The Best Exercise for Natural Birth {plus video how-to}

by Sarah Fitness, VideosComments: 99

natural birth

I’ve been an athlete all my life, enjoying a wide variety of sports on land, water, and snow.

When I got pregnant, however, I suddenly and unexpectedly became very much adverse to anything that was at all strenuous. I know a lot of women who run, lift weights and otherwise do not change their exercise routine much after they become pregnant, but this was not for me.

Oh no. My body wasn’t having any of that!

I knew that I needed to keep fit while I was pregnant in order to give myself the best odds for a natural birth, however.  My Mother had wisely told me that giving birth is like running a marathon and you need to not only pace yourself, but have the wind and endurance to make it past the finish line if a natural birth was the goal.

As  result, I figured out an exercise plan that kept me fit but still honored my body’s desire for minimal athletics during my pregnancy months.

This fitness routine involved a lot of walking and prenatal yoga several times a week.

That was pretty much it.

Yoga and walking was all the exercise I attempted postpartum as well and even though it might seem like a wimpy fitness regimen compared with some gals, it was incredibly effective and produced excellent results as I lost every pregnancy pound I gained by the time each child turned two.  Maybe not the fastest way to take off the weight, but it was gradual and stress free and suited me just fine.

During my prenatal yoga classes, my instructor emphasized one particular yoga position above all others as the best exercise for natural birth and nothing short of invaluable for preparing a woman’s body for the rigors of labor and delivery.

That position is malasana – the Sanskrit word for squat – specifically a yogic squat.  Mala in Sanskrit (with a short “a”, not a longer “ah” sound) translates as impurities and relates to the pose’s encouragement of healthy digestion.  Indeed, squatting toilets are typical in Asian homes and I have written before about the increasing popularity of squatty stools in the United States.

Besides helping digestion, a yogic squat gently and effectively prepares the pelvic area for natural birth with little risk of harm.  As with any pregnancy exercise, however, women need to be very careful as the hormone relaxin produced during pregnancy relaxes pelvic ligaments and can increase the risk of injury.

In this video, I demonstrate a yogic squat as I was encouraged to do every single day of my pregnancies by my yoga instructor. Did the exercise do it’s job?  I believe it did as I was fortunate to experience three fairly brief and complication free natural births.

I continue to incorporate malasana into my yoga routine today whenever it seems appropriate.  As a basic movement that has been performed for hundreds if not thousands of years by traditional cultures (and is still vital to everyday life in Asia today), squatting is an exercise that can potentially benefit not only pregnant women, but the general population as well.

Best Exercise for Natural BirthExpecting? You need to know about this important exercise to improve your odds for a natural birth!via The Healthy Home Economist youtube channel

Posted by The Healthy Home Economist on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Video How-to: The Best Exercise for Natural Birth

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Photography Credit

Comments (99)

  • Elise

    That totally worked for me!

    March 23rd, 2015 4:19 pm Reply
  • Molly

    Is the reason some people need to hold onto something because of weakness in those shin muscles? I fall backwards immediately because I don’t had enough strength there to keep me upright and don’t see that developing in a matter of weeks. Is there something I’m missing here?

    August 6th, 2014 2:00 am Reply
  • Jennifer Ann Schintz via Facebook

    Worked for me! I highly recommend this exercise:)

    May 16th, 2014 12:50 pm Reply
  • Malorie Hacker via Facebook

    Did this my whole 2&3rd trimester! Gave birth on a squatting stool too! VBAC and no tear!

    May 15th, 2014 2:45 pm Reply
  • Hatem Kamal via Facebook

    Really Sharon? and you too Helen? Is that who you think I am? what do you expect me to do? just keep silent? suppress myself and not say a word? not at least bring it up so that no one is misled in the future?
    She not only did not take down the videos that she no longer believes in (or even write an update in a bold color on the page where she put the video), but she made a new video to share information that she does not believe is true.
    I changed the picture of my profile for whoever wants to see how I adapted my life. I bought brown rice in large quantity, but now I discovered another post that she actually, contrary to her video, says that white rice is better. I grew up in a family eating white rice every day but I switched myself to brown rice and stopped enjoying the white rice because of the videos. In the picture, there is a large bag of dry wheat berries bought in wholesale and colander with wet berries which were in the process of sprouting. I abruptly stored them in the refrigerator to stop the sprouting process after I discovered a post of hers telling she actually does not believe that sprouting berries will significantly lessen phytic acid. But her video is still up informing people of exactly the opposite information.

