Prenatal Yoga Moves for Labor

Couples Prenatal Yoga BirthWhether or not you’re a prenatal yoga regular, these moves can help you stay focused and at ease as you progress through labor.

Lunges – lunge up and downs stairs (carefully!), stepping sideways (feet parallel with the front edge of the step, so you’re facing the side of the stairwell) with a deep lunge to encourage your pelvis to open, creating more space for baby.

Hands and knees – a great laboring position for receiving hip counterpressure during contractions, great for keeping your gaze down and inward to keep you feeling grounded, a good place to circle your hips and release tension from your spine. This often feels best if you’ve made a nest on the floor, giving your knees and wrists plenty of padding. For a slight alternative, rest your head and chest on the side of your bed, couch, or birth ball.

Hip circles, either standing with soft knees or sitting on your birth ball – not exactly a yoga pose, but certainly a way we practice moving in class. Step your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart if you’re standing, or set your feet wide apart if you’re sitting on a birth ball. Then, circle away! Great for encouraging baby into a good position, wonderful for riding the wave of contractions.

Child’s Pose – with knees as wide apart as you need to make space for your belly, move your hips down toward your heels, and cushion your head on as many pillows as you need to bring your chest up to a comfortable height. Great for receiving counterpressure, ideal for wearing a heatpack with aromatherapy, and a sweet place to rest between contractions

Horsey lips – a soft sigh of an exhale that buzzes your lips encourages release in the neck, shoulders, jaw, and pelvic floor … perfect, since the name of the birthing game is RELEASE!

For more ideas about yoga poses to practice during pregnancy–and how they relate to your birthing day, check out this story featuring my friend Sarah Longacre from Blooma prenatal yoga center in Minneapolis.

And moms who’ve given birth, what yogic practices helped you during labor?

Photo credit: Creative CommonsAttribution Some rights reserved by sundaykofax

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  1. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve booked marked it and am hoping this helps with labor in a couple of weeks.

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