You were told a pregnancy only takes 9 months — but your baby apparently didn’t get the memo. If your due date comes and goes and your little one still hasn’t made their arrival, you’re likely eager to do whatever you can in your power to ensure a faster, more successful delivery.
While you may have heard old wives’ tales that told you to drink cups of red raspberry tea or even go on a bumpy car ride, we’re betting you’ve overlooked one simple and natural yet effective way to give your baby a little-added help when they’re trying to arrive — Kegel exercises.
But does performing Kegels to induce labor actually work and what can you do to maximize the health benefits produced from exercises to induce labor at home? Below, we’ll discuss why Kegels work — and what you can do to get started on the right workout plan for labor induction today.
How Doing Kegels to Induce Labor Works
Unlike labor-inducing myths that seem to work on pure hopeful wishing, there’s actually evidence to support that fact that exercise can help a woman give birth quicker.
Kegel exercises work by targeting the uterus, an act which can help a baby push deeper into the pelvis. The body works out in a way that also prepares it for the act of giving birth — ensuring that both you and your baby are ready for the imminent arrival that awaits ahead.
Is Inducing Labor Through Exercise Safe?
Very rarely is exercise considered harmful or potentially hazardous — but is pregnancy one of the few exceptions?
If you’re afraid that exercise will provoke labor too early, don’t fret. Research studies show that Kegels and other moderate exercise activities can decrease your chances of experiencing a preterm birth. In fact, moderate exercise is reportedly linked to a lowered risk of Cesarean section birth and diabetes during pregnancy.
While the increased pressure and strengthened muscles that result from Kegels may work for some women, others expectant mothers may want to put their exercise regimen on hold instead. Women with health complications, such as severe anemia, preeclampsia or heart disease, should consider consulting with a doctor before practicing any Kegel exercises to ensure their safety first.
What other exercises help start labor? A few similar activities that could help induce labor are:
- Deep squats
- Using an exercise ball
- Going for a walk
- Having an orgasm!
All of these exercises, including Kegel exercises, should be discussed with a doctor in order to fully understand your unique health needs. But to learn more about the possible benefits of Kegels during pregnancy, read on!
Kegels to Induce Labor
As a pregnant woman, any sentence with the word “exercise” may leave you walking straight towards your bed. But while the thought of working out with a big belly isn’t your idea of fun, you’ll be happy to know that Kegel exercises aren’t quite as tricky or strenuous as you think.
You can do them sitting on the toilet. You can get in your Kegels while having an afternoon snack. You may even find it helpful to engage in some Kegel exercises while brushing your teeth. You can successfully train your uterus anywhere, anytime — making these exercises both comfortable and hassle-free to do.
Not sure how to do Kegels to induce labor? Here’s a look at three Kegels to induce labor that’ll help you enjoy a more relaxed and comfortable birthing experience, too.
1. Quick Squeezes
Kegel exercises don’t have to be difficult. In fact, we’re betting you can bust out a few sets of them from where you’re seated — or standing — right now!
Simply locate your pelvic floor muscles and make an effort to squeeze these muscles to the count of 10. Then, release your tension and relax for a few seconds. Repeat these steps for several reps while remembering to breathe deeply throughout your exercises, too.
2. Deep Squats
While squats may be notoriously known as the go-to booty exercise, they’re also great for targeting your pelvic floor muscles, too. Simply stand up straight against a wall and carefully bend your knees as you move your body down towards the ground.
Imagine yourself sitting in an invisible chair. Hold this position for 8-10 seconds, slowly rise and repeat these steps in order again.
3. Exercise Ball Exercises
An exercise ball is a must-have accessory for any woman during her pregnancy. But while you might think this trusted tool is excellent for maintaining your workout throughout your pregnancy, did you know it may also hold the secret to speeding up your labor, too?
Simple movements such as squeezing the ball between your legs or gently bouncing up and down on the ball can work your pelvic floor while targeting those important muscles involved in giving birth, too.
Other Health Benefits Associated with Kegels
Kegel exercises aren’t just great for women looking to induce labor — they also provide a mixture of other health-related benefits, too!
Because Kegels work to induce labor by targeting the pelvic area, they also help you get your body in shape for your upcoming birth. But those extra-strong muscles won’t just benefit you during labor — Kegel exercises just so happen to be one of the best ways to prevent urinary incontinence after giving birth, too.
If you find yourself getting antsy about your baby’s future arrival, don’t resort to frivolous tricks or tips that fail to provide you with the results you need. Oftentimes, all you truly need is a little bit of patience and some Kegel exercises to help do the trick!