There are many reasons to exercise while pregnant, from experiencing less constipation than mothers-to-be who don't work out to delivering healthier-sized babies (while you yourself gain less weight throughout your pregnancy). Certain exercise styles are especially great for helping build up your abs and pelvic floor for delivery so everything goes more smoothly and you can feel more comfortable. Here are just a couple of the types of exercises you can start doing now to put your body in excellent condition for delivering your sweet baby.
Sitting on an exercise ball supports your growing belly as well as your spine, allowing you to do healthy exercises more comfortably. While sitting on a ball, you can do squats to stretch your pelvic muscles and increase your pelvic floor strength (which in turn can help prevent incontinence before and after you have your baby) as well as do mild crunches to build your ab muscles. As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor may show you other exercises that are safe to do, such as bouncing on a ball instead of squats for gentler, yet effective, movement.
You can also hold a small exercise ball in your hands and twist your body from side to side in a slow motion to put your abs in motion, or place the ball between your legs for gentle squeezing for your pelvis and thighs. As you enter the later stages of your pregnancy, you will want to avoid over-stretching your abdominal muscles for your own comfort and the safety of your unborn baby.
Prenatal Pilates are another excellent style of exercise to keep you fit and mentally relaxed for childbirth. As your pregnancy progresses, you will want to change the positions you do for Pilates, but you can do this form of fitness all throughout your pregnancy. Pilates moves to try that strengthen you back, abs, and pelvic region include:
- The Sword
- Wag the Tail
- Rocking Pelvis
Neutral Spine Placement in particular is healthy for the pelvic region, as it allows you to center your body when lying on the floor for optimum comfort and healthier results. When doing prenatal Pilates, always have a skilled instructor by your side to help you avoid over-stretching your muscles or hurting your back.
Exercise while pregnant can help you have a much healthier, happier delivery. Talk to your doctor about ab or pelvis exercises you can utilize to make your body more powerful for delivery day.