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Laboring Positions and Pelvic Floor Stretches for Childbirth
"Positions for Laboring Out of Bed" by joel telling is licensed under CC BY 2.0

All About the Importance of Pelvic Floor Stretches for Childbirth

**Talk to your physical therapist and healthcare team about specific guidelines for you**

Are you ready for the big day? Have you thought about how you will prep for your upcoming delivery? In this article, we’ll review four pelvic floor stretches for childbirth that may be appropriate, but recommend you consult with your childbirth healthcare professional to confirm if these are right for you.

Deep breathing/ PF lengthening

  • Purpose: To lengthen pelvic floor and intercostal muscles (muscles of the ribcage)
  • How to: Take a deep breath in, expanding the ribcage (side to side and front to back). Also, imagine the pelvis expanding (side to side and front to back) with the inhale. You should also notice a light belly rise as well. The exhale component should be passive... just let go.

position 1

Child’s pose or modified child’s pose

  • Purpose: To stretch the low and midback muscles and pelvic floor muscles
  • How to: Sit your hips back while reaching your arms out in front of you. Hold and take a deep breath. As your belly grows, you will need to spread your knees apart to create more space.
    • Modifications:
      • Pain or pinch sensation in hips: do not sit back as far;
      • Pain in the knees: place pillow/ rolled up mat between the back of your thighs and calves

Childbirth Stretches position 2

Childbirth Stretches position 3

Cat-cow pose

  • Purpose: Stretches muscles along the spine and pelvic floor
  • How to: Begin on your hands and knees. With your arms directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips. Inhale and lengthen your pelvic floor muscles (imagine your sit bones spreading apart) let your tummy sag down to the floor while looking up. Exhale and draw your pelvic floor and abdomen up and in while slowly rounding your back up toward the ceiling and repeat.

Childbirth Stretches position 4

Childbirth Stretches position 5

Deep squat

  • Purpose: stretch calves, low back, inner thighs and pelvic floor
  • How to: Find a stable object to hold on to prior (ie. sturdy chair, table). Lower yourself into a deep squat. Make sure to breathe throughout the exercise to let yourself relax. Stop the exercise if it worsens your symptoms.
    • Tip: *** heels do not need to be on the ground.

Childbirth Stretches position 6

These are general stretches to help prepare your pelvic floor for childbirth.

If you are interested in an individual program, or you just want to make sure you are doing pelvic floor stretches for childbirth correctly, please contact us for an in office session or virtual consultation.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Carolina J.

I had tried Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy before (with another PT) and I had a really bad (painful) experience. A friend of mine and fellow patient, told me about Heather, Laureen and Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) and I decided to try again. I am so happy I did! Femina PT have, literally, changed my life. I was able to do again things I couldn't do for over 10 years!! Their bedside manners are impeccable, their knowledge and understanding make me feel comfortable to recommend this place to anyone in pain. Specially if you have Endometriosis. 100% recommended!!

-- Carolina J., 12/28/16 via Yelp!

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While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

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