Duration: any

Age: parent

Skill for Bub: Muscle builder

summary:

Stretching is a feel-good activity that helps expectant mums prepare for labor.

Stretching reduces muscle tension and makes you feel more relaxed during pregnancy. It also helps with coordination, increased range of motion, prevention of injuries and preparation of muscles used during labour. An added bonus is that stretching allows you to focus on your body and stay in touch with how it moves and feels. Try these stretches throughout the day, holding each one for at least 15 seconds, to keep your muscles loose and relaxed:

  • Neck Stretch: Standing or sitting with back straight and arms relaxed, gently bend chin toward the chest. Roll head to the right and then to the left, avoiding bending the neck backward.
  • Hip Flexor Stretch: Stand in a split stance – one leg forward and one leg back – holding onto a chair for support. Bend at the knees and contract the buttocks, lengthening the front of the hip.



  • Inner Thigh Stretch: Sit on the floor with the soles of feet together and hands on ankles. Gently press knees toward the floor using the elbows.


  • Calf Stretch: Sit in a chair with back straight, head up and one leg straight out in front of you. Place a towel or resistance band around the bottom of the foot, and gently pull the toe toward the shin.


  • Shoulder Stretch: Standing or seated with back straight and arms relaxed, slowly rotate your shoulders in a circle forward, upward, backward and downward.


  • Back Stretch: On hands and knees with abs tight, move the hips backward toward the feet while keeping hands in their original position, belly resting between the thighs (also called “Child’s Pose” in yoga).