Gentle stretches for pregnancy

Aches and pains are common in pregnancy. It can be hard to relax too! Movement can be helpful! Easy movements not only can relieve the pain during pregnancy but can help us find that rest we so desperately need.

Restful and gentle stretches are a great way to invite calm and relaxation into the body!

Listed below you will find stretching ideas adapted from the book Active Birth by Janet Balaskas.  As with any exercise, discuss the safety of these stretches with your primary care provider prior to beginning.  After approval, do these with care, at your own pace, in any order you choose, as often as you like and as long as it feels good.  The goal is to relax and let go of tension in your body.  Enjoy & get better sleep after having cared for your muscles! 

With Your Back Against Wall

  • Sitting almost criss-cross – heel to crotch, deep breaths with hands on belly
  • Butterfly position – lean forward, hold
  • Legs stretched out, bend knee one at a time and lean forward, switch
  • 20x flex & point feet, 20x rotate ankles in circles
  • Spread legs apart in a V – lean forward, hold

Kneeling Positions

  • Sitting on your heels, make way to Child’s Pose
  • Spinal Twist – both sides
  • Pelvic lift & front thigh stretch
  • Cat/Cow – on hands and knees arch your back like a cat, then let your belly hang low like a cow, pushing your chest muscles forward
  • Circles of hips on: hands/knees, hand on waist/knees only, one leg lunge, standing

Let’s Lay Down!

  • Place your feet on the wall – slow crunches
  • With your legs up on wall – stretch straight, butterfly, & V – stretch arms up above head
  • Bridge pose – rest pulling knees in together and separate
  • Spinal twist lying on ground

Standing (outer edges of feet parallel)

  • Head rolls
  • Sun Salutations
  • Forward bends – hands to floor, stretched forward on chair, up interlocked above back
  • Shoulder releases – alternate elbows/sides, reaching up high against wall
  • Calf stretch – lunge
  • Down Dog
  • Squatting – Pelvic floor exercises

Now go on, take a moment. Give those a try! Bring on the rest!

Want to learn more tips for pregnancy and beyond? Contact us today and don’t forget to sign up for our Not Your Mother’s Childbirth Education or our Newborn Care Classes!

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