Does Exercise Induce Labor? It Doesn't Hurt To Try
As the baby birthday clock ticks closer and closer to your due date, you're probably more interested in kicking up your feet and resting than getting a good sweat going. Sure, staying active is healthy whether you're pregnant or not, but does exercise induce labor? Because if a 30 minute sweat session is all it takes to help get that bun out of the oven, then you may want to toss on your workout gear, strap on your sneakers, and get your baby bump moving.
If you're an expectant mom considering exercise to induce labor, you're not alone. Fit Pregnancy reported on a study conducted by Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, which found that more than 50 percent of pregnant women attempt at home labor induction methods, including exercising. However, not every mother-to-be who gets moving with a workout will end up in the delivery room later that night. As the website for the American Pregnancy Association pointed out, the only proven and effective methods for inducing labor are through medical interventions, when a doctor gives a pregnant woman oxytocin or prostaglandin to stimulate contractions.
Even though a workout won't bring on contractions, there are still some labor preparedness perks to doing a few specific exercises after you've made it to 37 weeks, according to The Bump. Once your baby is the head down position, you can start doing some deep squats to help your pelvis stretch and separate for delivery. Additionally, by sitting on a birthing ball late in pregnancy, you can help your baby get into the proper position for delivery, as recommended by Baby Center.
Although exercise hasn't been proven to kickstart labor, it's a natural way to strengthen your body for the physical task of labor as well as release any last minute nerves you may be experiencing about giving birth.