a standing position pushing your upper body from your knees. Repeat 10-20 times.
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Be sure to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go. Once you start doing these moves, your baby may make their appearance sooner rather than later.
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