6 Basic Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnant Women

6 Basic Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnant Women

Last update: 19 April, 2018

Basic pelvic floor exercises maintain muscle tone in the pelvis and promote recovery after pregnancy and delivery.

Practicing these exercises will help you feel connected to what happens inside your body, as well as increase your strength and resistance to prevent problems related to this area.

It’s also recommended to carry out these exercises during pregnancy and after delivery, at which time they’ll help you avoid urinary incontinence.

6 Basic pelvic floor exercises for pregnant women

Below you’ll find 6 basic pelvic floor exercises.

If you’re interested in practicing any of them, it’s important to speak with your doctor in order to receive any pertinent warnings, guidance or recommendations.

1. Butterflies

This simple exercise opens the pelvis and keeps the lower back flexible. You can practice it during all stages of pregnancy.

To do this, you must sit on the floor and connect the soles of your feet.

Next, push your legs up and down until you feel the stretch. You can even have your partner participate by adding some resistance to get a deeper stretch.

2. Bridge

To perform this second exercise, you should lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, separated at the width of your hips. 

Next, inhale, contract the pelvic floor and lift your hips in the air. Hold for 10 seconds.

Finally, lower your hips and release your pelvic floor. Ideally, do 10 repetitions.

6 Basic Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnant Women

3. Pelvic incline

This third exercise is very gentle and can even be done when rest has been recommended by your doctor.

In fact, you can do it from the first day of pregnancy to the moment of labor.

It consists of lying on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Your hands should be next to your hips and act as firm anchors.

If you try to place your hand under your back, you’ll see that it slides easily underneath, since there is an area that isn’t touching the floor.

To do this exercise, press this part against the floor for ten-second intervals. It may be repeated up to eight times, always maintaining normal breathing.

If after 30 weeks you want to try to turn the baby, you should do these inclines when you feel the baby move.

The child may be trying to obtain a better position for delivery, and you can facilitate this process through pelvic inclines.

It is advisable to perform the exercise three times a day for a total of 20 minutes per day when you arrive in the third trimester.

Basic pelvic floor exercises are recommended during pregnancy and after delivery, at which time they’ll help you avoid urinary incontinence.

4. Forward inclines

To counteract all the time we spend reclining each day, it’s important to lean forward. Whether leaning on counters, tables or people, anything works.

In these cases, an exercise ball can be a great ally for pregnant moms who wish to carry out this exercise. It’s helpful not only before delivery, but during it.

Place the arms and upper body on the exercise ball and turn around while the pelvis moves in the air.

This way you’ll be able to prepare the lower part of the body for natural labor.

5. Inverse forward inclines

This movement helps to loosen the lower uterine ligaments.

Due to poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle, the uterus may writhe and become tight. This leaves less space for the baby to be in optimal position.

To practice it, you should kneel on the edge of a sofa or bed and slowly lower your hands and forearm to the floor. You can use a stool or call your partner for help if you need it.

Next, let your head hang freely and keep your chin tucked.

Flatten your back and hold the position for 30 seconds before raising your hands back up. Then, get up again to a kneeling position, using a stool or a helper.

You can do this one to three times per day.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t practice this exercise if you have abdominal or uterine cramps, have high blood pressure or feel excessive movement from the baby.

6 Basic Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnant Women

6. Elevator

This last pelvic floor exercise strengthens the muscles. In this exercise, the lower back and arms are involved, and therefore it tones and strengthens the area.

To do it, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Next, inhale and lift your hips while tightening your pelvic floor.

Finally, continue to breathe, hold your hips up for about 10 seconds and lower your hips while releasing the pelvic floor. You must perform 10 repetitions to complete the exercise.

These 6 basic pelvic floor exercises that we’ve shown you provide innumerable benefits for moms. Try them and make a very important contribution to your well-being during pregnancy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.