Today I went to the doctors for a routine checkup. Now that I am 36 weeks pregnant, the doctor advised me that the baby can come at moment. So it was a good time to start learning exercises to induce labor and prepare myself for the delivery. The realization just hit that our baby girl will be in our arms very soon. We were both getting very comfortable with my pregnant belly that sometimes we forgot about the next part of the journey.
Everything in the checkup was fine but the doctor did mention that being my first pregnancy, the labor and delivery times can be much longer. On average, labor can be between 13 hours to 40 hours long. To assist in making the whole experience more pleasant and much faster, she gave me a few tips and suggestions of what I can do now to help with the delivery in the near future. I thought I might share these tips with you as I believe they are the most practical and effective in inducing labor.
3 Exercises To Induce Labor and Make Delivery Faster
A lot of people might already know this but walking can help tremendously. Not only just it help keep you busy on your feet during the late stages of pregnancy (which by the way is a great distraction from the contractions!), it can also encourage labor to start.
Staying active is key to encouraging labor. My doctor suggested to walk at least 30 minutes a day, which doesn’t include any other period where you are standing for work or running around in the house. This does not need to be a brisk walk by any means, so take your time and enjoy the stroll through the park.
I still walk our dog Buckwheat with my husband everyday and do a little extra walking over the weekends. I find that it’s a great way to get some fresh air but also clear my mind. As much as it provides a physical benefit to inducing labor, it can help prepare you mentally as well.
Squats can help open up the cervix and help you dilate faster. I was advised to do at least 100 per day, in batches of 20 at a time. In between I rest for a few seconds or up to 1 minute and continue on to the next rep. It is important to note that you should take your time to do each squat, bending your legs to a 90 degree angle.
I suggest having something sturdy to rest your hands against like a chair, wall or table. This will help keep your back straight, resting most of your weight on your back and not on your knees.
3. Stair Climbing
Much like the other two exercises, stair climbing will definitely elevate your heart beat, get you to work up a good sweat and get your body ready for labor. The movement of stair climbing is known to encouraged your baby to move closer to the birth canal and hence kick start the labor. My doctor told me to do stair climbing for 30 minutes a day. I know what you are thinking, that’s too much! But she did say that I should take it slow and steady particularly because I would be climbing stairs.
Stair climbing can be a little dangerous considering that you might have swollen feet. I didn’t have swollen feet but at 36 weeks pregnant, I could not really see my feet as the belly was definitely in the way! My suggestion to stay safe is to do a few stair climbing exercises on a stepper.
We had one that we use to put up the laundry to dry and it was perfect for me to go up two steps and go back down without any risk of falling. I still also placed my hand against a wall and made sure to concentrate every time. I do 30 minutes all in one go but I put something on like a TV show or music to help pass the time much faster.
Whether or not it will really work is hard to tell but a lot of women swear by these three exercises to induce labor. I’m currently at 36 weeks pregnant and will continue to do these exercises everyday until my water breaks and I am in full labor. Only time will tell but even if it doesn’t make too much of a difference, at least I’ve started on my post pregnancy fitness goals!