Pelvic Tilt Exercises during Pregnancy – Benefits and Precautions
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- What Are Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
- Various Types of Pelvic Tilt Exercises
- Benefits of Doing Pelvic Tilt Exercise in Pregnancy
- Who Should Perform the Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
- When Should You Do Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
- When Should You Avoid Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
- Things to Consider Before and After Doing the Pelvic Tilt Exercises
Any great event will need some kind of practice and training, and childbirth is quite similar to it. As an athlete trains her body before her event, so does a mother need to get her body in shape if she wants to have an easier time during labour. By doing the right kind of prenatal exercises, you will widen your pelvis and get your baby in the optimal position for childbirth. Read this article to know more.
What Are Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
Exercises that are made up of very delicate movements of the spine that will support and strengthen the muscles around your lower back, especially the abdominal muscles, are known as pelvic tilt exercises. Not only do they relieve lower back pain, but they also give it a gentle massage in the process. They can be done while standing against a wall, on the hands and knees, and while sitting on an exercise ball.
Various Types of Pelvic Tilt Exercises
There are many types of pelvic exercises that you can try. Either stick to a few that you are comfortable with, or you can mix them up daily to keep things exciting.
Sitting may not seem like it’s an exercise at all, but when you have to carry the extra weight of your baby with you, learning to sit correctly can actually strengthen your core and stabilise your muscles.
How to Do It:
- Use an exercise ball that is high enough to have your hips higher than your knees and firm enough to hold your weight when you sit on it.
- Sit straight and upright and keep your pelvis tilted forward.
Pregnant women lean back a lot because of the weight that they need to carry around all the time. This kind of activity helps them balance it out.
How to Do It:
- Lean on counters, people and tables to counteract all the backward leaning.
- Use your exercise ball and cover it with your arms and upper body and roll around.
- Your pelvis that is in midair will move in a way that strengthens it for birth.
3. Hands and Knees
This simple exercise is commonly known as the cat-cow pose. It keeps the lower back loose and relieves lower back pain.
How to Do It:
- Get on your hands and knees. Keep your wrists parallel to your shoulders and knees directly below your hips.
- Inhale and arch your back. The belly moves down, and the neck and tailbone move up.
- Exhale and move your pelvis inward. Arch your back and keep your head down, as if you are trying to see your navel
- Repeat at least ten times.
This exercise will require you to lean against a wall, and doing it daily will strengthen your pelvic muscles.
How to Do It:
- Touch your bottom, shoulders and head to a wall.
- Press the small gap of your back towards the wall while breathing in deeply.
- Exhale and slowly relax.
- Repeat the exercise at least ten times.
5. Lying Down
This exercise will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
How to Do It:
- Lay on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
- Move your pelvis forward and press the small gap of your back into the floor.
- Relax your muscles and rest for a few seconds.
- Repeat this as many times as you are comfortable.
Benefits of Doing Pelvic Tilt Exercise in Pregnancy
Exercise has many benefits, and during pregnancy, there is no exception. If you are looking for a nudge to start exercising, the benefits of doing pelvic tilt exercises during pregnancy are as follows:
- It will help to prevent or treat gestational diabetes.
- Helps in improving your mood.
- Aids in toning the muscles, in improving strength and endurance.
- Improves stamina and energy.
- Helps to improve your posture.
- Aids in improving your sleep.
- Constipation, bloating, swelling and backaches.
- Helps to improve your ability to cope with labour, and some women even use pelvic tilts to induce labour.
- Will help your body get back in shape faster after delivery.
Who Should Perform the Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
Pregnant women should all try to get into the habit of doing some pelvic exercises throughout their pregnancy as they are very beneficial to them. Those women who suffer from pelvic girdle pain, AKA Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction especially, should do these exercises as they will help relieve the tension they have in the pelvic area and strengthen the muscles therein. Converse with your doctor before starting any new exercises if you have been diagnosed with this particular condition.
Women who are in their third trimester are often encouraged to do pelvic exercises during times of foetal activity as they encourage the baby to move into the correct position for birth, and they widen and open up the pelvis. When you do the exercises on your hands and knees, your abdomen gets turned into a hammock, enabling your baby to get into the anterior position, ensuring an easier birth.
When Should You Do Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
If you have had a long and tiring day and wished to find some relief for your aching back, pelvic tilts are a great way to go. They can also be done to aid maternal positioning to affect the position of the foetus during pregnancy and delivery.
If your baby still has not dropped by 38 weeks, pelvic tilts will help you to support the movement of your baby into the correct birthing position. If you start pelvic tilts at the start of the eighth month, you will find it most beneficial for both you and your baby.
Pelvic tilt exercises are even helpful during labour, and women who wish to ease the pain in their backs due to contractions can always ask their caregiver to remind them to get into the cat pose.
So beneficial are pelvic tilt exercises that they are great to do when trying to conceive, throughout your pregnancy, during labour and even after, while you are recovering.
When Should You Avoid Pelvic Tilt Exercises?
Pelvic tilts are versatile, and there are usually not many reasons to avoid doing them unless you have complications with your pregnancy and your doctor tells you it is best to avoid any kind of exercise. Also, if you plan to do pelvic tilt exercises after delivery, ensure you consult your doctor before starting them. They are better avoided until six months post-surgery if you have delivered by cesarean section.
Things to Consider Before and After Doing the Pelvic Tilt Exercises
Here are some things to keep in mind before and after doing your pelvic tilt exercises:
- If you are going to do pelvic tilts, ensure you have your doctors consent.
- If your wrists and knees are swollen, use pillows to support your knees or abstain from doing the exercises that require you to be on your hands and knees.
- If you want the exercises to be most effective and you are a new mom, you should have your pelvic joints, and abdominal muscles worked on.
- They are also important for mothers who have had to have a medical intervention because of the position of the baby. Those who have had long labours and those who start exercising late in their pregnancy can also benefit from pelvic tilt exercises
- Some women like to end with the downward pose.
- If you feel dizzy during any of the exercises, stop immediately.
It is always best to start the right pelvic exercises as soon as you know you are pregnant, but even if you have not, it is never too late to start. Consult your doctor on what exercises are best and get started.