BELLY BREATHING

Purpose: Increase oxygen supply to mother and baby and to use abdominal muscles correctly. End all exercises and stretches with a belly breath.

  1. Take air in through nose and expand belly
  2. Exhale through mouth and bring belly back to spine.

ABDOMINALS

Purpose: Strengthen transverse muscle for pushing and shorten recti from middle of muscle. Starting position: Hands resting on upper and lower abdominals, back supported with shoulders lined up with hips. Nothing moves except the belly button which is the focal point.

  1. Elevator: Belly to 5th Floor, hold 30 counts, contract out the back of spine (6th Floor) for 5 counts. Do 10 each day.
  2. Contracting: Belly goes from 3rd to 5th Floor, 1 set = 100. Do 5 sets each day. Progress to 4th to 5th floor, then 5th to 6th as in elevator. Count as you squeeze and hold the backward movement.

KEGELS

Purpose: Strengthen pelvic floor muscle so it stretches better in labor, prevents prolapses and urinary incontinence.

Do this exercise with legs apart and abdominal muscles relaxed. Work muscle from front. Gravity affects this muscle.

Kegel Exercise:

  • 10 second hold followed by 10 squeeze-releases is one repetition. End with relaxation (open like a flower) and then squeeze muscle in so it ends in a short position.
  • Do 20 of these repetitions 5 times a day.
  • Pelvic Basement: The result of not doing kegel and transverse exercises.

SQUATTING

Purpose:

  1. Strengthen: Obliques, pelvic floor muscles and knees.
  2. Stretch: Pelvic floor muscles and lower back. Hold on to an immovable object (bed, railing) and get into a squatting position. Make sure arms are straight at shoulder height, feet are pointing straight ahead with heels on floor and weight on outside of feet, knees lined up with ankles. Hold position 1 to 5 mins. a day. Get out of squat by sitting down.

For more information, download a printable BAKS Basics PDF.