    April 16th, 2014 12:14 am Reply
  • Aurora Seeker via Facebook

    now thats what I call a freshly laid baby!!! awesome:-)

    April 15th, 2014 11:20 am Reply
  • Christie Heuermann via Facebook

    Kirsten Senn

    April 15th, 2014 12:05 am Reply
  • Anna Slavich via Facebook

    Lizzie Duszynski – figured maybe this would be useful for you. I didn’t read it yet, but I’m not nine months pregnant 😉

    April 14th, 2014 8:02 pm Reply
  • Choontey Yap via Facebook

    Stephanie Kam

    April 14th, 2014 7:39 pm Reply
  • Sharon Roark via Facebook

    If this were my page, I’d kick the trolls off, but I guess others have more patience with them then I do!

    April 14th, 2014 7:22 pm Reply
  • Maria Comsa via Facebook

    Iulia Popescu

    April 14th, 2014 5:56 pm Reply
  • Linda Blackwood via Facebook

    Tor this exercise is great advice!

    April 14th, 2014 5:47 pm Reply
  • Ruby Lovelace via Facebook

    Alice Hazel Lever

    April 14th, 2014 5:13 pm Reply
  • Jenna Harper via Facebook

    Chaquita McGlinchey x

    April 14th, 2014 4:59 pm Reply
  • Hatem Kamal via Facebook

    Sarah, do you have a comment?

    April 14th, 2014 4:45 pm Reply
  • Hatem Kamal via Facebook

    Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 21, 2011
    modern methods for preparing grains and legumes can be extremely damaging to health over the long term
    if you do not follow the centuries old traditions for eliminating anti-nutrients and maximizing the nutrition in the grain prior to baking, you could in fact be doing yourself and your family more harm than good.
    Source :
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-proper-preparation-of-grains-and-legumes/#more-5646

    After been poked by questions from her followers after seen a video for her using white rice , Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist July 12, 2010
    neither my husband or myself have ever enjoyed brown rice. Every time we eat it, it just seems to not sit very well in our stomachs. It, well, uh, sits like a brick for lack of a better word. I’m never one to force feed a food to myself that doesn’t intuitively seem to be something my body enjoys receiving – even if politically incorrect. So, for our entire married life (19 years and counting!), I’ve always served white basmati rice in our home.
    White rice just seemed to digest a whole lot better for us. That to me was reason enough to choose it over the brown rice. You are what you digest, after all – not necessarily what you eat!
    a few years back at the annual Weston A. Price Conference, I became familiar with a new book called Fiber Menace. The author, Konstantin Monastyrsky, was a speaker at the Conference that year and his talk about the dangers of a high fiber diet was really buzzing around amongst the Conference attendees. Now, Mr. Monastrysky’s point about the dangers of a high fiber diet was in relation to high fiber from grains, not fruits and veggies. In other words, folks who eat a bowl of All Bran every morning to keep the bathroom visits regular are unknowingly ripping their insides to shreds. The basic premise of Fiber Menace is that grain fiber plays a leading role in many gut related ailments including colon cancer.
    brown rice is very high in phytic acid and that soaking reduces this potent anti-nutrient by very little.
    the traditional method for preparing brown rice is never to eat it whole (with only the husk removed), but rather to pound it in a mortar and pestle in order to remove the bran layer too – coincidentally, the primary source of the phytic acid.
    milled rice, the rice that results from this pounding process, has the highest mineral absorption from rice. Mineral absorption from whole brown rice is much less as the phytic acid from the bran greatly interferes with the absorption process.
    So it seems that brown rice is not necessarily a healthier choice than milled white rice. Obviously, whether you choose one or the other is a personal preference
    As for me and my family, we will be sticking with the white basmati rice
    it seems that as the years go by, more research is coming forth to indicate that this decision was the right way to go after all.
    Source :
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/what-white-rice-better-than-brown/

    Sarah in this video Uploaded on Aug 26, 2011
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nX3RcU5Hhqg
    At the second 1:41 and 4:38 mentions rice during her talk about traditional preparation of grains. She specifically instructs soaking “brown” rice to neutralize phytic acid without any mention of exception for rice. Information that she started to know (as she said) years before 2010 and in July 2010 she revealed a big picture that she had in her article quoted above : What? White Rice Better Than Brown?

