6 Exercises to Help Your Baby Fit in the Birth Canal
Are you ready to become a mom? If you’re in the final stretch of pregnancy, your child may already be upside down. In case that hasn’t happened yet, in the following article, we’ll suggest 6 exercises to help your baby to fit in the birth canal.
Throughout gestation, babies change position frequently, especially in the second trimester. Some little ones turn to one side and stay there until the day they’re born, while others continue their pirouettes for a while longer.
Naturally, when there’s little space left in the womb, little ones turn upside down with their faces facing the mother’s spine. If your baby hasn’t yet achieved this position, it’s important that you help them do so. We’ll tell you how!
Help your baby fit into the birth canal
Movement is the key to aligning the fetus with the pelvis. Therefore, maintaining an active life with full awareness of the needs of your body is something very favorable for both of you.
Below, we’ll detail the 6 most useful exercises to help your baby achieve the correct position for delivery.
Taking walks daily allows the pelvic bones to move and release muscle tension in the abdominal and pelvic areas. In addition, this habit improves blood and lymphatic circulation, which are affected by the pressure of the baby on the large vessels.
Try to maintain a moderate pace and perform conscious breathing and also rest as many times as necessary. Start with short distances and build them up little by little.
Remember that the goal of the activity is to mobilize the muscles and bones of the pelvis, not to do resistance training. Listen to your body’s needs to regulate exercise.
If you’re looking to increase mobility and release tension, dancing meets all these conditions and adds fun. In addition, this activity allows you to share a pleasant moment with your partner or loved ones while helping your baby to get into the birth canal.
As with walking, take the necessary pauses to breathe and regulate the intensity whenever your body demands it. Prioritize pelvic oscillations that favor the baby’s movement.
Also, take advantage of this activity and prepare a list of your favorite music to listen to when you go to give birth.
If you include squats in your daily activities, you’ll really feel the benefits. It’s no wonder it’s the most recommended exercise during pregnancy.
This exercise consists of making the same gesture that you do when you sit in a chair, but without actually sitting down. With a few repetitions a day, several times a week, you’ll get the desired effects.
You must be attentive to the position of your knees so that they don’t go past the balls of your feet when flexing. One way to avoid this is to hold your partner’s hands to gain greater stability. Also, you can put a chair under your buttocks to feel more secure.
This exercise facilitates the mobility of the mid-pelvis and pelvic outlet, which helps the baby to fit better.
4. Sit on an exercise ball
If you have a Pilates or exercise ball, you can use it during the day as a replacement for a regular chair. That way, while you rest, you’ll also relax your pelvic area.
On the ball, move back and forth with your pelvis and then perform some circular movements. You can also wiggle on top of the ball, as if you’re cradling your baby inside your tummy.
In addition to being a very relaxing exercise for your lumbar and pelvic muscles, this exercise allows your baby to be situated in the upper part of your pelvis.
5. Get on your knees
From the kneeling position, you can use different supports, depending on which is most comfortable for you. You can rest your arms on your partner’s lap, an exercise ball, a chair, or the floor.
Just by being on your knees you help your body to rest from the weight of your baby, as you place it in a sort of gradel formed by your abs. In addition, with this position, the sacrum and the muscular tension of your lumbar area are released.
You can swing your pelvis in all directions and move both legs asymmetrically to give your hips a greater range of motion. This will help your baby to position itself in the right place.
6. Prenatal hydrotherapy
The mere fact of entering a pool and lounging in the water relieves the tensions of the whole body. Water dramatically reduces body weight and that is why prenatal hydrotherapy decompresses the joints in the pelvis that support the baby’s weight.
In the water you can perform any of the activities mentioned previously to enhance its effect.
What happens if the baby does not fit in the birth canal?
The possible causes of a baby not fitting into the birth canal are manifold.
If he’s breech (sitting) or in a transverse position, don’t panic! Although most children are placed in the cephalic (head) position between 33 and 38 weeks of gestation, some achieve it a few days before birth.
If this does not occur naturally, obstetricians may practice a special maneuver in some specific cases. But in general, the most indicated option is cesarean section, since it minimizes the risks associated with breech delivery.
