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Thread: Strengthening muscles for labour?

  1. #1
    CatherineL Guest

    Red face Strengthening muscles for labour?

    Good evening ladies,

    This might be a silly question.. But can people advise me how to strengthen the muscles you use to PUSH during labour?

    I'm worried i won't be strong enough iykwim?

    A girlfriend suggested squats.. but how many do i do a day - and are these proper squats i should be doing?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    If it helps, its not so much the stomach muscles you use to push, rather its exactly the same as if you were doing a poo!

    Also, when you get the urge to start pushing you can't relaly stop it anyway!

    I'm not sure about how to strengthen the muscles, but keep in mind your body was designed to push out a baby. In the end its not so much about strength as it is listening to your body...

    Hope someone else can help you out with some answers

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Well, based on my experience giving birth to my son, next time around I will work on strenth and flexibility in my legs (calf and hammys) cos I wound up with cramps up both of them.

    Other than that pelvic floor muscles? not sure what else...

  4. #4
    paradise lost Guest


    It's mainly your diaphragm you use to push out the baby and you use that everyday to breathe with. My friend plays the trumpet (or the trombone, i forget) and she had a very strong diaphragm but it didn't significantly shorten her 2nd stage with #1.

    If you want to practice the "pushing" you can do so on the loo when you're doing a number 2, it's in one of my books, hang on.....

    Right, it says to round out your spine (so don't sit bolt upright), put your knees wide apart and up on something if you want to (to be in a more "squat" position, i used to put mine on the upturned baby bath), now push when you feel like it (when your body tells you to) but DON'T STRAIN or push for a long time or hold your breath while you push, just push the normal amount for that function. Try to concentrate on pushing "from above" and keeping your stomach muscles relaxed. There's an analogy about pushing a marble through a smarties tube with your finger(do you have smarties? little chocolate sweets in a cardboard tube), if you squeeze the tube AND push down on the marble it's hard to move but if you only push down on the marble it moves a lot easier. Practising the relaxation of the abdomen while pushing is the focus of the exercise, NOT pushing hard.

    In labour the most important muscle is the uterus and it's toning itself all the time with braxton hicks. Drinking raspberry leaf tea in the last few weeks can help tone it and allow it to be more "organized" and thus effective. I drank the tea only sporadically and was told not to push for such a long time that my uterus got DD out to her ears before i pushed.

    When you get to that bit of labour your body will tell you what to do.

  5. #5
    CatherineL Guest


    Wow! Thanks for the advice ladies.. i have found it very helpful

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