Remember, your labour may go on for a few hours – the fitter you are physically, the easier you will be able to sustain your energy levels and so have a better birth experience.
Yoga. Gowri highly recommends yoga during pregnancy. However, it is generally not recommended in the first three months. Slowly introduce it between 14 – 16 weeks of pregnancy and then do at least 20 minutes, daily. Please don’t worry, you do not have to be a gymnast or contortionist to do yoga. The routine that we have outlined in our book, The Gentle Birth Method – month by month programme, available on DVD, shows how gentle, but effective, yoga can be.
Yoga is good at increasing muscular strength and flexibility, which is just what you need when you are getting into your delivery positions!
Walking is a great form of exercise: walk briskly for 30 minutes daily.
Swimming (preferably in a non-chlorinated pool, such as an ozone-treated pool), once or twice a week. Swimming increases stamina, relaxes the mind, improves circulation, and increases endorphins – the feel-good factor. As well as this, in the water you are a third of your body weight, therefore you will find that you are more mobile and can achieve a greater range of movements of the upper and lower limbs. Swimming also helps you to control your weight gain – it not only burns calories through increasing your fitness level but, when in the water, your body automatically has to heat up your skin so you are burning even more calories – helping you to maintain a trim figure throughout pregnancy. Remember, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable your birth will be, so build up your stamina over the weeks to your own ‘Olympic’ standard!