    But what about us ? we who only came to see your videos and altered their dietaries according to the teaching in them and didn’t dig in every article you wrote and read every word in a reply you post in a discussion under your articles?

    April 14th, 2014 4:43 pm Reply
  • Hatem Kamal via Facebook

    Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist June 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    You do not need to soak sprouted flour. Sprouted flour already has the gluten and antinutrients broken down so soaking would be overkill. Only soak unsprouted flour.
    Source :
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-make-sprouted-flour-at-home/

    Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist November 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm
    Hi Anon, sprouted flour would need to be soured either by soaking or sour leavening as Rami has discovered that sprouting does not reduce phytates nearly as much as souring the dough does.
    Source:
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/whole-grains-cause-cavities/

    On January 23, 2012
    Sarah said :
    Preparing your oatmeal the traditional way as practiced for centuries by ancestral societies will take a little planning on your part, but you will be greatly rewarded with a much more nourishing, digestible breakfast that will stay with you all the way to lunchtime!
    Source :
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-how-to-cook-oatmeal-the-right-way/#more-8018

    Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist November 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm
    I should note that when I was at the Wise Traditions Conference, I ate a big bowl of soaked oatmeal (soaked in yogurt). I LOVE soaked oatmeal and I should note that I do not have any issues eating grains. But, after that bowl of soaked oatmeal, I was so bloated and uncomfortable for a full 24 hours. I am sure it was all that grain fiber that I just don’t normally eat. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
    Source :
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/whole-grains-cause-cavities/

    Big changes to teaching in videos happen in another post or in a comment under another post ?? !!

    Soaking over night then turning upside down in a special sprouting jar that has holes in its top cover and tilted at the edge of the kitchen sink and checking every 2 hours to wash and keep wet then dehydrating then milling then sifting then soaking again with “whey” separated from yogurt …. etc.
    it is too much work … did slaves dedicated themselves to do that for others in the traditional cultures in the past? how can people routinely do all that work for just making daily bread?
    I imagine traditional cultures in the past did not have dehydrators and if they spread in air the grains after soaking to be dried they can get mixed with sand or dust so they have to wash them again.

    April 14th, 2014 4:42 pm Reply
  • Jacqleene Meyers via Facebook

    Teirra Fulkerson

    April 14th, 2014 2:24 pm Reply
  • Sarah Mutter via Facebook

    Heidi Lynn

    April 14th, 2014 2:09 pm Reply
  • Danita Garcia via Facebook

    Regina Garcia good information here!

    April 14th, 2014 1:43 pm Reply
  • Sarah Bates Bingham via Facebook

    Brittany Gabrielle Hougland

    April 14th, 2014 1:28 pm Reply
  • Ashley Parker via Facebook

    Tiffany Kundmueller
    Melissa Hendricks Grafa

    April 14th, 2014 1:02 pm Reply
  • Bridget Delaney-Zeller via Facebook

    Katie Brabson

    April 14th, 2014 12:54 pm Reply
  • Charlotte Lee via Facebook

    omg, seeing this baby makes me want another one right now. Excpet mine is 9 months today!

    April 14th, 2014 12:43 pm Reply
  • Gone WiththeWind via Facebook

    What a cute baby!

    April 14th, 2014 12:33 pm Reply
  • Jason Jenn Canterbury via Facebook

    Amanda Berlanga and Christina Marie Hoegle

    April 14th, 2014 12:14 pm Reply
  • Laura Ehlis via Facebook

    Madalina Ilies Noelle Bethel Lynn Thurlow

    April 14th, 2014 11:38 am Reply
  • angela

    I had a seven hour labor, waterbirth, most of the time in the water squatting, combination of hypno and birthing from within methods, besides squattting and open mouth is an open vagina. Hypno breathing is amazing.. im about two months away from expecting our second baby at home.. believe your body can do it!

    February 23rd, 2014 11:14 pm Reply
  • Carine Bueno via Facebook

    Debora Delgadillo

    December 17th, 2013 1:51 pm Reply
  • Gamacookie Bacchilega via Facebook

    Beautiful Precious baby <3

    December 17th, 2013 1:20 am Reply
  • Lika Costa via Facebook

    Gedy Rivera

    December 17th, 2013 12:56 am Reply
  • Debbie Eurich via Facebook

    I did this with all 3 of my pregnancies! All 3 delivered quickly &’naturally!

