Pregnancy is a mixed emotion for any woman since it brings her bundle of joy into the world, but at the same time, it also brings in physical, emotional, and mental changes that one needs to cope with. If you are moving towards the last trimester of your pregnancy and want some guidance on how you can prepare yourself for childbirth, you are reading the right blog.
Childbirth preparation is necessary as you will have to feel the pain and discomfort before the little one arrives, and hence, you should prepare your body well. Labour preparation exercises are a great way to relax your body and strengthen the core muscles that would play a crucial role during delivery.
You can choose the exercise form according to your comfort and interest since there are various forms to learn, like light cardio and muscle training, prenatal yoga, meditation, pregnancy ball exercises and more.
As a pregnant woman, every form of exercise focuses on strengthening you internally and externally so you can handle the pressure and pain without much effort.
Transformed Life Style Benefits and Challenges for Pregnant Women
Exercise is essential during pregnancy, and most mothers nowadays are well aware of the benefits of staying active. Earlier, there were misconceptions stating that pregnant women should not exercise much, they should only perform household chores, and childbirth will be smooth.
However, with time, lifestyles have changed, and now several pregnancy exercise programs are available where you can get guidance from an experienced and certified pregnancy fitness trainer. Indeed, this is a boon since our lifestyles have changed a lot.
However, now, women have limited time to complete their daily tasks, which becomes a challenge during pregnancy, especially for working women who must simultaneously balance their work and personal lives. Thus, taking out some me-time and concentrating on your physical and mental well-being is the best approach to having stress-free delivery.
Prenatal yoga, meditation and labor preparation ball exercises are some forms that are becoming popular amongst new-generation mommies. The ball exercises, done under expert supervision, work wonders and make you feel healthy and happy throughout the day. It also helps relax the important birthing muscles that become active during contractions.
Labor Preparation Ball Exercises for Pregnant Women in India
As the name suggests, the ball exercise is done using a huge, stable ball on which you need to sit and follow the expert guidelines. This is a modern-day exercise style that has been designed according to the needs of a pregnant woman and consists of easy movements that anyone without any experience can do.
If you have not enrolled for a birthing ball exercise program and want to do it at home, we present to you the safest and best pregnancy ball exercises that strengthen the pelvic area and the back. Even though these movements are simple, we still recommend you seek guidance from a trained fitness coach to avoid unwanted incidents. Here is a checklist of signs that you need to consider to prevent overstress:
- Discuss your lifestyle and pregnancy details with the coach so he can design a workout routine. It is necessary to remember that every woman has a different pregnancy experience. In contrast, some have a normal, healthy time; there are cases where doctors suggest being vigilant and have restricted safe movements only. If your doctor has ever told you something like this, you better discuss it with the trainer.
- Do not overdo the exercise just because you are loving it. Please stick to the counts and sets so that the body benefits from it. Sometimes, you are overwhelmed with the relief you get after exercising and think of doing more counts, but hold on, as it may only do more harm than good.
- Know when to stop in case of discomfort. As you progress towards full term, your body weight increases, and you may feel discomfort while doing some movements. So, if there is some issue, stop right there and rest briefly. If the discomfort continues, you must stop doing this exercise and inform your trainer.
Three Best Labor Preparation Ball Exercises for Pregnant Women
Here we showcase to you the three safest and best pregnancy ball exercises for your good health.
#1 Pelvic Tilts
The pelvic tilts consist of two different motions that you should do for a complete pelvic workout. One is the front and back motion, where you sit on the ball and move the pelvis towards the front by tilting it upwards to arch the back and then tuck it under for backward movement.
Ensure you sit on a smooth yet anti-slip surface and take proper support before exercising. You can do 2 sets of 20 counts each and rest for a few seconds between each set. This exercise strengthens the pelvic muscles and encourages the baby to take the correct position for delivery.
The next movement is side to side, where you must sit on the ball and lift one hip up alternately for a sideways motion. Repeat the movement 20 counts and 2 sets. The exercise is believed to broaden the birth canal, which helps in a smooth delivery.
#2 Pelvic Rotations
As the name suggests, you need to rotate your pelvis in this exercise by rotating the hips while seated on the ball. You should do both clockwise and anticlockwise movements 20 counts each. This exercise enhances pelvic flexibility, which allows the baby to come out with the least effort during childbirth.
If you have any confusion about the birthing ball exercises, you can check out the video by pregnancy fitness trainer Shivani Sanghvi. She has demonstrated every movement with the ball to help mommies-to-be have a better understanding of the movement.
#3 Shoulder Stretches
For this one, you need a mat along with the exercise ball. Sit on your knees on the exercise mat and place the ball in front of you. Now, interlace your fingers and place your hands on the ball, moving it forward to the maximum possible extent and holding the stretched position for 10 counts, then return to normal.
Remember that you should not feel stress on any body part during this movement. This exercise will relieve all the upper body tension and make you feel lighter.
Please understand that it will take a few weeks for first-timers to master the movements, and hence, there is not any flaw if you take appropriate support in the initial days. Pelvic tilts, pelvic rotation and shoulder stretch would give your body a complete workout without exerting extra pressure.
So, the birthing ball is a great exercise style for expecting moms, and anyone can do it without any prior exercise experience; however, we suggest you do it under expert supervision and ask for support if you cannot balance the ball initially.
Staying active is indeed of great help during pregnancy, but at the same time, you should ask your trainer to modify your workout routine according to the body changes and your health condition. It is recommended that you first consult your doctor and discuss if you can consider pelvic ball exercises.
However, at R for Rabbit, we suggest going ahead only when your doctor gives insights into your current health condition and states that the sets of exercises are completely safe. In several cases of complications during pregnancy, doctors tend to advise no activity, and it is wise to follow these professional instructions.
Once you have a green signal from the doctor, search for an experienced and knowledgeable trainer with special certification in pregnancy workouts.