Birth Prep #4: Squats and Weight Training

Exercise and Tip for Birth Prep #4

Exercise: 10 active squats and one squat stretch per day. If you do not know the best form for performing squats, instead use a chair to sit down and stand up. If your knees track too forward over your toes, than you are not using the correct muscles for the squat and will develop knee pain. For the squat stretch, use a block or a small stool to sit in a low squatted position with knees far enough apart to make space for your belly. You will feel a stretch in the back of your legs, especially if you often wear heels. Practice deep breathing in the position. Build your tolerance for this position. If you have placenta previa (the placenta rests over the cervix) or a shorten cervix, than this is not an appropriate exercise for you. Consult with your obstetrician before performing this exercise.

Tip: Try performing your squats while holding a weight or a household item that is heavier like a bag of rice. Keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your lower abdominals drawn in. When practicing squats or sit to stands using a chair, if you notice a doming or coning of your abdomen, then discontinue the exercise. There is no danger associated with this doming of your abdomen, however, it is a sign that your deep abdominal muscles are not engaging, and your superficial muscles are compensating. This is associated with low back pain. Consider seeing a women’s physical therapist to learn exercises to strengthen your abdominals

Next: Birth Prep #5

Featured image: John Pesina

Post Author
Dr. Grace Abruzzo
Hello! I am physical therapist and wellness coach in Los Angeles specializing in pelvic health for women. I use an integrative approach to treating women in preparation and recovery from childbirth. You will also find me in the birth room, providing Mamas support during labor and birth. I love reminding women how powerful they are.