    December 16th, 2013 10:05 pm Reply
  • Karen Coghlan via Facebook

    Can I have one of those?

    December 16th, 2013 10:01 pm Reply
  • Donnas Cloth via Facebook

    I’m probably to late to make much of a difference now with only 2 weeks to go but it’s worth a try. Thank you

    December 16th, 2013 4:01 pm Reply
  • Ruhi Deabreu via Facebook

    Amy Hedderly you can tag Denny in this

    December 16th, 2013 11:39 am Reply
  • A.L.

    Dear Sarah,
    Do you have any information on prolapses?
    I’ve sat for two years scared that if I stand or
    walk to long or to much my prolapse will get
    worse. What did women do years ago when
    they had a ton of physical work to do?
    I so miss going hiking, walking and especially
    running. This is so sad. I almost feel my life is
    over in a big way, of course I love my family and
    this is not a suicide thing, I’m just so sad about
    not being able to conquer the world in the same
    physical way I once did. Help!

    December 16th, 2013 11:31 am Reply
  • Sara Reimold via Facebook

    Lots of squats before both births, and two fast labors. I encourage my birth doula clients to exercise as much as they feel comfortable before birth.

    December 16th, 2013 11:02 am Reply
  • Heather Melroe Hansen via Facebook

    Sarah Wittig Bird

    December 16th, 2013 10:22 am Reply
  • J’Layne Venable Middleton via Facebook

    Maegan Chaffin

    December 16th, 2013 9:52 am Reply
  • Karen Turner via Facebook

    Melissa Bisker Shaela Labrae

    December 16th, 2013 9:51 am Reply
  • Meagan Butler via Facebook

    Christina Robledo

    December 16th, 2013 9:16 am Reply
  • Eleanor Mary Sorrentino-Peterman via Facebook

    what a awesome blessing…just beautiful

    December 16th, 2013 8:46 am Reply
  • Lynn Branham via Facebook

    totally agree. I’ve given birth eight times now, only incorporating squats for the last four. What a difference!!!

    December 16th, 2013 8:44 am Reply
  • Melinda-Shawn Cowell via Facebook

    Abigail Barnes

    December 16th, 2013 7:40 am Reply
  • Amy Gow via Facebook

    Yes, it works. My first three births actually got progressively harder with more and more lower back/hip/pelvic tension. With baby number four did squats religiously and had an easy three hour labour and actually enjoyed pushing. What a diffwrence!
    I had so much muscle tension that I was unable to squat correctly when I started. I followed Katy Bowman’s instructions for working toward a full squat, available on her blog, and a valuable companion to your video I think!

    December 16th, 2013 6:40 am Reply
  • Heather Russi Owens via Facebook

    Savannah Manley

    December 16th, 2013 5:59 am Reply
  • Heather Russi Owens via Facebook

    Savannah Manley

    December 16th, 2013 5:59 am Reply
  • Michele Paul via Facebook

    Melissa

    December 16th, 2013 5:46 am Reply
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    Mandy Flanders

    December 16th, 2013 4:08 am Reply
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    Sonia

    December 16th, 2013 1:37 am Reply
  • Meg Midwifetobe Holt via Facebook

    Stephanie Ellison

    December 16th, 2013 1:14 am Reply
  • St. Pete gym

    Take multivitamin regularly, share your problems with your family, drink 2/3 glass of water, avoid alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants….

    October 2nd, 2013 4:47 am Reply
  • Janis

    1. If you want to be a parent, I recommend adopting over reproducing. There are numerous people already here who are begging for a parent. Non-existent people do not care if they don’t exist but they do care when they get here. (Some to the point of depression and/or suicide) By reproducing, you create a being who will suffer an unknown amount and die (and people who exist usually don’t want to die). Please understand that reproduction is not an unselfish act. Please think about this, especially in a world where there are already 7 billion people and enough problems to last multiple lifetimes. This world is far too flawed for intelligent and loving humans. If you already have biological children, you can still love them while refraining from creating more.

    2. If you are going to choose to play god by reproducing, no one can stop you, but I highly recommend against home births in case something goes wrong. Yes, things can go wrong no matter how healthy you eat, how much you exercise, or how much you pray. That is the nature of life. Please read the Skeptical OB for more information.

