Exercise is frequently recommended as a natural method to induce labor. Exercise is especially helpful in getting your baby to descend, and in encouraging him or her to engage better. There are at least five types of exercise you could do when your pregnancy is full term, to encourage your baby to get born.
Walking as a method for natural labor induction
Walking keeps you upright and helps your baby to descend. This exerts downward pressure on the cervix, taking you closer to cervical effacement and dilation. The pressure your baby’s head places on your cervix also increases local release of oxytocin, which in turn brings on labor.
In addition to helping your baby to get into the right position, walking is also good for you. Walking is excellent cardio-vascular training, and can be done by most people; besides it doesn’t require a gym or any special equipment. Walking improves blood circulation, respiration, as well as muscle tone. It keeps you fit to cope with the onset of labor, and be ready to welcome the newborn.
If you can, walk in the mornings when the air is fresher and less polluted. Wear comfortable shoes and also carry a big umbrella. It’s good to have one, in case you want to lean on something to relieve any strain on your back. And of course, it’s useful if it gets too sunny, or starts to rain.
Does climbing stairs really help to start labor?
It’s often said that in hospitals midwives ask you to walk upstairs and down, in order to get the early stage of labor to go faster.
Climbing stairs has the same effect that walking does. It helps your baby to engage better, your cervix to dilate, and also increases the oxytocin level in the cervical area. Additionally, lifting your legs, one after the other, in order to move on to the next step opens up your pelvis. This makes more room for your baby and helps in bringing on labor. The slight swinging motion and small accelerated movements while going up, and the little bumps while stepping down, all help your baby to position himself or herself better for the labor.
Remember, it is important that you don’t exhaust yourself climbing stairs, trying to get faster into labor. You should know your own limits, and must listen to your body signals.
How about swimming in order to bring on labor?
Swimming is another excellent exercise that helps bring on labor. The breaststroke especially is said to have this effect.
Remember to wear goggles and follow proper swimming techniques. If you keep your head above the water all the time while swimming, your spine will curve unnaturally. This is likely to strain your back, which is already coping with the extra weight of your belly.
If you don’t know the right techniques, don’t let that stop you! If you can swim a little bit, it becomes surprisingly easy to learn the proper technique for swimming breaststroke. Contact a swimming teacher for a lesson.
Immersing your body in water, when you are heavily pregnant, is truly a joyous experience. The water supports your body and takes off weight from your feet and joints. If you are suffering from swollen feet at the end of your pregnancy, the slight pressure of water will relieve this common problem comfortably.
It is indeed worth going to the pool or to the beach to enjoy the benefits of water and of swimming, to help bring on your labor and to get relief from swollen feet!
Does squatting help in starting labor faster?
Squatting opens your pelvis and makes labor easier, because it helps your baby to move down the birth canal and also creates more room for him or her to be born. Squatting can help you to get to labor faster, in case it doesn’t start because the baby is too high.
The squatting position helps your baby to descend and engage into your pelvis. After your baby has engaged well, it’s less probable that she or he will be able to turn anymore. This means that you should squat only when your baby is in the right position for birth. This position is called the anterior position in which the baby is head down and facing your back. If your baby is in a posterior position — back against your back — or in the breech position head up, it’s important not to encourage him or her to descend. Your baby has to turn into the optimal, anterior birth position before you do any squatting.
Swinging — could exercise for natural labor induction be more convenient?
Using a swing results in a small G-force that encourages your baby to descend. To try this type of physical exercise in starting your labor, find a safe swing in which you can be stably seated.
All these exercises can be the last bit of natural encouragement your full term baby needs to be born. It’s always good to exercise. It’s never too late, and even a little of physical exercise goes a long way, and is an improvement on doing nothing at all. Exercise helps your labor to start and also keeps you fit. When you are physically in good condition, you will feel great and are able to resist stress and illnesses much better. So, go for a walk around your block, or to the nearest park to use a swing!