The coccyx (aka tailbone)…this bone may be tiny but it can play a mighty role in pelvic, low back and even hip pain during pregnancy and postpartum.
The third trimester of pregnancy—you’re fast approaching meeting your little one who may currently be treating your ribs as their own personal trampoline. That feeling of not being able to fully breathe or that you are getting drop-kicked in the ribs is pretty common. While it’s common, it doesn’t mean you are stuck with it for the next 12 weeks.
I like to move it, move it, I like to….MOVE IT!
CRAWLING…it’s something you will see your little one do at 8-10 months old but just as it is a great developmental milestone for them, it can help you feel and move better too! Crawling helps to stabilize the pelvis and create good coordination in movement. Keeping a neutral spine during the movement can actually help improve diaphragmatic breathing as well. Crawling, both on all fours and in bear can help keep that pelvis mobile which comes in mighty handy during labor.
I already wrote an ode to squatting while pregnant (Parts 1, 2 & 3) because it’s really that amazing but here’s a recap as to why the squat can be the bee’s knees during pregnancy (along with possible risks). As always, you and you alone can decide what is best for you and your baby so use that mama intuition and do what you feel is best.
RISKS of deep squatting during pregnancy and labor
Ideally not performed if you have a prolapse as the pelvic floor is most relaxed in the deep squat and it could increase a prolapse.
If your baby is breech, this exercise may further engage the baby’s feet or bottom into the pelvic floor. We want the head engaged rather than the feet or butt so if you are 32+ weeks and know your baby is breech, this exercise is best avoided.
May increase second degree tears and blood loss during labor.
BENEFITS of deep squatting during pregnancy and labor
The deep squat may help engage the baby and allow for it to be in an optimal position.
In a relaxed position, the deep squat may decrease pain, labor time and decrease need for cesarean by utilizing gravity to help the baby descend.
May reduce the need for episiotomy or assisted deliveries (the need for forceps and vacuum) during delivery.
How to Squat While Pregnant
Keep feet ~ shoulder width apart
Have feet mostly forward but turned outward slightly…everybody is different so find a position that is comfortable for your body
Keep your ribs down and chest up
Squat down and use the glutes (butt muscles) to push you upward
If you have pinching in the front of the hips, feel limited in movement or have increased pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out. Dr. Lauren helps mamas squat daily and has a unique approach to ensure you are squatting well thanks to her training in pelvic floor rehab, CrossFit and DNS.
In everything we do, pregnant or not, risk vs benefit is a consideration. When it comes to doing work overhead, that still holds true. Now, I was once told an old wive’s tale (aka superstition) that you can’t lift overhead AT ALL during pregnancy because it will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck. Wowzer…that is a lot of pressure to put on a mama. The good news is, that has zero backing by science!