    3. Please understand that by choosing to reproduce, your child may hate you. Permanently. So, if you are looking for love, reproduction isn’t where you’ll find it.

    April 23rd, 2013 11:14 pm Reply
  • Jessica

    I discovered that basic belly dance moves – hip circles and figure eights did an AMAZING job at reducing the pain of contractions. I delivered my little 8 lbs boy after 18 hours of back labor – he was OP- and I was able to go unmedicated with the help of a doula and lots and lots of the hip movements through my contractions. It was the only thing that really brought relief.

    March 28th, 2013 1:46 pm Reply
  • Kathy

    I would also recommend looking into Janet Hulme, PT’s work. She helps women throughout the life span. She is a very smart lady that not only looks into the biomechanical side of our bodies but also the autonomic nervous system as well. She has great resources on her website.

    March 28th, 2013 8:55 am Reply
  • Bree

    I would argue from Dr. Lamaze’s legacy on childbirth and my personal experience that there are three more beneficial exercises than the squat. They are 1 – pelvic rocks on all fours: This movement strengthens your abs and butt, takes pressure off your back, gets pressure out of your pelvic area that leads to sciatica, swollen legs, painful veins etc and helps the baby get into a good position. 2 – Kegels: done properly prevents incontinance and anal prolapse among other lame issues, and helps you know where they are so you can actively release them when its time for the baby to descend so you aren’t flexing them which leads to tearing. 3 – Breathing exercises that build the strength of the diaphram such as exhaling as slowly and as completely as possible. This will build a good tool to help push your baby out regardless of what position you choose to push in. You need good control of your breath, lungs and diaphram to get adequate oxigen during labor without hyperventilating, and to know how NOT to push during expulsion if the baby is not in a good position or it is too early, or you don’t want the baby to move too fast which can lead to tears.

    March 27th, 2013 6:56 pm Reply
  • Megan

    ? for who ever on egg yolk. I soft boiled 4 min but its runny. I saw on diff site boil 4m then set in hot water for 4m it was solid. so ? is what is right and how should the yolk be. runny or soft solid. help please. she is 10m. didnt do great on it at 5m. trying again now. thanks to all who give advice

    March 27th, 2013 8:46 am Reply
  • Courtney

    I agree that the squat it especially important for birth, before, during and after! Katie Bowman at alignedandwell.com recommends the squat be done with a curve in the lower spine and with flat feet facing forward though. She also recommends that it be incorporated into daily life naturally rather than stressed as a “exercise.” This is more like what you’ll find in Third World countries where squats are used often and where women deliver their babies naturally quite often. This can be accomplished by using a rolled yoga mat under the knee while squatting. I encourage students in my childbirth ed classes to do this and we’ve had great results

    March 26th, 2013 7:12 pm Reply
  • Sarah Canales Rivera

    I think I read this in “The Bradley Method” book. I would highly recommend these classes too.

    March 26th, 2013 12:11 am Reply
  • Julia

    I did yoga to get my body back after my pregnancy and it worked wonders on my body! I wish I had done yoga when I was pregnant but I will this next time around. I think it’s so beneficial not only for your body but for your mind as well.

    March 25th, 2013 11:54 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Baalmann via Facebook

    off of the body.

    March 25th, 2013 6:09 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Baalmann via Facebook

    Water aerobics help too. The water takes weight and pressure

    March 25th, 2013 6:09 pm Reply
  • Monica

    Can I just say that this post gave me hope? Not about the exercise, but the part where you said you lost every pound gained in pregnancy by the time your children were two. I started reading that sentence thinking you were going to say something ridiculous like 3 months. But knowing that someone like you who eats very healthly and did exercise still needed 2 years to lose all the weight, is every encouraging to me. My daughter is 10 months old and I have not lost much to speak of.

    March 25th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Debbie

    Bethany commented above about about the skeletal positioning of your squat and recommended Katy Bowman’s blog KatySays.com. I’m a Restorative Exercise Specialistâ„¢ trained by Katy and I agree, squats are great BUT there is a lot of damage that can be done by repetitive squatting in incorrect alignment. Katy offers a whole squat-prep series of exercises to help get your body ready for the squat, which will also get your body ready for birthing AND for a healthy recovery of your pelvic floor. Walking- a lot!- is equally important to your pelvic floor (and overall) health. I appreciate your sharing helpful knowledge about a wide range of subjects, but in this case there is a more scientific and careful approach that will help more without risk of causing injury. Another post to read is http://www.alignedandwell.com/katysays/you-still-dont-know-squat/. Thanks for taking the time to read up on something that can help a lot of your followers.

