3 Great Prenatal Stretches

Michele Zipp

Stretching is so important for us mamas-to-be. I feel crampy all over if I don't do at least some sort of stretch.

Of course it's important to go slow, never push yourself, and breathe. Deep inhales and exhales are key to all stretches.

I'm sharing my three favorites, compiled by books and my husband who loves to do research on this stuff for me.

For some reason, pregnancy has made me have bad posture. Seriously! What's with me rounding my shoulders all the time? Solution? Chest expansion and shoulder extend stretch.

  • How to: Deep breath in and interlace your hands behind your head, elbows to each side, keep head straight (chin up!), and extend elbows up and back. Breathe out.

A great way to ease swelling in legs and ankles is to stretch them out. This combo hip, thigh, and ankle stretch can help get circulation going.

  • How to: Lie on one side and slightly bend leg closest to floor slightly. Support your head with a pillow. Lift upper leg about a foot (depending on comfort) and bend, moving foot toward your butt. Grab that ankle and gently pull closer. Stretch will be in thigh and hip. Hold for 30 seconds and release, while exhaling. Before putting ankle to rest, rotate ten times in one direction, ten in the other. Repeat five times, then switch sides.

I don't know a pregnant woman who hasn't experienced some sort of lower back pain. To combat and alleviate it, try this posture important tailor press exercise.

  • How to: Sit on the floor, back straight, chin up, with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet together, situating your feet as close to your body as you can without force. Hold the underside of your knee with your hands. Take a deep breath in and press your knees toward the floor while your hands are resisting pushing upward. Slowly count to three. Release and repeat five to ten times.

Do you do prenatal stretches?

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