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.