Exercise while pregnant is good, as long as your doctor hasn’t put you on bed rest. Labor and delivery are strenuous on the body, so it only makes sense that the more prepped you are for this, the easier it will be.
And mamas, it’s not easy.
You will be exhausted after this life event.
That’s why walking can help you build up strength.
At the end of pregnancy, though, many mamas use a curb to create an uneven gait. This can also be done with stairs.
It works by strengthening your pelvic region and helping the baby move along where they should. When walking stairs to induce labor, please speak to your doctor about it in case you are at risk.
Can climbing stairs help induce labor?
Yes, it could help induce labor, but it is no guarantee. Ideally, you will start this when you start your 39th week of pregnancy.
Doing so could help dilate your cervix when your body is ready to go into labor.
Walking up and down the stairs puts more stress on your body than simply walking. It uses gravity’s force as you go up and down and up and down the stairs. If you have stairs in your home, you’re in luck!
That gravity will put pressure on the cervix. It may do the trick if your body is ready for labor!
Slowly, your baby will move down further, making labor easier. This is because as you dilate, you have more room in there for your baby to come through when it’s time to give birth.
However, if you are a mama with a baby that is in the breach that your doctor is keeping an eye on, this is not a good idea. Again, speak with your doctor before attempting to walk up and down stairs to induce labor.
Some mamas swear by taking 2 stairs at a time or going sideways up and down the stairs. I am still looking for statistics that can verify this. It’s all word of mouth. If you want to try it, ask your doctor. And if they see no harm in taking 2 steps at a time or going up the stairs sideways, then go for it. Be sure you have proper precautions, such as a partner to be there with you and keep you from falling.
Another word to the wise…keep pets out of the way for stair walking.
“I was helping my sister before her first baby was born, and it was snowing outside, so we tried the stairs. Thank goodness I was there because her terrier, Mopey, decided to run down the stairs while she was doing it. I was able to keep her from falling. After that, we put Mopey in another room while she walked up and down the stairs,” a mama named Amelia told me via email.
Can I try running up and down stairs to induce labor?
Now here is something I sternly advise against. You should not be running on stairs. Walking is best for this practice. Too much can go wrong with running on the stairs. Always walk with intention and purpose while holding the railing. Having another person there is ideal for preventing severe injuries to you or the baby.
How long should you climb stairs to induce labor?
Just like curb walking, limiting this practice to 10 minutes daily is best. And again, you should only do this from the beginning of the 39th week of your pregnancy.
This is important:
If ever you feel fatigued while doing any exercise at any point in your pregnancy, especially toward the end, you should stop what you’re doing and rest. You should contact your doctor if something feels off or you become dizzy.
Other than that, climbing stairs, going downstairs, or going back and forth, up and down, may help induce labor. Since it’s not proven, it can’t hurt to find out if your doctor is on board with it!
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.