the 39th week of your pregnancy, and you’re feeling a range of emotions. You’re excited to meet your bundle of joy for the very first time. But at the same time, you’re scared about the laboring process.
Many moms are nervous about going into labor. The contraction, bloody discharge, and back pain can put off anybody. That’s why you’ll find countless forums online talking about how to naturally induce labor.
People tout of ways to induce labor, from spicy food to intercourse. But the most talked-about way many moms swear by is exercising. More specifically, walking. What is curb walking and can it induce labor?
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Can Exercise Induce Labor?
Many people believe that exercise can make a baby come out faster. However, there is no connection between physical activities to inducing labor.
But exercise is still beneficial for pregnant moms! Exercise can lower labor complications and risks of cesarean delivery. Plus, a little bit of movement can put you in a good mood.
Low-risk moms can safely do light exercise before labor. However, some mothers should think twice about putting on those sports shoes. If you’re suffering from one or more conditions that can put you at risk, then you should skip working out.
Let’s say you’re in tip-top condition to move your body. Which exercise should you try to do?
Why Moms Should Try Walking
Walking is the best workout you can do, especially before labor. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership; you just need a safe place where you can walk.
Walking is a light-level activity that won’t stress your body out. Walking also has plenty of benefits, such as keeping your weight in check and helping avoid diseases. And who doesn’t like having a bit of fresh air every now and then?
But don’t go too hard on your walking. Too much exercising can drain your energy, and you’ll need that for when you’re pushing junior out of you. So don’t push yourself.
If you’re not used to walking, you can do things to pass the time. Listen to music, a podcast, or a YouTube video while your legs do the work. You can also lift small dumbells so your arms won’t feel lonely.
Can I Do Curb Walking to Induce Labor?
One walking exercise that many mothers can try is curb walking. Curb walking is where you walk with one foot on the sidewalk and the other on the ground. People claim that curb walking helps open your pelvic.
Curb walking has no studies backing it up as a labor-inducing exercise. But there are also no studies telling you to not try it. So if you’re tired of your vanilla walking method, you can do this instead.
But What About Climbing Stairs?
Another alternative to walking down the block is climbing stairs. As logic put it, the gravity of going upstairs and back down can push your baby into your birth canal.
But like curb walking, climbing stairs won’t do much to change anything. In fact, it might even cause unnecessary fatigue! Save the stair-climbing when you’re no longer carrying 18-19 pounds inside of you.
What Other Exercises Can I Do?
Walking is a great starter workout for mothers. But it’s not the only option you got. There are plenty of other light exercises that you can do to make your labor easier.
Before giving birth, your nesting behavior will kick in. Take this as an opportunity to do some light housework like sweeping, gardening, and changing sheets. You might also feel like walking around the mall and doing some last-minute shopping.
Want more ways to sweat? You can do meditation workouts like yoga and tai chi. They can help stretch your joints and make you feel more relaxed before labor. You can follow a video at home or attend a class.
Just make sure your workout doesn’t leave you breathless in the end. You want to reserve some energy for the big day. Oh! And watch out for when your water breaks.
When Is It Safe to Induce Labor?
Labor will come when your body and baby are ready. Exercise can make you feel more prepared for the birthing process, but it won’t induce it. Wait for nature to take its course.
In some situations, though, your doctor might want to induce labor. A missed due date, infection, or a problem in the placenta are some reasons to induce labor. Inducing labor comes with risk since the cervix might not be ready.
In a situation where you need to induce labor, your doctor will give you prostaglandins. You can either have it as a pill or applied inside you.
Pitocin, a man-made form of oxytocin, can also be used. Pitocin can stimulate uterine contraction and push your baby out. But the cervix must first be ready for the birthing process.
Inducing labor is a risky move, so your doctor will be careful going down this route. It’s also dangerous to try inducing labor at home without medical attention. So just wait for your baby to come out naturally between 39-42 weeks.
Many mothers try to look for ways to induce pregnancy. Nipple stimulation, castor oil, and dates are some examples. Exercise is also on top of the list.
Unfortunately, none of these have scientific backings. But that doesn’t mean you should skip moving around the house. Exercise can help labor go smoother and have fewer complications.
Walking around the block can give loads of health benefits. But so are cleaning, cooking, and gardening. Yoga and tai chi can also help stretch your muscles and calm your nerves.
Just don’t overdo your workout. You don’t want to use up all your energy before giving birth.
Like fruits from a farmers’ market, labor is best done all-natural. So let nature do its thing when your body and your baby are ready. We know it’s going to hurt, but the pain will be over once you hold your baby.