Squatting for a Better Birth

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I was searching on the Internet for pictures on how to do a squat during pregnancy and came up with a lot of good information on why we should squat, but I was disappointed on the amount of squats that were done incorrectly.  So I decided to write my own post with my own pictures for those who want to know more about squatting and how to do it during pregnancy. It is becoming more well known how important squats are for general pelvic health and birth in general.

The benefits include:

  • Squats help strengthen and balance the pelvic floor muscles.
  • They help increase the space in the pelvis to help the baby pass through.
  • They help maintain hip mobility.

In order to achieve these benefits, though, a squat needs to be done correctly.  Specifically, it needs to use the glutes (the muscles behind your legs and bottom).  These muscles need to be stretched enough so that you can un-tuck your tailbone.  Your joints also need to be stacked correctly, so that your quads are not involved, and to prevent damage to the hips and knees.  If you are squatting with your tailbone tucked and your knees past your ankles, you are actually doing more harm than good.  In fact, if you are not doing it correctly, you are not even helping your pelvic floor.

So now people usually ask, how many do I have to do a day.  Well, in all honesty, it’s not really about doing a certain number of reps a day, but rather being able to do it for basic human function:  getting up off the floor, picking things up, or giving birth.  It is about incorporating it into your life so that your body is functioning the way it is suppose to.  With that in mind, I’m posting a few pictures to show how I incorporate stretches and squats into my normal day.

This is how I stretch my muscles to help me untuck.  As I go throughout the day and pick things up, I will do this.
This is how I stretch my muscles to help me un-tuck. As I go throughout the day and pick things up, I will do this.
I'm writing my blog post here:)  I will try to sit on the floor as much as possible in various positions while I am working.  Here I am streching my muscles that I need to use to open up my hips more.  This has been the hardest thing for me when doing my pregnancy squat, really tight hips.
I’m writing my blog post here:) I will try to sit on the floor as much as possible in various positions while I am working. Here I am stretching my muscles that I need to use to open up my hips more. This has been the hardest thing for me when doing my pregnancy squat, really tight hips.
Side view of my stretch.
Side view of my stretch.
I've decided I like to get up this way the best.  Because my hips are tight, it makes squating a little bit harder.  So I brace myself with my couch as I get up.  I get the added bonus of using my triceps.
I’ve decided I like to get up this way the best. Because my hips are tight, it makes squatting a little bit harder. So I brace myself with my couch as I get up. I get the added bonus of using my triceps.
This is just me resting my neck and back for a brief moment, while also working on my stretches for squats.
This is just me resting my neck and back for a brief moment, while also working on my stretches for squats.
Side shot of squat.
Side shot of squat.
pregnant_squat_overhead
This is me squatting. Notice vertical shins, feet forward, and I am un-tucking as much as possible. I am not all the way down, because the further down I go, the more I tuck under.

 
Below are a few other blog posts that discuss pregnancy, alignment, squats and natural movement.

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