10 Yoga Poses to Prepare for Labor and Delivery
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Hey there! Taylor Moore, RYT 500, here in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Join me for fall in Colorado as we practice 10 of my favorite yoga poses to prepare for a strong and healthy labor and delivery. These are exercises I practice most days to open the pelvis, strengthen the pelvic floor and help baby assume the correct position for delivery. Each pose has multiple benefits for pregnant mamas, which we will explore together!
1. Seated Bound Angle
Benefits: This prenatal yoga pose releases tension in hips, groin, knees and ankles while allowing the pelvic area to open naturally. It also relaxes the pelvic floor, encouraging proper function of the pelvic organs and circulation throughout your whole body.
2. Seated Twist
Benefits: Twisting is a natural lubricant to the spine, encouraging flexibility and strength. It also nourishes the whole nervous system by circulating cerebrospinal fluid. Lastly, this is a gentle stretch for your long ligaments that support the uterus.
3. Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
Benefits: While in this pose, you can feel tension being released in the spine, neck, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also widens the pelvis, relaxes the pelvic floor, and increases the mobility in your hip joints.
4. Childs Pose
Benefits: This is the best pose for releasing the lower back and relieving pain by taking weight off of your spine. It also relaxes the muscles in the pelvic region, improving circulation to this area which includes your uterus. Also, it increases flexibility in the hips, knees and ankles.
Benefits: This pose strengthens lower back and core, helping alleviate some back pain.
6. Tabletop Hip Circles
Benefits: Circling the hips during labor can help reduce pain, so this is great practice! It can also help dilate the cervix and help the baby through the pelvis.
7. Pelvic Lift
Benefits: Experiencing back pain or SI joint pain? This can strengthen the lower back and lengthen the thighs, which may help reduce this pain.
8. Downward Dog
Benefits: Downward dog releases tension from the neck and shoulders while stretching and lengthening the spine.
9. Malasana (Yoga Squat)
Benefits: In malasana, the pelvis is opened to its widest point, preparing you for delivery. It tones the pelvic muscles and the ligaments to hold the uterus in the correct position and may even help position the baby for a healthy birth.
10. Squat with Pelvic Floor Hold
Benefits: Taking malasana a step further, this pose builds strength in the pelvic floor while also learning to relax these muscles for delivery. Having a healthy, strong pelvic floor is one of the most essential things during pregnancy. This exercise has also been known to reduce tearing during delivery as it improves blood circulation in the pelvic area.
Be sure to chat with your doctor or midwife before you practice prenatal yoga, especially if you were not practicing before pregnancy. If you notice any pain or cramping in the abdomen, take a break. You are the best advocate for you and your baby.
You are strong. You were made for this. We are in this together! Bring on birth.