    March 25th, 2013 11:53 am Reply
  • Sarah Smith

    Yes! This is the perfect position because it builds strength and flexibility. Squatting is the best position for pushing the baby out because it provides the largest pelvic opening. There is an excellent book that details this (and other beneficial labor positions) called Active Birth. I naturally went right into a squat when it was time to push out my daughter.

    Yoga is also perfect for pregnant women because it teaches us to focus on our breath, which is also very helpful during labor. I’ve had two completely natural homebirths, and can attest that yoga and squatting are wonderful ways to prepare for birth. I never used a table when practicing the squatting position, but instead liked to do it with my arms either loosely crossed in front of me or in the yogic prayer (namaste) position.

    March 25th, 2013 10:38 am Reply
    • Debbie

      It only provides the largest pelvic opening if your pelvis is “untucked.” I speak from experience. The squat she is demonstrating is with a tucked pelvis (note the flattened lumbar spine) and the sacrum is not being pulled outward by the glutes in this position.

      March 25th, 2013 11:55 am Reply
  • Megan

    yah good video. this works because it opens up the area the widest to push or just let that kid come thru as you don’t have to push your body will get baby out. altho at the moment i couldn’t help but push. A birth class I took said it’s just like pooping. you most likely will want to but your body not the Dr or midwife,etc can tell you when too.

    March 25th, 2013 10:24 am Reply
  • Elizabeth D

    Sarah,
    I love this! I was a bit of (okay a huge) “gym rat” before I was pregnant with my first child. Running, cycling, weights, seven days a week. I too switched to a daily walk and yoga with both of my pregnancies. I focused on squatting at the recommendation of my friend and yoga instructor, who had birthed her third child in this position.

    One comment/question: With my second she was facing the “wrong” direction, not breach but just turned around. My midwife recommended skipping the squat and doing hands and knees instead, cat/cow etc. Once the baby turned herself around I resumed the squat and delivered my second baby naturally with my midwife at the hospital. I am curious if you have any additional information for ladies who may have the same issue.

    Cheers!

    March 25th, 2013 10:11 am Reply
  • Kelly Williams

    Very cute baby! I guess despite all things done to be prepared once your there you can never say your well prepared. But having a child is such a very nice gift.

    March 25th, 2013 9:57 am Reply
  • Barbara Evans L L via Facebook

    Check this out Jamie Evans and Kirsten Evans

    March 25th, 2013 6:16 am Reply
  • Helen Jones via Facebook

    Lesli Witcher check this out.

    March 25th, 2013 1:30 am Reply
  • CarolynandDrew Franklin via Facebook

    Walking 5 times a week worked for me and I had a great complication free home birth. First baby – 4 hour labour.

    March 24th, 2013 11:52 pm Reply
  • Kathy

    That baby is sooo cute!
    I had 5 children, all natural, the first of which was breech. I still delivered her naturally..why..b/c I did NOT want a c-section. I feel that staying very active and having a positive, I can do it attitude greatly helps natural childbirth

    March 24th, 2013 11:50 pm Reply
  • Cathy Sink Nicolette via Facebook

    15 hours. No drugs. didn’t get passed 9cm and he was still high…c section. At least this section was MY choice

    March 24th, 2013 11:14 pm Reply
  • Hannah Becker via Facebook

    Hope Elizabeth Schlenker

    March 24th, 2013 10:41 pm Reply
  • Carolynn Pyle Sauer via Facebook

    I’ve had four “natural births” and squatted and hummed my way through them all, with my husband’s help! Here are my stories: http://mylittlebitoflife.com/?page_id=112

    March 24th, 2013 10:27 pm Reply
  • Carolynn @mylittlebitoflife.com

    I’ve squatted (and hummed) through all four of my “natural births.” I have done Leisa Hart’s fit mama Prenatal Exercise video throughout all my pregnancies. Here is my blog post on all my births: http://mylittlebitoflife.com/?page_id=112.

    March 24th, 2013 10:22 pm Reply
  • Esther

    What a sweet baby!!! How stinkin’ cute!

