Here are five simple changes can make a big impact on pelvic health and alignment which will support feeling strong and empowered throughout your pregnancy and into labor.
Your goals should be to untuck the pelvis, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, learn ace-in-the-pocket relaxation techniques, build strong legs and glutes, and perhaps most importantly: align your joints.
More important than doing “reps” of any exercise is trying to make shifts in how we habitually carry ourselves throughout the day. How you hold yourself now — during your pregnancy — also dramatically affects the state of your post-baby body. Take it slowly and always listen to your body. Old patterns are deeply ingrained in both the connective tissue and in the neurology through the “set” length of the musculature.
*Please be sure to consult with a doctor or midwife if you are uncertain whether these practices are appropriate for you. Make that a pretty please.
First change: SITTING (sitting?)
If I can give you one priceless
Second change: SQUAT with intention
You can also use the
Third change: Move DIFFERENTLY
We are creatures of comfort and habit. Though the joints and articulations of the body are capable of (literally) innumerable configurations, we tend to get comfortable as adults using the least amount of effort to move in predictable ways, which ultimately begins to limit and constrict us (and ultimately contribute to degeneration). This is your invitation to re-inhabit your kid body. Sit on the floor. (You will find yourself wanting to stretch, naturally.) Stretch your body long like a cat in bed before you start your day.
Put on your favorite music (music with a stronger beat helps) and dance in your bedroom. Move those hips and booty EVERY single day. We tend to equate
Fourth change: RELAXATION as an essential practice
Relaxation is not optional. It is an essential part of your movement practice just like the spaces between these words are essential to legibility and ease of reading. A day at the spa is luxurious and wonderful, but often expensive and impractical. But I highly recommend that you find a way to receive nurturing massage from a pregnancy-trained therapist (like me) whenever you can. Massage releases hormones of relaxation and contentment that even your baby will experience. (But avoid painful deep bodywork as any extended mama pain can potentially decrease oxygen to the baby.)
Aside from getting massaged when you can, it is equally important that you learn to relax throughout the day. Until I create my own (soon!), I recommend this guided meditation from my Restorative Yoga Mentor Jillian Pransky. A prenatal yoga class can also allow you to tune in to your body and your baby, and provides a great setting for nurturing relaxation.
As much as we want to strengthen the pelvic floor, we also want to deepen our capacity to release those muscles.
Fifth change: WALK WALK WALK
Take movement breaks, walk short distances instead of driving, and don’t give in to the idea that pregnancy means that you can rest at home with your feet up all the time (unless your doctor tells you to, of course). Walking may be the most important movement that you do. It strengthens our core musculature, our glutes, and our legs, supports circulation, moves the lymphatic system, and creates healthy cellular loads. As you
Research also indicates that “for women with normal pregnancies, physical activity is accompanied with shorter labour and decreased incidence of operative delivery.” The key is to engage in “submaximal weight-bearing activity” which includes walking, hiking, using a treadmill, or stair stepping.