The benefits of stretching during pregnancy
Stretching can help ease pregnancy aches and pains.
It can also increase your range of motion, make you more flexible, and its a good way to relax and destress.
You can stretch every day if you like. Use the following exercises and stretches for in the morning after you wake up or in the evening before you go to bed.
Tips for safe stretching during pregnancy
- Move slowly and gently – your joints and ligaments are more relaxed when you are pregnant.
- Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Don’t bounce or force the stretch.
- Stop stretching if you’re uncomfortable or in pain.
- Exhale as you stretch and inhale as you come up from the stretch.
- When hold a stretch, continue to breath deep and slow. Each time you exhale, gently deepen your stretch.
- After the first trimester, avoid doing stretches while lying flat on your back. This position can sometimes cause abnormally low blood pressure and lightheadedness. Use a wedge or pillows to prop up your upper body during stretches that require you to lie down.
1. Cat/Camel or Cat/Cow
This stretch is a great overall spine stretch. It especially good for people who sit at a desk all day.
- Hold each position 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times
For a video of how to do this stretch click here: http://claytonchiropracticstl.com/cat-camel/
2. Child’s Pose
This is typically a resting pose in prenatal yoga but can be a good everyday stretch during your
- As your belly grows you may need to widen your knees to accommodate. As you sit back on your folded knees, reach your arms forward and rest your forehead.
- For added stretch reach your arms out to your right side and then to your left side.
- Hold each position 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times.
3. Figure 4 Stretch
This is a great stretch if you are having hip pain, and/or sciatica symptoms. You may do this stretch laying down or seated in a chair.
- LAYING DOWN: Cross one leg over the other with the ankle resting on the opposite knee. Now reach and connect your hands behind the hamstring of the non-bend side. Gently pull the hamstring towards your belly and feel a stretch to the opposite side.
- SEATED: Sit on the edge of your seat. Cross one leg over the other with the ankle resting on the opposite knee. Now place gentle pressure on the bent/elevated knee and hold
- Hold for 10-15-seconds and repeat on each side.
4. Spine Rotation
You can do this stretch on an exercise ball like the picture shows or just seated in a chair. This stretch is a good stretch for low back pain, mid back pain and just a great whole back stretch!
- Seated in a chair or on an exercise ball twist as far as you can to one side, looking over your shoulder and hold
- Repeat on other side Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times.
5. Side Bend Stretch
You can do this exercise on an exercise ball like the picture shows or seated on the ground. This is a good whole spine stretch.
- While Seated raise your arm up and over your head bending your body to one side and hold
- Repeat on other side. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times.