Remember that the most important thing about the birth of your child is what comes after, so choose the alternative that best preserves your health and that of your baby.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Batrak, A. S., Khodasevich, L. S. (2019). Akvaaérobika kak sredstvo dorodovoĭ korrektsii pri tazovom predlezhanii ploda [Water aerobics as a means for the prenatal correction in the case of breech presentation of the fetus]. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, 96(1), 30-36. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30724879/.
- Calais-Germain, B., Núria, V. (2010). La movilidad de la pelvis en el expulsivo. Matronas Prof;11(1):18-25. https://www.federacion-matronas.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vol11n1pag18-25.pdf.
- Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (2020). Mujeres embarazadas o en postparto. Consultado el 14 de marzo de 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/spanish/mujeres-embarazadas-o-en-postparto.htm.
- Cleveland Clinic (2020). Fetal Positions for Birth. Consultado el 25 de marzo de 2023. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9677-fetal-positions-for-birth.
- Clínica Mayo (s.f.). Embarazo y ejercicio: ¡Bebé, vamos a movernos! Consultado el 14 de marzo de 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896.
- Clínica Mayo (s.f.). Ejercicios durante el embarazo. Consultado el 14 de marzo de 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/multimedia/pregnancy-exercises/sls-20076779?s=2.
- Liao, J. A., Shao, S. C., Chang, C. T., Chai, P. Y., Owang, K. L., Huang, T. H., Yang, C. H., Lee, T. J., Chen, Y. C. (2021). Correction of Breech Presentation with Moxibustion and Acupuncture: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Healthcare (Basel), 22;9(6), 619. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8224784/.
- Mira, R. (2021). Fisioterapia acuática y embarazo: uso, beneficio y actividades a realizar. Revisión bibliográfica. NPunto;4(37). https://www.npunto.es/revista/37/fisioterapia-acuatica-y-embarazo-uso-beneficio-y-actividades-a-realizar-revision-bibliografica.
- Miranda-Garcia, M., Domingo, C., Molinet-Coll, C., Nishishinya, B., Allaoui, I., Gómez, M. D., Goberna-Tricas, J. (2019). Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in Pregnant Women with Noncephalic Presentation: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 7036914. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914967/.
- Salar, C., Orts, C. (2020). Beneficios del ejercicio terapéutico en agua en mujeres embarazadas. Revisión sistemática. Revista de Investigación en Actividades Acuáticas;4(7):3-9. https://revistas.innovacionumh.es/index.php/investigacionactividadesacuatica/article/view/382.
- Samreen, A., Manzoor, H., Chowdhry, B. S. (2012). A Novel Approach to Change the Breech Presentation of Fetus through Ultrasound. International Journal of Soft Computing and Engineering, 1(6), 212-217. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263658546_A_Novel_Approach_to_Change_the_Breech_Presentation_of_Fetus_through_Ultrasound
- Sánchez-García, J., et al. (2019). Influencia del ejercicio físico en la evolución del peso gestacional y posparto. Ensayo clínico aleatorizado. Nutrición Hospitalaria;36(4):931-938. https://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0212-16112019000400027
- Schitter, A., Nedeljkovic, M., Baur, H., Fleckenstein, J., Raio, L. (2015). Effects of Passive Hydrotherapy WATSU (WaterShiatsu) in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Results of a Controlled Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med;2015:437650. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25815033/
- Sociedad Española de Ginecología y Obstetricia (2015). Versión cefálica externa (actualizado marzo de 2014). Progresos de Obstetricia y Ginecología, 58(7), 337-340. https://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-progresos-obstetricia-ginecologia-151-articulo-version-cefalica-externa-actualizado-marzo-S0304501314002775.
- Stone-McCoy, P. S., & Sliwka, M. S. (2010). Resolution of breech presentation confirmed by ultrasound following the introduction of Webster technique: a case study & selective review of the literature. J Pediatr Matern & Fam Health-Chiropr, 2010(1), 11-17. https://vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2020/05/12/resolution-of-breech-presentation-confirmed-by-ultrasound-successful-vaginal-birth-following-webster-technique-in-a-pregnant-female-a-case-study-review-of-literature/