Many mamas want to know if deep squats help induce labor. I can tell you that in China, during labor, they were trying to make me squat. I was in so much pain that I’d have done anything to stop it.
My epidural didn’t work, and it was so painful. Of course, when my eldest turned around inside me and we couldn’t get her to move the right way, we had no choice but to have an emergency c-section. By that point, I was so exhausted I just wanted them to get her out of there. Good grief!
Anyway, you’re probably here to learn how squats could help you with labor. So let me get to that.
Exercise is excellent during pregnancy as long as your doctor doesn’t have any restrictions on you. Squatting is a good one even as you prepare all those months ahead because it helps prime that area for the physical activity yet to come.
As such, you may want to explore squatting to induce labor after speaking with your doctor.
Can squats help induce labor?
Listen, nothing induces labor until your body is fully ready for it. When your baby releases certain chemicals, it begins the process. That said, you could use squats to help induce labor. But until your body is really ready, you’ll just be exercising.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Even the American Pregnancy Association recommends it. It can open up your pelvic area.
When you do that, it makes more room for your baby to move into the birth canal.
But even in the third trimester, before it’s time for labor to begin, you can use this exercise with your doctor’s blessing to build strength in your abdominals and legs, which will help you when it’s time to give birth.
It also can ease any constipation or pressure you feel in the pelvis. This gravity-inducing move can benefit you in several ways, even though there is no exact proof it can induce labor.
One more thing you can try is to curb walking to induce labor on the 39th week.
How fast can squats induce labor?
I cannot find a single piece of scientific evidence regarding how quickly squats can induce labor. This is likely because every woman, every baby, and every birth is incredibly different.
For some mamas, this may not do anything. For other mamas, it may cause you to go into labor shortly afterward. It may even be days later for other mamas. It really just depends.
How many squats induce labor?
Here’s another question that I’m often asked that I cannot pinpoint. I’m sorry, mamas! But ideally, doing as many squats as you are comfortable with is advised. Refrain from pushing yourself into overdrive. Just do them until you feel like you need to stop.
How to do squats while pregnant?
If you want to do squats while pregnant, it’s straightforward. You’ll stand, so your feet are shoulder width apart and lower your entire body until your hips are just inches from the floor.
For exercise regulars, you know the drill. However, while heavily pregnant, it can be hard to maintain balance. You can use a chair or a partner like your husband, family member, or friend to help you keep from toppling over.
Another point is that you must keep your heels flat on the floor when you lower yourself as low as possible. Then, rise back up to the starting position. Repeat this move as often as possible while you feel comfortable without pushing yourself beyond the limit.
Weighted squats while pregnant are fine, too, as long as your doctor has no problem with it. You should always do these with help and keep the weights light.
Are squats safe during pregnancy?
Generally, squats are safe during pregnancy though it depends on your individual case. This is why I urge you to talk to your doctor first.
For anyone with a baby in a breech position, it could be very harmful due to pushing the baby into the birth canal without giving your baby a chance to turn into the right position. This is why you must talk to your doctor to ensure your baby is facing the right way.
You should be aware that squats and other exercises while pregnant should only be done on a flat surface. You should also keep from having your knees cross over your feet to avoid injuries.
Hydration and proper nutrition are important factors with pregnancy exercises too. Make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to fuel you and the baby!
When you take the proper precautions, and your doctor feels it’s a good idea to do squats, you may just get the results you want and induce labor when your body is ready.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.