Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pregnancy - Top Exercises For an Easy Childbirth

Once, during my annual visit to my native town, I was walking through a freshly ploughed field where a few women were sowing the seeds for rice crops. My eyes fell on one woman who was bent over in her work. I could tell right away that she was in her last trimester of her term and wondered how on earth could she bend over like that? I marveled at her dexterity and the lack of any fatigue on her face. When I found her missing on the field the next day, I learned that she had delivered the previous night! Apparently, she had contracted labor pains soon after she had got home from work. Her husband and few others had rushed to the hospital where she had delivered a bonny baby an hour later. Amazing! I thought. All over in an hour!

My mother explained later that the smooth delivery was on account of the consistent exercises that the woman had in her course of work in the field, which made her pelvic passage supple and strong. She added that one would hardly hear of farmer women having complicated deliveries nor undergoing a c-section. Exercise is absolutely important to ensure a smooth and safe delivery. However, check your physical status with your doctor and get his nod of approval before embarking on any exercise. Some of the best recommended exercises are given below:

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are important exercises necessary to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles include your bladder, uterus and your bowel. They are joined to your pubic bone in the front and travel across like a hammock to join the tail bone in the back. It is recommended to do these exercises all your life to prevent continence (poor bladder control) and weakening of pelvic floor muscles. Doing these exercises during pregnancy will help you with an easy delivery. The best thing about these exercises is that they can be done anywhere without anyone’s knowledge.
How to do
Lie on the bed on your back with your knees bent and legs comfortably apart. Pull in the muscles of your vagina and your anal muscles, hard and quick and hold for 5 seconds (The effect would be as if you are trying to hold back urine or wind). Let go and relax and then repeat the procedure again. Do it as often as you want.


Walking is an easy and beneficial exercise for you to do during pregnancy. Do a few warm-ups like stretching up your arms, before you set out to walk. Wear comfortable walking shoes and start slowly.


You can choose to use stationary bikes or the mobile ones. Stationary bikes are safer as there is no risk of tripping or falling down, especially when you advance in your term. Cycle slowly, without over-exerting yourself.


It is the safest and best exercise to relieve you of stress and promote positive mental health. It also stabilizes your blood pressure and improves blood circulation. Pranayam or breathing techniques are excellent to strengthen your lungs, taking in more oxygen for you and your baby. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in your body may make you feel depressed or tearful. Pranayam combats mood swings and keeps your calm, relaxed and happy. Moreover, controlled breathing will help you bear your contractions when you are in labor.


Mild aerobics can be practiced after consultation with your doctor and your physical trainer. Join an aerobic class for prenatal program.

Wear loose fitting clothes while exercising and a good bra to provide strong support. Keep yourself well hydrated at all times and wear proper shoes as well. If you feel dizzy, breathless, faint or any abdominal or back pain, stop exercising right away and see your doctor. Avoid any hard physical activity like horse riding and skiing.

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