Q&A: Exercises for Easy Birth?

I've heard that Kegel exercises make giving birth easier and less painful. How should I do these? Any other exercises that will help during labor?
Save article
ByMaria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

This is actually a common misconception — Kegel exercises are usually recommended for the postpartum period only. The primary reason for doing them is to improve or maintain pelvic muscle strength, but birth relies on the relaxation of pelvic muscles, not the tightening.

As for exercises that will actually make giving birth easier, it’s a rare woman who says giving birth is easy! It’s hard, demanding work. But staying active during your pregnancy can help. The best exercises are prenatal yoga, walking, and swimming. Make sure you talk with your provider before you start any new exercise program. It is also important to eat nutritious, whole foods and to stay well hydrated. Birth is physically demanding and the healthier you are going into it the better.

Related Video
Save article

New Empowering Nike Ad Features Pregnant and Breastfeeding Athletes

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
03/15/2021

Awesome Pregnancy Workouts for Every Trimester

Katrina Scott
Co-founder of Tone It Up

Your Guide to Safe Pregnancy Ab Workouts

Nehal Aggarwal
Aaptiv Editor

The 3 Most Important Third Trimester Exercises

Micky Marie Morrison, PT, ICPFE
Contributing Writer

Even Moderate Exercise Could Increase Benefits of Breast Milk for Babies

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/01/2020

ACOG Updates Its Exercise Guidelines to Include Pregnant Athletes

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
03/27/2020

Exercise During Pregnancy May Boost Newborns’ Physical Coordination

Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
09/04/2019
Article removed.