These exercises will prepare women for labour, improve muscle strength, flexibility and energy levels.
Photograph*: Kind courtesy StockSnap/Pixabay.com
A healthy and active lifestyle not only helps you to deliver the baby safely, but also prepares the mind and soul to welcome the challenges of motherhood, says Dr Sutopa
Performing exercises, practising yoga or meditating during pregnancy can be very valuable.
A healthy and active lifestyle not only helps you to deliver the baby safely ,but also prepares the mind and soul to welcome the challenges of motherhood.
If you perform exercises with proper guidance, it will help both the mother and the unborn child.
Did you know that there are exercises that help establish a connect between the expecting mother and the child?
When done regularly, physical activities prepare women for labour, improves muscle strength, flexibility and energy level.
Here are some basic exercises for pregnant women:
1. Pelvic floor exercise
Pelvic floor muscles are the most important muscles involved during delivery.
The strength and flexibility of pelvic portion helps deliver baby naturally.
In case there is lack of flexibility or strength you will not be able to bear the pain and have to think of alternate methods for delivering the baby.
You can do this exercise while sitting or standing.
In this you have to tighten your vagina, urethral and anal muscles like you are holding urination.
It prevents uterine prolapse, urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids.
2. Back and abdominal exercise
This exercise you have to do while sitting on the chair.
The chair must be comfortable and straight according to your back.
For the first few minutes adjust yourself to the chair and breathe normally.
Take some deep breaths.
First tighten the abdomen, press pelvic downwards, hold for five seconds and relax. This exercise helps you correct lower back and pelvic posture. It prevents back pain.
3. Ankle exercise
Swollen legs and varicose veins are very common during pregnancy.
Most women may have to change their shoe size to fit in.
To prevent this you need to focus on ankle exercise.
Sit on a steady chair and lift your leg till you are comfortable.
Pull your ankle inward and outward.
Move your feet in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
Repeat this movement 10 times on each foot.
Don't exert yourself and do it only till you are comfortable.
4. Lower limbs relaxation exercise
To enhance the flexibility of your thigh and pelvic muscles you need to do this exercise.
It helps in delivery positions and prevents thigh spasm during pregnancy.
Sit on a low chair or floor and spread your thighs sideways. Hold for 5 second and relax.
5. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises will help you during contraction of delivery.
Whenever possible try to take deep and long breaths.
The process of inhalation and exhalation must be for 5 seconds each.
While doing any of these exercises, if you experience pain or discomfort, just stop.
In case of excess pain, bleeding and other complications you must consult a doctor.
There is no need to exert yourself as long as you have some form of physical activity in your routine.
*Image published for representational purposes only.
Dr Sutopa Banerjee is director, obstetrics and gynaecology at Fortis, Vasant Kunj