Preparing Your Body for Labor and Delivery

By Consumer Dummies

One of the best ways to get yourself ready for childbirth is by exercising during your pregnancy. Anyone who tells you that childbirth is a breeze isn’t being very honest with you. Childbirth is hard, and you don’t want to approach it without being physically ready.

Having a less complicated delivery

Several research studies have shown that women who exercise have fewer complications during delivery, including instances of fetal intervention because of abnormal fetal heart rates, forceps deliveries (in which a large tong-like tool helps the baby come out), and cesarean deliveries (in which the baby is surgically removed from the uterus). Women who exercise during pregnancy also tend to need fewer drugs for pain relief.

Spending less time in labor

According to a study by Dr. Clapp, labor is significantly shorter (by about one-third) for women who exercise regularly during pregnancy than for a control group made up of physically active women who didn’t continue exercising during pregnancy.

Also, babies of women who exercise regularly throughout pregnancy are born about five days earlier than those of women who don’t exercise, making pregnancy that much shorter (and five days is a really big deal when you’re in your third trimester).