Preparing for Labor with Yoga and Pilates

I have put together  a few key exercises and stretches to prepare your body for labor and support you during and after pregnancy. All of these postures can be done at any stage of pregnancy.

Butterfly Pose:
Stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region
  • Sit with a tall spine, legs out straight
  • Bend your knees, bring feet in towards pelvis
  • Press the soles of the feet together
  • Legs should resemble a diamond shape
  • Tip: This one is also great while reclining back propped up on pillows

Clam Shell :
Pilates Clam Shell is amazing for strengthening hips as well as strengthening your core and low back!  
  • Lie on your side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Rest head on lower arm and make sure hips are stacked
  • Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button in, as this will help to stabilize your spine and pelvis.
  • Keeping your feet touching, raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis. Don’t move your lower leg off the floor

Malasana (Yoga Squat)
 Malasana helps to open up the hips and is a great pose to practice Kegel exercise and any breathing techniques you may learn in your birthing classes. (Fun Fact: This is also an ideal birth position!)
  • Stand with hands at heart center at at the top of your mat feet as wide as the mat
  • Rotate your toes outward 
  • Begin to squat down, hips towards heels
  • Use your elbows to press your knees outward (traction over your 2nd & 3rd toe)

Goddess Squat Pose:
This pose opens the hips, while strengthens and tones the legs and lower body       
  • Step feet about 3 feet wide apart
  • Turn feet out, facing the corners of the room
  • Bend the knees as you exhale coming into a squat position
  • Press the knees back in space, Hold for 3-5 deep breaths

Low Lunge:
Alternating lunges are great for finding balance and specifically done during last trimester are great for lowering baby into optimal position for birth

  • From Down Dog, lift one heal to the sky
  • Step foot through, place back knee down on the mat
  • Walk hands up leg and lunge forward
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths

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