How To Start Contractions At 37 Weeks – Labor is considered one of the most challenging stages of pregnancy. However, you can do various exercises to naturally induce labor. Some women choose labor induction to ease the birth process. According to data collected from US birth certificates by researchers from St. Louis, MO, labor induction was chosen by 31.37% of all pregnant women in 2020.
As the due date approaches, most women worry about the upcoming pain, childbirth or the health of their baby. You can relieve this anxiety by doing different exercises. These exercises will help you stay flexible and strong and prepare you for a smooth and easy delivery. However, before doing any exercise routine, it is important to consult your doctor.
- 1 How To Start Contractions At 37 Weeks
- 2 Ways To Help Labor Progress
- 3 How To Induce Labor At The Hospital Or At Home
How To Start Contractions At 37 Weeks
This post describes some of the best exercises to help you give birth easily and who should avoid these exercises.
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Before you try any exercise or yoga for labor, it is important that you talk to your doctor about it. You can also consult a fitness trainer who specializes in prenatal fitness.
Below are some exercises and relaxation techniques you can try to facilitate a smooth labor/delivery. Always make sure you have an assistant or expert when you do this:
This exercise helps pregnant women lower the baby through the birth canal. According to research, pelvic stones help manage pain, improve focus and labor, and provide full satisfaction in childbirth (1).
Pelvic rocks or pelvic tilts can be done in a variety of ways including standing pelvic tilts with a chair, lying on the back, seated tilts and passive tilts with the help of a partner.
Ways To Help Labor Progress
This type of exercise helps you relieve pressure in your pelvic area, which has tissues and muscles that support your bladder and uterus (2). Leaning exercises give your baby more room to move in the pelvis. In addition, it allows you to rest a little during labor.
It is considered one of the most effective and safe exercises to speed up the birth process. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and opens the pelvic area, thus making it easier for the baby to move through the birth canal. In addition, regular deep squats relax the muscles and stretch the perineum (3). Squats naturally prepare the body for labor, as long as you do them correctly.
This is one of the most common ways to attract work. It is a positive gravity exercise that strengthens contractions and leads to active labor (4).
Robin Koogle, who is now a mother of three, happily recounted how she used walking to speed up childbirth. She reflected and said, “I stopped feeling myself, put on my walking shoes, and did countless vigorous laps outside. I often repeated to myself one of the midwives in the class of childbirth that said: No one remains pregnant forever.
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“After hours of pacing … and finally getting into the birthing tub, I gave birth ten minutes before midnight weighing 6 lbs, 2 ounces to our absolute delight (i).”
A word of warning: Do not walk more than you need to start labor, because tiring yourself will reduce your energy needed during labor and delivery. Remember, your child will only come out when they are ready.
For low-risk women walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week at a speed of 4km/h from 38 weeks onwards is safe, increases the onset of spontaneous labor and reduces the rate of cesarean delivery
This exercise is effective in strengthening the pelvic floor. During pregnancy, the muscles of the pelvic area tend to become loose, resulting in incontinence i XInvoluntary leakage of urine due to partial or complete loss of bladder control and discomfort. Regular practice of Kegel exercises will relax your muscles while you are in labor. Additionally, these exercises help you learn how to control your muscles during labor (5).
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The butterfly exercise offers many benefits to pregnant women. It reduces fatigue, stretches the knees and thighs, and increases flexibility in the groin and hip area. Practicing this exercise regularly during pregnancy will help you have a smooth delivery (6).
The lunge has been proven to be an effective position or exercise to reduce pain and get the baby moving. In addition, it helps the mother with contractions and soothes the baby (7).
Warning: Always have a helper when you do lunges so you don’t get unbalanced.
One of the exercises that speed up the delivery process is climbing the stairs. It is considered helpful for safe and smooth delivery (8).
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Warning: Do not put more pressure on your body when climbing the stairs. Make sure you come up to the floor slowly and steadily. And if you have a partner, it’s easy.
The XA position of the fetus in pregnancy where the baby’s back is similar to the mother’s back, climbing the stairs will induce the baby to rotate into a position suitable for birth (17).
Exercise with a ball is a recommended, inexpensive, non-pharmacological and helpful strategy for normal childbirth. There are many ball exercises to prepare your body for a smooth delivery. However, it is important to be careful at every step while you are having fun trying it.
Other benefits of ball exercises during pregnancy are increased flexibility, resistance, and strength, with balance maintained by the quadriceps and lower back (9). In addition, you can do several exercises on the ball to stimulate labor.
Signs Of Labor: Signs & Symptoms Labor Is Near
Although all these exercises are suggested for safe delivery, there are certain conditions when pregnant women should not exercise.
If you have any of the conditions mentioned below, then you are advised to consult a specialist or doctor before trying exercises to stimulate childbirth.
In addition to the exercises mentioned above, sitting on the toilet and sitting seamstress can help stimulate labor and help you ease the labor process (12) (13).
Five weeks before your due date is a good time to start massages, reflexology and labor-inducing exercises. However, this should be done under the supervision of a professional to avoid complications (14).
Exercises To Induce Labor (video)
There is no set time limit when certain exercises can induce labor. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your flexibility and strengthen your pelvic area, supporting a smooth labor and delivery process. Remember, childbirth is a complex process that is usually controlled by hormonal changes and the readiness of the baby and the mother’s body. Although some exercises help prepare the body for labor, they do not directly affect labor time.
Pregnant women should not induce labor on their own without medical supervision. According to experts, labor induction should be an option only when the health of the mother or fetus is at risk. This is because the induction of labor carries the risk of uterine hyperstimulation and rupture, and fetal distress if not planned and managed according to medical instructions (18).
These exercises will make you more flexible and help the easy passage of the baby through the birth canal. Exercises such as pelvic floor help manage pain and promote labor, squats strengthen and open the pelvic floor muscles, and walking strengthens labor contractions. However, before you try any exercise, consult your doctor. Women with placenta previa, twin pregnancies, or other complications should be extra careful when exercising during pregnancy. If you experience any discomfort or pain during exercise, stop the exercise and avoid it.
Whether you’re nearing or past your due date, certain exercises can help ease the labor process. However, there are some situations where exercise may not be recommended. So, check the infographic below to know when it is not recommended to exercise to ease the labor process.
How To Induce Labor At The Hospital Or At Home
This video will teach you how to help with natural childbirth at home with some amazing exercises! Learn how to activate birth and prepare your baby to meet you!
The articles are written after analyzing the research work of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of sources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. N. H. Zaky; The effect of pelvic rocking exercise using a sitting position on the birth ball during the first stage of labor in its development; IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences (IOSR-JNHS) (2016)
2. Labor Support Card Brief tips for the special time before birth; Christiana Care Health System (2013)
Easy Ways Th O Induce Labor Naturally
6. J. Thakur, E. Sharma, and S. Masand; Pregnancy yoga: A boon to motherhood; Journal of Ayurveda & Holistic Medicine
7. W. D. Adams & A. L. Bianchi; A Practical Approach to Work Support; AWHONN, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (2008)
8. T. Shilling A. M. Romano & J. T. DiFranco; Nursing Practice #2: Freedom of Movement Throughout Work; The Journal of Perinatal Education (2007)
9. K. Mirzakhani & et al.; Effects of Birth Ball Exercise During Pregnancy on Mode of Delivery in Primiparous Women; Journal of Midwifery & Reproductive Health (2015)
Natural Ways To Induce Labor At Home: Induction Handout
16. Isabel Barros Pereira et al.; Physical exercise at term to improve the onset of vigorous labor: a randomized clinical trial; NCBI (2020)
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