Squatting during Pregnancy, Labor and Birth

By Perinatal Exercise Specialist, Denise Weber

Denise Weber

Denise W.


Squatting is one of the most advantageous positions for labor and birth. Women the world over have used it for centuries, yet it is much less commonly practiced in the United States.

In times past, women relied more on their bodies, and less on intervention, with midwives guiding them through the process of labor and birth. “Prehistoric figures and ancient Egyptian drawings show women giving birth in the sitting or squatting position. Midwives and birthing stools are also mentioned in the Old Testament.” 1

So why squat?

Labor has been compared to an athletic event, and an athlete prepares for the event with specific exercises geared to improve the outcome. The exercises are done for weeks or months, depending on the event, strengthening the muscles needed, and increasing endurance. There is no last minute “cramming,” as this could certainly lead to injury. Squatting is one such exercise specific to pregnancy.

Done correctly during pregnancy, squatting can have many benefits that prepare our bodies for labor and birth.

Increase leg strength.

Stretch the muscles of the inner thighs.

Increase mobility of the pelvic joints and hips.

Relax the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Alleviate back pain and pressure.

Improve pelvic circulation.

During Labor, squatting encourages proper positioning of the baby, and can help bring the head in contact with the cervix, thus increasing the strength of the contractions. It aids gravity and encourages dilation of the cervix.

Squatting during birth has been shown to shorten the duration of time spent pushing, Yeah!! Because it shortens the birth canal, and helps to relax and open the pelvic floor muscles. It can also help encourage the “urge to push,” if it is lacking.

1. The start of Life: A history of Obstetrics, J. Drife, January, 2002

Always check with your doctor before you begin any exercise regime. In certain instances, squatting can be contraindicated or need modifications. Women with bad knees or varicosities should talk to their caregiver before practicing squats. Sitting on a stability ball or a stool can modify the position of a squat Sitting on the stability ball has the added benefit of alleviating pressure on the pelvic floor if vaginal varicosities are an issue.

Denise Weber teaches various prenatal and postnatal classes. She is available for Personal Training, private and semi-private. Do you have a group of friends you would like to take a prenatal or postnatal class with but nothing is scheduled? No problem! Small group classes can be arranged.

For a list of classes available at Club Fit Briarcliff, Click here.

For information on Prenatal and Postnatal classes at our Jefferson Valley location Click here or contact Tricia Weinbaum at tweinbaum@clubfit.com for more information!

The Benefits of Exercise during the Childbearing Year

Denise Weber

Perinatal Specialist Denise Weber


Exercise and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a perfectly normal time in a woman’s life. Sure, there are “bumps and hiccups” along the way, literally, but exercise can help us to deal with all of the changes we experience, physically, mentally, and, emotionally.

Prior to beginning ANY exercise program, it is advisable to seek the approval of your
OB.

One question I get asked a lot is,” WHEN do I start a Prenatal exercise program?” The answer is as soon as possible! While you may continue to do your regular exercise regime, a prenatal class or training session will target specific topics and exercises that pertain to pregnancy and prepare you for birth and beyond! Also, you are with other women and the camaraderie you share and friendships you make, can stay with you for a lifetime.

Here is my list of the top 10 reasons to exercise during pregnancy:

1. Improves fetal growth

2. Decreases maternal symptoms of pregnancy.

3. Maintains/Improves cardiovascular fitness levels.

4. Maintains and/ or improves muscle strength and tone, thus decreasing the risk of

injury, and increasing the stabilization of the joints.

5. Improves circulation which lessens swelling and helps to prevent varicosities.

6. Improves balance.

7 Improves body image, self esteem, and emotional well being.

8. Helps to achieve and maintain, a healthy pregnancy body weight.

9. Enhances sleep

10. Labor is hard work! Regular physical exercise increases stamina and
endurance, which can actually lead to a shorter, easier labor, and a faster
recovery!

Read what the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has to say about Exercise During Pregnancy.

Denise Weber teaches various prenatal and postnatal classes. She is available for Personal Training, private and semi-private. Do you have a group of friends you would like to take a prenatal or postnatal class with but nothing is scheduled? No problem! Small group classes can be arranged!

Click here to check out the current sessions of prenatal and postnatal group classes at Club Fit Briarcliff!

For information on Prenatal and Postnatal classes at our Jefferson Valley location Click here or contact Tricia Weinbaum at tweinbaum@clubfit.com for more information!

Prenatal Yoga

Prayer

Click here to check out the current sessions of prenatal and postnatal group classes!

Fitness and Pregnancy: Meet Our Perinatal Specialist, Denise Weber!

Denise Weber

Perinatal Specialist Denise Weber

Prenatal Exercise is a topic that many women who are expecting are constantly wondering about. Can I exercise during pregnancy? How much should I do? What kinds of exercises are safe? How can I make sure that I am doing exercises the correct way? When should I stop exercising? What can I do in my first, second and third trimesters? The bottom line is, fitness is important, especially during pregnancy. Well-being, nutrition and stress management are also vital to the health of mom-to-be and baby. The aim of these upcoming posts are to help shed some light on these questions and we have the perfect person to help you through this journey! We want to introduce you to our resident expert, Denise Weber!

Denise is a Perinatal Exercise Specialist and was a certified childbirth educator in the Bradley Method for 15 years. This expertise led Denise to the position of Perinatal Exercise Coordinator at Club Fit. For 8 years, while Denise held that title, she designed and implemented classes and programs for the perinatal client, teaching and training many of those clients herself. She is responsible for creating and bringing innovative programs to the club for the Perinatal exerciser. Stroller Babies, Perinatal Yoga and Baby Boot Camp to name a few. She also trained other instructors. Denise continues to be involved with this aspect of her career.

Denise has 25+ years of experience as a fitness professional. A widely diversified background which includes certifications in Group Exercise, Personal Training, Yoga, Pilates Mat and Spinning, gives Denise the versatility and creativity to design fitness programs for anyone at any fitness level. Denise likes to use a variety of fitness modalities, mixing traditional training methods with intervals of cardiovascular exercise, and power moves to help her participants achieve their fitness goals.

“My desire has always been to help women embrace whatever stage of life they are in, and help them set and achieve their fitness goals. I have the privilege to see my clients’ confidence and pride grow as work towards their goals and make them a reality. For me there is no greater satisfaction than that. I love what I do. I can think of nothing more important than helping my clients feel good about their selves; not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. I believe wellness encompasses the whole person and I strive for that in my professional life.”

Denise continues to educate herself through various workshops and trainings, and is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for her clients.

In the coming weeks Denise will be writing all about aspects of perinatal exercise, nutrition during pregnancy, stress management and relaxation techniques, prenatal yoga and overall fitness. If you have specific questions or topics that you would like to see us discuss, leave a comment on our blog! Who knows? You may just see your topic in our headlines!

For information on Personal Training with Denise, call her at the club (914)762-3444 ext. 2247. Click here to read more about her training philosophy.

Perinatal Exercise Programs at Club Fit with Denise