13 Effective Labor Preparation Exercises To Do Before Baby’s Arrival

Labor preparation exercises

Pregnancy is such a rewarding time in a woman’s life. As the due date approaches, it’s normal for expectant mothers to feel overwhelmed when they think about labor. 

Luckily, there are a variety of exercises that can help women prepare for labor and delivery.

The right exercises can help pregnant women build strength, improve flexibility, and reduce stress. 

Today, we’re going to tell you about some of the best exercises to prepare for labor. Keep reading to find out more.

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Labor Preparation Exercises

Women should exercise throughout their entire pregnancy. It’s important for their overall health and could support a healthy delivery. 

Let’s take a look at some of the exercises that women should do throughout their pregnancy.

1. Deep Squats

Deep squats are a great exercise for pregnant women because they help build strength and flexibility in the legs and hips. Another thing pregnant women should know about deep squats is they can help improve circulation and prepare the body for the physical demands of labor and delivery. 

Here is how you can safely perform deep squats while pregnant.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointing slightly outward. 
  2. To remain balanced, place your hands on your hips. If you need more support, hold onto a stable object (such as a table or chair). 
  3. Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back (a similar motion as if sitting in a chair).
  4. Keep your weight on your heels, and make sure your knees are over your toes.
  5. Lower your body down as far as you can while remaining comfortable. Ideally, you should try to keep your thighs parallel to the ground. 
  6. Push using your heels to stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the end of the movement.  
  7. Repeat 10-15 times ( as many as you feel comfortable doing). 

Immediately stop if you experience any discomfort or pain while performing deep squats.

2. Lateral Band Walks

Lateral band walks are such good exercise for pregnant women because they can help improve stability and balance. They also target the glutes, hips, and thighs and help prepare the body for the physical demands of labor and delivery. 

Another reason we recommend lateral band walks is because they help reduce lower back pain and improve posture, which are common issues for pregnant women. 

To perform lateral band walks while pregnant:

  1. Start by placing a resistance band around your legs right above the knees.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  3. Make sure you keep your back straight. 
  4. Step to the side with one foot, then bring your other foot to meet it. 
  5. Take small steps to the side. 
  6. Make sure you keep tension in the resistance band throughout the movement, not allowing it to loosen.
  7. You can repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, then switch directions to work your other side.

3. Side-Laying Abductor Lifts

Side-laying abductor lifts benefit pregnant women because they help strengthen the muscles in the hips and thighs. This is helpful during the later stages of pregnancy when the extra weight puts a strain on these muscles. 

By strengthening the hips and thighs, pregnant women can improve their overall stability and balance, which can help to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.

Here is how you can perform side-laying abductor lifts while pregnant:

  1.  Lay down on your side with your legs straight. Keep your bottom arm stretched out in front of you for extra support. 
  2. Bend your top leg while placing your foot flat on the ground before your other knee. 
  3. Keep your hips straight while lifting your bottom leg towards the ceiling. Make sure to keep your foot flexed and your toes pointed forward as you do this. 
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your leg back down to the starting position. 
  5. Repeat these steps for 10-15 reps (or as many as you are comfortable doing), Then switch to your other side.

labor preparation exercises

4. Use an Exercise Ball

An exercise ball is one of the most efficient ways to prepare for labor. These balls are an excellent way to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve stability. 

Women who use an exercise ball regularly are more physically prepared for delivery leading to a safer and more comfortable birth.

5. Swimming

Pregnant women need to include cardio in their exercise routine. Cardio exercises promote a healthy heart and blood flow. 

One of the best exercises to consider is swimming. This is a low-impact activity that provides a full-body workout.

Regularly swimming can help improve the following:

  • Muscle tone
  • Endurance
  • Cardiovascular health

One of the great things about swimming compared to other cardio exercises is that it’s gentle on the joints and muscles. It’s a great way to prepare your body for the challenges of childbirth without exhausting it.

