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Excercise in pregnancy - easier labour?

(8 Posts)
MarianneM Wed 06-Aug-08 11:24:04

Do you think excercise in pregnancy makes the labour easier? I have been walking to work and back, almost two hours per day, and hope that it will help with the labour. What do you think?

dinkystinky Wed 06-Aug-08 11:44:02

Is a good idea to do some exercise in pregnancy and the walking will keep you fit (which definitely helps for endurance in labour). You may want to try pregnancy yoga too to try to help with breathing/preparing mentally for labour too.

belgo Wed 06-Aug-08 11:46:52

Exercise is good - particularly swimming and walking. It will help the baby get into a good position and will help with your overall fitness - labour can be very long and hard work - which is why it's called labour!

Two of the fittest women I know have had very fast easy labours.

But obviously there are no guarentees, what your labour and birth is like is partly down to luck and genetics and circumstnaces.

Gemzooks Wed 06-Aug-08 13:26:50

I think it really improves recovery. I was very fit in pg and recovered very quickly from the birth, not in terms of getting my figure back, which took ages, but in terms of getting out and about, was jogging lightly after 3-4 weeks and felt pretty good despite sleep deprivation..

wasabipeanut Wed 06-Aug-08 13:32:44

I swam and walked a lot right the way through my pregnancy but in the end had a failure to progress c section.

Having said that I think the fact that I was reasonably fit helped my recovery and helped me cope with the physical and emotional demands of early parenthood.

No guarantees as Belgo says but I think being fit can't fail to help, even if labour doesn't go as planned.

TuttiFrutti Wed 06-Aug-08 14:33:20

Nooo! Sorry, but I don't think it helps at all. The muscles you will be using in labour are the uterine muscles, and the only thing which will get them in practice is a previous labour (that's why second births are always easier).

Like wasabigpeanut, I was very fit in my first pregnancy, but had an excrutiatingly slow 23 hour labour ending in emergency c-section.

Paula Radcliffe ran all the way through her pregnancy, but still ended up with a difficult 27 hour labour.

There are other reasons to keep exercising though - it will make you feel better and keep your weight under control, and it may make your recovery easier afterwards.

chandellina Wed 06-Aug-08 19:51:22

i was totally pathetic at handling labour - and i am a pretty fit runner doing yoga for the past 10 years. on the upside, my tummy is nearly flat after one week.

Gemzooks Wed 06-Aug-08 22:25:57

oh, I forgot though, I found it useful to use exercise as mental training for contractions. Like you swim along and then you put your head under and kick hard for 10 seconds, then come up. Or I used to swim round buoys in the sea and imagine each buoy I came up to was a contraction. It sounds crazy but it did help a bit to 'train' myself. I also turned the shower on cold and forced myself to stand calmly and relaxedly under it for 20 seconds, relaxing my whole body even though it felt uncomfortable, and that did help as well..

(I sound mad now)

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