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The Benefits of Stretching During Pregnancy

The Benefits of Stretching During Pregnancy

Regular stretching is a must for any mom-to-be, when done safely it relieves aches, pains, and other pregnancy-related discomforts. At the beginning of your pregnancy, it might be relatively easy to do stretches but as your body changes, you have to take more precautions to make sure that you are practicing safe stretching

A pregnant women working out on yoga balls

Creating a safe stretching routine

Your routine will change throughout your pregnancy, as your belly grows and more pressure is added to your hips and back. But there are stretches for every stage of your pregnancy. During the first three months of your pregnancy, your body might be able to handle stretches that you do while standing whereas the last few months, you might only be able to do stretches while laying down. After giving birth, you might need to take a break from stretching and get the best postpartum underwear before stretching again. 

The point is that safety comes first – do not overexert yourself and be sure to watch some tutorial videos before getting started. For extra caution, do your stretching when a partner or family member is around – just in case you get a cramp or need some water. 

Benefits of stretching

A pregnant women stretching

Stretching is good for mom – stretching exercises promotes good breathing technique, it ultimately helps keep mom calm and relaxed. It is also a gentle form of exercise and helps promote blood circulation in the extremities. Let’s look at some benefits of stretching during pregnancy:

  • Stress release – hormone imbalances might cause a pregnant woman to stressed and overwhelmed. Stretching is a healthy release of that tension 
  • Increases flexibility – which helps prepare your body for childbirth
  • Gets rid of extra energy – stretching is a good release of built-up energy that prevents you from falling asleep. In this way, it reduces insomnia
  • Eases tight muscles – which would cause back and leg pain
  • Decreases tension headaches – regular stretching reduces the tension from headaches
  • Lengthen muscles – and loosens your body to make you more comfortable while pregnant
  • Maintain healthy body weight – a light exercise that helps to keep your muscles tight and keeps your weight stable

Safe stretches to try during pregnancy

A pregnant woman exercising at home

  • Butterfly pose – is a hip opening stretch and it also works your inner thighs. It helps prepare your body for labor by working your pelvic muscles
  • Pelvic rock – is perfect for stretching the lower back and bringing relief to backaches
  • Leg lifts – opens the hips and strengthens the legs
  • Backward stretch – alleviates back pain but it also relieves fatigue and nausea
  • Full body stretch – relieves tension throughout the body

You might be extra cautious of practicing active stretching – which is when you hold a stretching position with the muscles that the position is intended to target. But you can still do active stretching – just choose easier stretches like the leg lift.  

Some final thoughts – be sure to take precautions when you stretch like removing extra furniture out of the room and to stretch in a cool place. Always keep water close and don’t forget to warm up and cool down – this prevents tight or injured muscles. Happy stretching!

What stretches would you like to try first? Tell us in the comments below.

Bio:

Betti Wilson is a teacher’s assistant and mommy blogger. Now, her writing is mostly focused on motherhood and childcare although she has written on many other topics in the past. 

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