Third Trimester Exercises For Easy Birth

During the third trimester, you may have difficulties performing certain exercises. This doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising. 

Cardio, strength training, and stretching are still essential at this time. 

Here are some exercises you should focus on during the 3rd trimester.

1. Kegel Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are key for labor preparation. This is why women can benefit from Kegel exercises throughout pregnancy. They play an important part in preparing the pelvic floor muscles for delivery.

Women who practice Kegels regularly have more control over their pelvic region. This can make it easier for them to push during labor without the risk of complications. 

Kegel exercises can also aid bladder control and sexual function postpartum.

2. Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is an easy cardio activity for pregnant women to improve their fitness level and prepare them for labor. It’s a great way to keep leg muscles in good shape and tone the pelvic floor muscles.

3. Bird Dog

Are you looking for simple exercises to get your body prepared? The bird dog is an excellent exercise for strengthening core muscles and improving stability. It’s also an efficient way to reduce back pain.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 
  2. Slowly extend one arm and the opposite leg, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. 
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and switch sides.

4. Side Planks

All pregnant women should include side planks in their labor preparation routines. There are many benefits from this exercise, such as:

  • Strengthening core muscles
  • Improving balance and stability
  • Supporting muscles used during labor and delivery

It’s safe and easy to perform side planks during pregnancy. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Start by laying on your side with your legs straight and your elbow right beneath your shoulder. 
  2. Slowly lift your hips off the ground, keeping your core engaged and your body in a straight line. 
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.
  4.  Repeat on the other side.
  5. Try to do 10 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.

5. Breathing Exercises

Exercise for labor preparation isn’t all about fitness. Women’s health also includes breathing. 

Practicing breathing patterns can help create a smooth and more comfortable delivery experience.

Breathing exercises help women relax their minds and muscles. This helps them stay focused on the present moment. 

With proper breathing techniques, women should be able to minimize discomfort and pain during childbirth.

The baby can also benefit from breathing exercises because it helps increase the oxygen levels in the body.

labor preparation exercises

Pregnancy Stretches To Prepare For Labor

Stretching is a very effective way to prepare your body for the challenges of labor and childbirth. Women can learn many great stretches through prenatal yoga. 

If you’re wondering which stretches are best for pregnant women, try the ones below.

1. Butterfly Stretch

The butterfly stretch is a great way to reduce lower body tension as you prepare for labor. It’s a very gentle stretch that targets the groin, inner thighs, and hip muscles. 

Here is how you can do the butterfly stretch.

  1. Sit on the floor with your back straight. Your knees should be bent, and the soles of your feet should be touching.
  2. Slowly move your knees toward the floor. You will feel your inner thigh muscles stretch.
  3. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then release.
  4. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

2. Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic tilts can help your body prepare for labor and delivery by strengthening the lower back and pelvic floor muscles. 

Women who practice pelvic tilts have an easier time managing pain during delivery. 

Here are steps on how you can do a pelvic tilt.

  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands on your lower abdomen muscles and tilt your pelvic region forward. Press your lower back into the floor when you’re in this position.
  3. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds and then release.
  4. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times (take breaks as needed).

3. Oblique Side Stretches

Oblique side stretches are recommended for pregnant women because they improve flexibility and posture while relieving back and shoulder tension.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your right hand on your hip and raise your left arm straight up towards the ceiling. 
  3. Slowly bend your torso to the right. Make sure you keep your hips facing forward. 
  4. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on your other side.
  5. Remember to take deep breaths and listen to your body, avoiding any movements that cause discomfort.

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Final Words

Preparation exercises can be very beneficial as women prepare for labor and delivery. These exercises can help improve strength, flexibility, and endurance, which can help prepare the body for giving birth. 

Following a regular exercise routine throughout pregnancy can make you feel more confident and prepared when the big date arrives.

Do you have any more questions about exercising for labor preparation? 

Let us know in the comments below.

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