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What did you feel was the most useful prenatal exercises to you during your natural birth?

  • yoga

    Votes: 16 47.1%
  • meditation/relaxation exercises

    Votes: 11 32.4%
  • light cardio/aerobics

    Votes: 5 14.7%
  • light weight training

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • kegels

    Votes: 9 26.5%
  • other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 23.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just getting started tailoring my workout routine to fit an expectant mum and would like to hear from experienced mamas:

What was the most helpful or useful exercise for labor and birth?
What did you wish you worked on more?
What kind of exercise do you think made your recovery easier?
What did you enjoy?

Thanks!
 

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For your poll, I answered meditation/relaxation.

What was the most helpful or useful exercise for labor and birth? Meditation/relaxation.
What did you wish you worked on more? Strength training, especially for my legs.
What kind of exercise do you think made your recovery easier? Kegels
What did you enjoy? Enjoy? I just did it I guess.
 

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I've done prenatal yoga with past pregnancies and just started up with it last week during this one (at 26 weeks). I love it. We do kegels, meditation and squats in prenatal yoga. It's aslo been a great way for me to relax and connect with the baby, too. I definitely prefer going to class rather than just doing a video at home. I went to class with my second son and had a wonderful, quick and easy delivery. I was just so much more in tune with my body and was able to simply allow my body to do what it was meant to do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
What was the most helpful or useful exercise for labor and birth?
I would have to say that overall meditation/relaxation was the most useful in terms of labor.

Quote:

Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
What did you wish you worked on more?
I wish I had been able to do more squats and similar exercises - I had SPD which made those difficult at best and impossible by 30 weeks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
What kind of exercise do you think made your recovery easier?
I really couldn't say; I have had an easy recovery after all three births with different exercise routines each time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
What did you enjoy?
I took a prenatal yoga class this past time and really enjoyed that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I should've put squats as one of the choices!
Squats are included in my prenatal yoga so I wasn't thinking of them separately.
 

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Squats! But I think that they're all important - and it's nice to mix things up. I do aerobics a few days a week, and I'm gonna try to work more yoga in too. I do kegels every day (not really as many as are recommended, but I try!). And meditation/progressive relaxation is good esp. in the 3rd trimester.
 

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Walking and kegels would be my first choice. If you are high-strung (like me) relaxation exercises would be near the top as well.

I've never done yoga before but with all the responses, I'd like to give it a try? What are your favorite prenatal yoga DVD's?
 

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I voted other. I do not do "light" excercises
o any sort. JUst keep where you current are and keep moving.

Feeling fit and challenged mentally and physicaly helped me most. Since labor is mentally and physically challenging.
 

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What was the most helpful or useful exercise for labor and birth? Stretching! Lotus stretches, indian sitting stretches, pelvic tilts.

What did you wish you worked on more? Aerobics for overall well-being.

What kind of exercise do you think made your recovery easier? Kegals. It really helped to 'close up' that area, kwim?

What did you enjoy? Stretching, again. I could do it well into the third trimester, it really helped with body pain/stiffness, and was very relaxing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the great replies!

I will definitely keep all your suggestions and opinions in mind as I get settled into a routine.
 

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I ran my entire pregnancy and also did yoga at least 2x a week. I feel the running helped a lot because I was in good physical shape. The yoga helped a lot because it helped me not be sore and achy as much.

You do not need to do LIGHT exercise just because you are pregnant. You can exercise just like any other person (within reason of course).
 

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I chose "Other"
Regular chiropractic visits were SO helpful to me, and along with that the exercises that my chiro rec'd to me for core strength - mostly pelvic tilts (front/back and left/right) and circles done on my ball. They kept my hips nice and loose, and on my last prenatal adjustment my chiro said I was in such prefect alignment that the baby should fly out. And my baby did the very next day - super short labor and he was in a perfect position.
I also sat on my balance ball at work for the last 2 weeks or so, to encouage my baby to position well. Worked for me!

What was the most helpful or useful exercise for labor and birth? Besides chiro, getting into a good headspace worked best. Reading books, having good chats with my MWs, being educated about what was going to happen, journaling. And in labor I chanted "open, open" and kept visualizing waves that I would ride out.

Also, when I kegeled, I not only did the tighten up, but the push-out. So I was able to easily let go and not only have a muscle memory of being shut.

What did you wish you worked on more? I felt really well prepared, actually! Next time I will push in a more controlled way, but I don't think I could have prepped for that.

What kind of exercise do you think made your recovery easier? Kegels do help a ton. Walking, just a little, is really important after too.

What did you enjoy? I looooved my hip circles. and bouncing. Fun and comfy.
 

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squatting....totally. should have done more. I ended up squatting for 20+ minutes to get baby out....my legs could hardly stand up afterwards.

sarah
 

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Walking, yoga and kegels. Lots of squats and hip openers.

Also BELLY DANCING!

Belly dancing is really grounding and helps to isolate, loosen and strengthen the lower abdomen. It was very helpful late in pregnancy when I would get lower back pain. In fact I totally alleviated the pain using belly dancing. I'm not talking about official belly dancing but putting on my favorite music and doing circles and figure eights and really moving around.

I read about a woman who spiraled her hips while the baby came out and it made it much easier (she was in water). This made an impression on me and I was going for a very easy and enjoyable second labor. I was close to pushing and when I moved into the birth tub my labor slowed way down. I asked everyone to leave and put on my bellydancing music and just stomped and spiraled and danced until I had myself pushing again. I think the motion really lets the baby get into optimum position.

Another something I did that I just remembered was (especially towards the end) I stopped sitting back-anywhere on couches chairs etc. I tried to sit up-almost leaning forward. I started watching movies on my birth ball and even in frog position. I felt that really helped.
 
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