Now that I've actually been through labor, I know it's like a marathon, and you don't sign up for a marathon and not prepare for it. I'm looking at this second pregnancy as marathon and I'm doing things to “train” for labor that I didn't do with my first.
One of those things is working out and moving my body at least 4-5 times a week as of now as I'm still in my second trimester. Working out is great to keep mama and baby healthy, but can also benefit labor as well.
Benefits of working out
There's a lot of research showing numerous benefits with keeping up a workout routine when pregnant.
Working out during pregnancy can help with:
- boosting energy levels and improving mood
- reduced bloating and swelling
- preventing and reducing back aches
- promoting better sleep.
Other benefits include shorter labor time! This study showed women who worked out during the second half of pregnancy were in active labor for less time. This is what really keeps me motivated to continue working out! I will do anything that's shown to shorten active labor. That's why I drink this tea every night!
Another study found that those who work out during pregnancy have also shown to have reduced risks of gestational diabetes and are less likely to have a C-section.
My exercise routine
As I said earlier I'm moving my body 4-5 times a week. This includes anything from riding my Peloton bike, strength training classes, yoga, barre class or just taking a long walk outside.
I don't really have a set routine, I just do what I feel like that particular day and it ranges from any of the things I listed above. It's not a good idea to push your body past what you're comfortable with during pregnancy.
For me working out needs to be something fun so I go with what I'm going to enjoy the most that day.
I've also come to accept that I'm not going to hit the same goals as I do when I'm not pregnant. This really goes for the Peloton bike. My output is not as high as it was pre pregnancy and that's okay!
Stretching can also be very good for labor. Squatting is great. This is why I like to keep up a regular yoga practice.
I'm now at the point where I only feel good doing the prenatal yoga classes. I do the ones on the Peloton app, but I'm sure you can find them some on YouTube as well.
No matter what, just getting up every day and trying to do something where you move your body can be very beneficial. Not only for your labor but your mental health as well.
Always speak to your healthcare provider before starting a new workout routine. As always I'm just sharing what I'm doing not giving medical advice.