    March 24th, 2013 10:14 pm Reply
  • Bethany

    Check out the recommendations from Katy Bowman, biomechanist, on squatting. The lower back curve is important and keeping your toes straight ahead is important too according to a lot of people: http://www.alignedandwell.com/katysays/you-dont-know-squat/ just food for thought :)

    March 24th, 2013 10:11 pm Reply
    • Debbie

      Hear, hear!!

      March 25th, 2013 11:56 am Reply
    • Cheryl Jazzar

      Great addition to mention Katy Bowman here, Bethany! We are blessed to have her coming to teach in Oklahoma. We met at her “You Don’t Know Squat” class at a midwifery conference last year.

      March 25th, 2013 12:45 pm Reply
  • Lauren Bryant Riley via Facebook

    Vernon B Harris

    March 24th, 2013 9:47 pm Reply
  • Laura Joanna Myers via Facebook

    I wish I had practiced more squats. My thighs got very tired during labor and I ended up having to lie down to push because of fatigue. I ended up with a bad tear, and I’m sure this was a contributing factor.

    March 24th, 2013 9:35 pm Reply
  • Heather Lent via Facebook

    Ashley Mendoza

    March 24th, 2013 9:19 pm Reply
  • Iyisa Gardner via Facebook

    Kerri Beal, Robin Cervantes, Lauren Sachs, Beckie Longfellow

    March 24th, 2013 8:49 pm Reply
  • Sara James via Facebook

    I think women should start exercising pre-conception when possible. It makes it much easier to stick with it. I found doing squats in the garden was extremely effective because I didn’t feel like I was exercising. Wall squats with a medicine ball behind your back are also good if you have knee pain as well as a good way to start out learning to squat.

    March 24th, 2013 8:48 pm Reply
  • Sandra Holbrook via Facebook

    I did this with my first and labored 40 plus hrs, 24 with second. with third husband was a functional manual therapist through the institute of physical art, he mobilized my tailbone to open things up and it was quick five hrs, turned out my tailbone was flexed

    March 24th, 2013 8:36 pm Reply
  • Andrea Abercrombie via Facebook

    I was lucky to have a home birth with no complications.

    March 24th, 2013 8:20 pm Reply
  • Peggy

    A friend told me that this position is more effective for female incontinence than Kegel exercises. Do you know if this is true?

    March 24th, 2013 8:20 pm Reply
    • Cheryl Jazzar

      Peggy, Katy Bowman (mentioned below) advises against Kegels, saying that they actually inhibit an open pelvis.

      March 26th, 2013 10:32 am Reply
  • Kim S Walker via Facebook

    I used Hypnobabies and my results were amazing – both times. No drugs, very bearable.

    March 24th, 2013 8:17 pm Reply
  • Lynn Machemer Setliffe via Facebook

    I just have to say that I had my third son on feb 22nd all natural! Epidurals with each of the first two. I hadn’t seen this exercise but I wanted to say that eating naturally ala thehealthyhomeeconomist was a big contributor! :) thanks for all you do!

    March 24th, 2013 8:15 pm Reply
  • Shelley Farra-West via Facebook

    I found that a lot of it is mental preparation and breathing technique. I had 3 natural waterbirths and would greatly suggest that method for natural muscle relaxation.

    March 24th, 2013 8:03 pm Reply
  • Julie West via Facebook

    blessed to of had a home birth in a birthing tub with no issues! Praise God for that blessing!

    March 24th, 2013 8:03 pm Reply
  • Kali Shanti Park via Facebook

    I am a birth doula and homebirther if three kids, and i can attest to this. Yes, the squat is also very important for maintaining pelvic floor health after childbirth as well!

    March 24th, 2013 8:02 pm Reply
  • Melanie Ray McMinn via Facebook

    Have you heard of Business of Baby? Looks like something you’d be very interested in. http://www.amazon.com/The-Business-Baby-Corporations-Childbirth/dp/1451636083

    March 24th, 2013 8:01 pm Reply
  • Heather Forrest via Facebook

    Nothing guarantees a “quick and fast natural birth” but this is a good exercise to practice. :)

    March 24th, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Video: The Best Exercise to Prepare for a Natural Birth | CookingPlanet

  • Melissa

    This is the position my doctor advised me to try when my labor wasn’t progressing very quickly. After having held it for quite a while (it seemed forever at the time), I was ready to push! I think she called it the “squaw squat” or something like that :) Very effective!

    March 24th, 2013 12:45 pm Reply

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