EXERCISES DURING PREGNANCY FOR NORMAL DELIVERY
When we hear people saying that giving birth to a child is also a new birth for the mother, it is actually a fact that the mother goes through a phase in which she undergoes a whole lot physical and mental changes which takes ample time for modification. The most important factor that counts is the method adapted for delivery i.e- Normal or C-section. As per studies, C-section has got many repercussions after it, whereas Normal delivery causes less harm to the mother’s body and the child. So, majority of the ladies try to have a normal delivery and follow some activities that help ease the process.
The following exercises should be performed with consent from the doctor and if all the vitals and parameters are ok.
1) Head rotation (side to side; front to back)- In a sitting position, with back support. Hands placed on lap, now move your head from side to side with a count of 10 on each side, and in front to back direction with a count of 10 again. This improves and maintains the range of motion of the neck and avoids stiffness.
2) Shoulder shrugging – In a sitting position, hands placed at back , slowly move both the shoulders in a circular motion in clock and anti -clockwise direction. Repeat this for 20 times.
3) Active exercises for upper arm, forearm and wrist – To avoid fatigue, numbness in hands and wrist, an expectant mother should try to keep moving her upper arms in every two hours of interval in bending forward , circular motion, elbow flexing and extending, fingers stretching (away and towards each other).
4) Trunk exercises- Bridging, cat and camel exercise are some form of trunk movements that should be performed twice in a day. It should not put pressure over the tummy area and under supervision of an expert.
5) Lower limb (Squatting, Active free exercises of hip, knee and ankle) – If all the parameters of the mother is under control then squatting can be done (half knee bending) with support twice if body permits and free exercises of hip, knee and ankle.
6) Chair exercises- Sitting on a chair in opposite direction with facing the back of the chair. Place the hands crossing on the rail of the chair and head down position, do breathing exercises to relieve anxiety and stress.
7) Cobbler pose (sitting and lying)- In sitting or lying position, legs bend, both foot facing each other making the shape of a diamond. This exercise stretches the adductor muscles and helps in easy delivery.
8) Stretching (whole body, one after the other)- Slow, sustained stretch to all parts of body except the abdominal area can be performed one after the other to maintain circulation to all parts of the body.
9) Ball exercises (pelvis stabilising and relaxing techniques)- Nowadays gym ball or so called thera ball are available in the market which can be used at home. Sitting on it with full support pelvic stabilising and rotation (to and fro; side to side) can be performed. It helps open up the birth canal and easy passage of the child.
10) Deep breathing- controlled inhalation and exhalation through nose and mouth, respectively should be done everyday to get control over anxiety and fear of childbirth.
11) Meditation – Twice daily, minimum for 20 minutes each helps keep the mind calm and stress free during pregnancy. Creates positive thoughts and brings overall wellbeing of the mind and body.
Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase of a women’s life, but making it successful can become easy with just following the above mentioned activities to cherish the moment happily forever.