Women are stressed to follow a healthy and nutritious diet
during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But, in some parts of the world little emphasis is put on exercise and physical activity of pregnant women.
Being active and performing certain exercises during the period of pregnancy can make the delivery easier.
Benefits of Prenatal Exercises:
- It makes the pelvic muscles strong
- Improves metabolism
- Helps in post-delivery recovery
- Easier labor contractions
- Blood pressure control
- Shorter delivery time
Because exercising is beneficial for the mother and the baby, women should make a point to exercise regularly without fail.
How Does It Work: This exercise strengthens the pelvic floor and muscles, which is under stress due to the increased size of the uterus.
- Get into a comfortable position like standing, lying down or sitting, whatever suits you the best.
- Focus on the pelvic muscles and not on the muscles of the thighs, abdomen or buttocks.
- Contract and pull in the muscles around the vagina and back passage at the same time.
- Hold them strong and tight for 5-7 seconds.
- Gradually relax the muscles and take a rest for 10 seconds before starting the next kegel.
- Repeat this 3-4 times in a row, several times a day.
- After a few days, increase the number of seconds for squeezes.
How Does It Work: Squats strengthen the lower body and open up the pelvis, which assists in delivery.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bring both your arms in front of you.
- Bend your legs and lower yourself in a squat position.
- Keep your back straight, maintain your balance and hold the position until you feel comfortable.
How Does It Work: Something as easy as walking improves metabolism, balances your body, pumps up heart rate, enhances blood circulation as well as immunity.
Points To Remember
- Walk at least five days a week for 30 minutes each day.
- Keep your back straight and wear comfortable shoes while walking.
- Do not talk while walking.
- Early morning walk is the best time to get some fresh air and your daily dose of vitamin D.
How Does It Work: It strengthens the pelvic area and prevents constipation.
- Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs stretched before you.
- Bend your knees and allow the soles of your feet to touch each other. Your knees should bend outwards.
- With the help of your hands, pull your feet as much as you can towards your pelvic bone.
- Try to touch your knees on the floor as much as you can. Move your folded knees up and down like a butterfly’s wings.
How Does It Work: This exercise allows the baby to move and position freely.
- Start with kneeling on a couch or a bed.
- Lean forward, lower your upper body to the floor.
- Place the palms of your hands on the floor and lean forward, creating an inverted position.
- You can lean on anything, for example- a table or an exercise ball.
If you feel uncomfortable or experience pain while performing an exercise, immediately stop and relax.