When pregnancy reaches its last weeks, the condition can get difficult and extremely uncomfortable to deal with. And at such times, all you do is wait, right? Wait for that one sign that says it all.
But there is more that you can do. These are sleeping positions vs exercises to induce labor.
We all know that labor is one of those parts of pregnancy that women wish they didn’t have to experience. Even though it marks the end of your pregnancy, the stage can be quite challenging and painful to handle.
But at the same time, it’s a natural and inevitable process that initiates the delivery stage. Labor consists of three stages, at the end of which the baby is born. Other such problems include acid reflux, swollen feet, back pain, and sleeplessness.
All these conditions are not a cause for worry because they’re all a part of the process. But there are ways to induce labor naturally. These are simple as well as safe exercises or stretches that you should try out to speed up labor. And don’t worry; they’re not only safe but pretty comfortable too.
So let’s find out the thirteen different positions to induce labor naturally.
9 Most Effective Exercises To Induce Labor
1. Pelvic Tilt
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The pelvic tilt is also known as pelvic rock. It is one of the simplest and best exercises to induce labor at home. Find a comfortable place to lie flat on the floor with your face upwards. Your feet should rest on the ground while you bend the knees. Avoid arching the shoulders during this exercise.
What pelvic tilt does is strain the muscles while also keeping the joints in that particular area loose. And this does an excellent job of getting the baby into the delivery position.
You can listen to your favorite tracks and perform the exercise for at least 10 minutes on a daily basis. Such an activity helps in improving fetal positioning. And it also contributes to making the labor procedure more comfortable for you.
How to Do Prenatal Yoga Squatting Pose?
If you meet someone who tells you not to perform squats during pregnancy, then please make it a point to never seek any advice from that person again. That’s because, unlike popular belief, squats are safe during pregnancy. In fact, squats are that one form of exercise that prepares your body for labor as well as childbirth.
When you get down while doing squats, the movement helps the baby to travel down to your pelvis. And once that happens, the labor process starts to kick in.
But you need to know how to perform squats correctly. Stand straight with your feet apart, shoulder width. Lower your body into the squat position in a gentle manner. At this point, you should ensure that your spine is straight and your knees aren’t protruding. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. Then go back up using your knees to lift the upper body.
You can repeat the process even 20 times on a daily basis. Squatting to induce labor also goes a long way in alleviating back pain that most women experience during pregnancy.
Photo credit: pregnancyrelated.com
One of the most effective exercises to induce labor naturally is the leaning position.
And do you know what’s so awesome about this? The fact that we can lean on everything. Be it tables, walls, counters, or even people.
Using the birth ball at such times makes the whole process of leaning more exciting and fun. It’s because what it does is help your body exert some pressure on the back. The ball also contributes to loosening your pelvic muscles. And this makes the process of delivery easier.
You should also know that rolling on that exercise ball prepares the body for labor in the most natural manner.
Resting on your bed all day long is not going to solve the problem. If you want that baby to come out of you, then you need to get moving, quite literally. One of the best exercises to induce labor is walking. And it’s pretty simple too since we already know how to do that, right?
Something as easy and effortless as a daily walk offers tons of healthy benefits. After all, walking is a form of aerobic exercise, isn’t it? Plus, it goes a long way in inducing labor naturally.
When you enter the active labor stage, walking or even moving around maintaining an upright position offers a tremendous advantage. It encourages the baby to get into the ideal delivery position. On top of that, this simple form of exercise also helps you get through the labor process.
But the number of minutes is something that differs depending on the condition of every pregnant woman.
Photo credit: livestrong.com
Sitting is an exercise, really? But not just seated in any posture and anywhere you like.
The perfect sitting positions to induce labor are responsible for easing the pain, stabilizing the pelvis, and strengthening the body.
Sitting on soft couches, gliders, and beds is not exercise. You need to make sure that you sit in an upright position while also bending your pelvis forward. At such times, you can use an exercise ball for keeping the pelvis region aligned properly.
Going outdoors and indulging in sports such as kayaking also offers excellent health benefits. So feel free to make the most of that during pregnancy.
Another suitable sitting position includes sitting with legs crossed. For this, you stretch the legs while pushing your uterus forward. Such a posture does constitute as one of the most effective exercises to induce labor.
6. Butterfly Position
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This form of exercise helps in stretching the muscles located in your back, below your hip, and pelvis. The butterfly position is also known as tailor sitting. It’s an easy-to-perform exercise that increases pelvic joint flexibility, which induces labor.
The butterfly is an exercise you can perform however you like. All you need to do is get into the sitting position with your back against the wall and feet together. Press your knees using your hands while trying to stretch the muscles located in the inner thighs.
You can ask your husband or anybody else to assist you if you want to stretch the legs more. It’s safe to perform this exercise for as long as 10 minutes daily.
The lack of physical activity tends to build a poor body posture, which subjects the uterus to twists and cramps. And it can also exert excessive pressure on the baby.
So getting into the correct position can be quite difficult. And that’s where lunges come into the picture.
Lunges are a type of exercise that helps in untwisting the ligaments located in the lower part of the uterus. In fact, lunges also go a long way in preparing your body for labor in the most natural manner.
All you need to do is stand and place one leg ahead while bending your knee. You can do a vertical lunge position or push against a wall while staying in the same posture.
Lunges might be slightly difficult to perform, so ask your partner to assist you at such times. Tell him or her to help you flatten the lower back until you feel a burning sensation there. Once that happens, hold that position for at least 30 seconds.
You can repeat this process as many as five times on a daily basis.
