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if you were going to train physically for childbirth, what would that training consist of?

(31 Posts)
swottybetty Thu 25-Sep-08 14:44:34

i remember after last time thinking that nothing could have prepared me for labour, but wishing i was fitter.

has anyone had dif levels of fitness for dif labours and noticed any difference? my sister reckoned she only started getting period pain after she stopped horseriding in her late teens. apparently that not uncommon cause of the muscles used.

so can certain muscles be stregnthened and which ones and do you reckon itd make any differnce? is it all in the pelvis with a bit of stomach?

also, my back was buggered up badly by pregnancy last time. it's got help labour having strong, flexible back (and kness too i guess)...

finally in terms of physical prep, i think i'd include that fanny massage. begins with p - perenneal?? i did not do that last time. 3nd degree tear. anyone do that and with what result?

handlemecarefully Thu 25-Sep-08 14:46:37

I dunno - is pilates okay to do in pregnancy. I would have thought something that works on 'core strength' would be good

Oliveoil Thu 25-Sep-08 14:47:46

voice coach

so you can screech loudly for pain relief

MrsTittleMouse Thu 25-Sep-08 14:49:37

There isn't much evidence that perineal massage helps with a second delivery (and the figures aren't great for a first either). I've spoken a lot about tearing to midwives/on Mumsnet etc. and the overwhelming consensus is that the best way to avoid a tear is to have a controlled second stage. So, you're in a position where you are comfortable, and instead of the "push push push" thing where you hold your breath, you take small breaths and do small gentle pushes - i.e. you take things (relatively) slowly. A waterbirth is also supposed to help, but obviously isn't practical for everyone.

Good luck (to both of us).

girlandboy Thu 25-Sep-08 14:49:47

You need strong thigh muscles!!! I stood for all my labours and then squatted for the births. You need the thighs of an Amazon. grin

thumbsucker Thu 25-Sep-08 14:49:50

Yes, pilates is definitely ok for pregnancy. I know this because I got a pilates DVD. sadly I can't actually say whether it helped because I didn't actually do it more than once. oops

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 25-Sep-08 14:50:19

I did yoga last time, and regular swimming, was fairly fit (although a little overweight). I did perineal massage a bit, not religiously, and got away with a bit of a graze, no stitches.

This time, I have a toddler to look after, so I weigh less and am fairly fit from all the walking/heavy lifting (he's a chunky lad wink) but haven't done any formal exercise since he was born, and can't find a pg yoga class that either has spaces or is on at a convenient time for women who already have children.

Got 3 months to go, and time will tell whether this will make any diff at al...

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 25-Sep-08 14:52:30

yes - I think the no tearing thing was more to do with pushing slowly rather than any previous half-hearted fanjo fiddling. I was in a supported squat too...

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 25-Sep-08 14:53:16

IME flexibility and relaxtion skills are more important than a good/high fitness level. Check out the ante-natal yoga classes near you, it covers both of my suggestions.

Notyummy Thu 25-Sep-08 15:06:36

Well, I was pretty fit for my labour (ran up to 6 months pregnant/cross trainer 3/4 times a week until 2 days before delivery/weights and pilates plus aqua aerobics).

Did it make a difference....probably not I hate to say. I was induced. Forced to stay on a bed (got to kneel at one point whoopee..)

I have read there is research showing that very athletic women sometimes struggle more because their tight core abs work against the process if they don't relax enough. Paula Radcliffe had a fecking hard time apparently.

Fitness did help me with recovery I think, and with getting back into shape quickly, so I don't regret it all.

whomovedmychocolate Thu 25-Sep-08 15:08:09

Umm taking a shit in public? grin

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 25-Sep-08 19:15:19

Message withdrawn

DisasterArea Thu 25-Sep-08 19:17:22

by using bigger and bigger courgettes to stretch a certain area until you can comfortably fit a marrow up there. in public. while screaming at the top of your lungs.

Umlellala Thu 25-Sep-08 19:25:12

try and strengthen arms I think.
For when you are gripping the bed very very hard - and for getting used to carrying a baby 24/7 afterwards...

FeelingLucky Thu 25-Sep-08 19:28:18

I was thankful for doing yoga which strengthened my thighs

sherby Thu 25-Sep-08 19:29:25

lol wmmc

so true

poisondwarf Fri 26-Sep-08 15:31:18

Agree with Umlellala on the arms. My overall general level of fitness wasn't great last time but I didn't feel like it made a difference for most of my body. After gripping the sides of the bed though I completely lost strength in both arms, to the point that I wasn't able to pick the baby up during his first night.

Actually if you're reading this Umlellala - just wanted to ask if you are still up for meeting up tomorrow (thread here). Sorry for hijack.

hanaflower Fri 26-Sep-08 15:34:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnnasBananas Fri 03-Oct-08 09:50:21

Walk walk walk, that's my advice. Want to have an uncomplicated and fast labour?? Get a bloody big do who needs two long walks a day...worked in my case!!

I tore in my first labour with epidural but was DETERMINED not to for #2. Listened to MW did everything I was told, completely controlled second stage, slow and steady. Unfortunately I did still tear along the scar line from #1, but I do feel that was bad luck because I was 100% focused on doing the right thing. I can't recommend this enough.

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 03-Oct-08 09:51:24

i would stop eating fibre altogether so i could practice straining

dinny Fri 03-Oct-08 09:52:50

50 pelvic floor exercises every day - have done with my prev two pregnancies and never torn even a tiny bit

lauraloola Fri 03-Oct-08 11:18:16

I read somewhere that you use the same energy as you do if you ran a marathon! I was v.unfit during pregnancy and ate loads. Still managed labour - Often wonder if I could now run a marathon with no training wink

BigTeuchLittleTeuch Fri 03-Oct-08 11:23:53

I'd second (third?) the suggestion of ante-natal yoga.

I reckon that half the battle is knowing when - and how - to relax as opposed to having the strength or flexibility.

orangehead Fri 03-Oct-08 11:33:51

Pilates and swimming good. Others exercises I was told to do in preg. Pelvic floor, cat stretch, stand against wall with small ball in small of your back and do squats so you use the ball to glide you up and down, hip rotations, gently pull in the lower part of your tummy and hold

zippitippitoes Fri 03-Oct-08 11:35:17

i did loads of squats all thru pregnancy

not sure if you should but it worked or at least didnt do any harm

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