Best squats during pregnancy
HOW YOU MIGHT ACT IN LABOUR
Research has shown that keeping active and upright can make labour easier. So walking around (some women find they cover miles), bouncing on a birthing ball, getting down on all fours and wiggling your hips from side to side, or draping yourself in different ways over chairs, beanbags, or mats, could all help you find a bit of comfort and relief from the pain. You won’t need to feel self-conscious about doing any of these things, even if you do suspect you look like a mad woman in the process: the staff will have seen it all before.
The position that you actually give birth in is said to make a big difference, too. Lots of women find crouching on all fours, or kneeling, squatting, or standing with support from a birth partner, are more comfortable and natural stances. And it makes sense when you think about it, because you’ll be getting a helping hand from gravity.
If you feel strongly that you’d like to be free to move around or to experiment with different positions, it’s something you could write in your birth plan. Be prepared to take the initiative in finding out what’s comfortable for you when the time comes – how much encouragement you get to take control of your own position could depend on where
you’re giving birth, and who’s assisting you. But bear in mind it’s your body – you can put it anywhere or anyhow you choose.
There are many benefits to be derived from doing squatting exercises. Squatting cuts off some blood from the general circulation and so gives the heart a rest. It makes your joints, especially the pelvic ones, more flexible, stretches and strengthens the thighs and back muscles and relieves back pain. Squatting is a comfortable position to relax in and is a working position for labour and delivery (see The second stage of labour). It may seem difficult at first but with practice it will become progressively easier.
- Squatting helps open your pelvis, giving baby more room to rotate through the birth canal. You also can bear down more effectively when it’s time to push. Use a sturdy chair or a squatting bar.
- Semisitting Prop yourself up with pillows, or ask your partner to sit behind you for support. During each contraction, lean forward and draw your knees toward your body.
Learning to squat while pregnant
To begin with use a wall and pillows to prop you up. Place pillows on the floor. Stand with feet hip-width apart and your back against the wall. Slide down into a squatting position with the pillows keeping your weight slightly forwards; you may not be able to put your heels on the floor at first.
Full squats during pregnancy
Keeping your back lengthened and straight open out your legs and squat down as low as you can.Try to get your heels on the ground with the weight evenly distributed between heels and toes; don’t worry if you have to raise your heels. Press your elbows against your thighs, to increase the stretch on the inner thighs and the pelvic area.
Half squats during pregnancy
Hold onto something secure and place your left foot in front of put right. Point your left knee slightly outwards and slowly lower yourself to the floor, as far as you can go, keeping your bottom tucked in and your back straight. Stand up slowly and repeat with the other leg forwards.
Tip squats during pregnancy
Good lifting habits can prevent injury at all times. Try to lift with your legs instead of leaning over and putting all the pressure on your back muscles. By squatting and using the power in your legs, you are less likely to pull a muscle in
your back. Of course, the best advice is to lift as little as possible during this phase of the pregnancy.