8. Stair Climbing
With so much weight on you, climbing stairs might seem like an impossible task. But that’s not the case.
Taking the stairs instead of the lift goes a long way in making the labor process easier and safer.
It does seem like a difficult exercise, but once you set your mind to it, the thing works like magic. After all, we want to do whatever it takes to make the stressful labor and delivery stages easier for the body, right?
Climbing stairs also helps in maintaining blood pressure and positioning the baby correctly. It contributes to opening the pelvis region and initiating contractions.
9. Kegel Stretches
Performing Kegel stretches is considered to one the best natural exercises to induce labor. They are responsible for toning and tightening the pelvic muscles. Our Kegel muscles are nothing but a set of muscles that control the urine flow.
Pregnant women perform the Kegel exercise in larger repetitions as it gives rise to contractions. All you have to do is stand in an upright position with the feet on the floor and back against the wall. Contract the kegel muscles for a second, then release them.
This you can do at least 100 times in one go. You can perform the Kegel exercise throughout your pregnancy to help make the process easier.
How to Do Kegel Exercises?
The 4 Most Effective Sleeping Positions to Induce Labor
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Now it’s time to discuss the most comfortable and helpful sleeping positions to induce labor. Sleeping at this point might be an uncomfortable experience. Given the size of your belly! Even the discomfort you go through can contribute to ruining a good night’s sleep. Or nap time.
With that in mind, it’s a relief to find out the best sleeping position to encourage labor. And feel comfortable at the same time. So you can sleep better.
Did you know that getting adequate sleep is important right before labor kicks in? Sleeping promotes the development of melatonin in the body. This particular component combines with oxytocin. The result of which comes in the form of labor. All the more reason to get enough sleep, right!
Plus, once the baby is born, your sleep will take the backseat. So you might as well make the most of this wonderful opportunity right now.
The safest positions to sleep during pregnancy; it’s time to address this particular topic first. Because they are the same as the sleeping positions to induce labor. The goal is to make your body feel the most comfortable. So you can achieve a good night’s rest. And once that happens, you’re doing enough to induce labor as naturally as possible.
#1 Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach
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During pregnancy, sleeping on the stomach is definitely not an option. Am I right? This particular position tends to exert unwanted pressure on your abdominal region.
Even the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from your feet and legs to the heart are subjected to the extra pressure. As a result of which it can slow down blood circulation. To both your own body and the baby!
#2 Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
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If sleeping on the stomach feels uncomfortable, then what’s the next option? Sleeping on your back, correct? But, unfortunately, that’s not a good idea either. You won’t take too long to realize how difficult it is to breathe when lying on the back during pregnancy.
The belly tends to push down on the intestines when you sleep in such a position. So expect tummy troubles.In fact, sleeping on your back means welcoming severe morning sickness and nausea as well. This position too affects blood supply to the baby.
#3 Sleep On Your Left Side
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Since you’ve exhausted the first two sleeping positions, it’s time to try another one. Side sleeping during pregnancy is highly recommended. Especially on the left! It’s incredibly comfortable as the abdomen increases in size.
But why is the left side better than the right? Sleeping on your left offers tons of advantages, even when not pregnant. The most important health benefit is an improvement in blood circulation. And when pregnant, this particular side sleeping position promotes better flow of nutrients to your fetus.
When lying on the left, you’re preventing your large belly from exerting pressure on the liver. The opposite of which happens when you sleep on your right side. So keep in mind that right is not right, left is right. Especially during pregnancy!
#4 Use Cushions and Pillows
When side sleeping, you can wedge pillows between the legs and behind the back. What this does is add more support to the position. So don’t hesitate to use cushions and pillows to feel more comfortable while sleeping.
There are pregnancy pillows as well. If you think you might be interested in such a product, you can find it here. Or a maternity store.
Propping a pillow between the knees or under the body offers more spine and belly support. On top of that, it keeps your body from rolling on to your back and stomach.
Sleeping Positions to Induce Labor: Important Tips
What you see below are a few tips that bring more comfort into action. This ensures better sleep and protects your baby when you’re fast asleep. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most natural methods of inducing labor. So here are some tips that might help!
- Consume light meals at dinner. Don’t indulge in spicy foods as they lead to heartburn, which aggravates at night.
- Feel free to perform light breathing exercises before bedtime. It helps in relaxing the body by supplying enough oxygen.
- Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes made of breathable materials. Such as cotton. Also, avoid tight nightwear.
- If lying down on your bed doesn’t feel comfortable, try the sofa or a comfortable chair.
Here’s a video that explains others ways of inducing labor naturally:
Please don’t panic when and if you roll on to your back or front while sleeping. Allow your body to move comfortably during the process. Instead of getting up frequently to sleep on the left side!
Your body demands as much sleep as it can get in order to induce labor naturally. So appreciate the rest before your newborn destroys every last shred of a good night’s sleep.
Midnight feedings and sleep deprivation are a part of the post-pregnancy journey. So prepare for that by resting like a boss right now! Wish you all the luck and happiness in the world.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first or second or third time, right? Because giving birth is always a challenging and stressful process. And even more so if the due date has long gone. At such times, you feel like your baby just doesn’t want to get out of your body.
But there are plenty of exercises to induce labor, isn’t it? I have listed at least nine of them; the most efficient ones are all in there. These exercises and stretches do an excellent job at inducing labor naturally, which is always a good idea.
What exercises have you tried that are on the list? Is there anything else that made a huge difference during your pregnancy?
Please share your wonderful experiences with us in the comments section below. You can talk about your favorite exercise or stretching position that helped you in getting through the process.
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