Squatting during pregnancy is highly recommended. During pregnancy, squats are the simplest and best exercise. There’s no special equipment required and you can get them done in under a few minutes. The best part of squatting during pregnancy? It prepares you for childbirth, reduces contraction pain, and can promote labor.
Squatting during pregnancy has many benefits because it can help relieve pain in your lower back and pelvis while helping stretch and strengthen the important muscle groups needed for birthing.
For labor, squatting is a good position to get into because it can help with pushing. A squat position widens your hips and opens your pelvis to allow more room for the baby to move down the birth canal.
While squats are beneficial during pregnancy, they must be performed correctly.
Always make sure you’re properly supported when doing them if you need it.
Let’s answer the most asked questions about squats during pregnancy in more detail!
Can I Do Squats While Pregnant?
Yes, you can do squats while pregnant in any trimester. They’re great for you during pregnancy and delivery, however, you must do them right.
As with all exercise during pregnancy, please get a medical professional’s approval first.
Is it Safe to Squat during Pregnancy?
Yes, absolutely, and it’s highly recommended.
Squats are a great exercise to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, improve hip mobility and blood circulation. They’re beneficial to help you prepare your body for labor and delivery.
When Should I Start Squatting during Pregnancy?
You can start squatting during any trimester of pregnancy. The longer you do it the better chances you have of increasing your balance, improving your hip mobility, and strengthening your muscles.
However, it is highly recommended during your third trimester because squats help you to prepare for childbirth.
Please keep in mind that if you are at risk for preterm labor, you will want to speak to a medical expert.
How Often Should I Squat?
Starting early in your pregnancy can help you slowly build up your strength.
Never push yourself or rush into it. Let your body build-up to it naturally if you aren’t someone who exercises regularly.
Be careful with your balance, during pregnancy it can be a little off. If you need support, hold onto the back of a chair or a wall close by.
Benefits of Doing Squats while Pregnant
As mentioned above, squats have many benefits to a pregnant woman. Below is a list of the benefits in more detail:
1. Strengthen your lower body mobility
Having strong legs is important during pregnancy, and during life in general!
We put on additional weight while pregnant and having strong legs help us with balance and to carry the extra weight. Strong legs also assist during delivery when you labor in various birthing positions.
After labor, this will continue to benefit you when you are carrying or picking up your newborn baby.
2. Relieve aches and pains
Squatting during pregnancy relieves lower back and pelvic pain because you are strengthening your lower body and pelvic floor muscles.
Strong glute muscles help to stabilize your pelvis which then helps prevent pain that is often caused by loose ligaments in pregnancy.
3. Prepare your body for childbirth
Strengthening your lower body, pelvic muscles, core, legs, etc. can help prepare you for childbirth.
If you labor in various positions, you’ll find that you will be using a lot of your lower body.
By doing squats, your leg muscles get stronger and give you more endurance in your birthing positions. This will also allow gravity to help assist in getting the baby through the birth canal and making your pelvic open wider – giving the baby more room to push through!
Can Squats Induce Labor?
Yes, squats can encourage labor to start. Squats allow gravity to open your pelvis, giving your baby more room to descend further into the birth canal.
Now keep in mind squats may not necessarily put you into labor, however, will better prepare you for it. Your body must be ready for labor and squats can help move early labor along.
Once the baby is in the head-down position, spend up to five minutes a day doing squats. When you’ve reached 30+ weeks if the baby is still in a breech position it may be best to hold off on squats until they turn first.
Have you reached 30+ weeks and the baby is in a breech position? With my second and now third pregnancy, my two boys were breeched at 30 weeks, however, my doctor was not concerned as we still had plenty of time for my baby to move.
My second turned in time, however, as I write this post I am 31 weeks pregnant (due April 2022) with my third son and the baby boy is still in breech position (he’s slowly turning as his body is more horizontal now).
To encourage your baby to move down, gently bounce on an exercise ball. Here is a great exercise ball for prenatal yoga and/or bouncing to move the baby in a birthing position.
Prenatal yoga has squat exercises built into it along with many other exercises to help release tension, relieve pain and strengthen your muscles.
Read more about Prenatal Yoga (at home) Benefits for All Trimesters here.
Always consult with a medical expert in regards to exercising during pregnancy.
If you are physically prepared for childbirth then your experience will be a more positive one.