While giving birth is one of the most natural things in the world and your body has a way of preparing itself for the big day, there are a few exercises you can do to help it.


Not only will it ensure your body is strong and ready for the stresses of giving birth, it will also increase your stamina, train your core and help you push for longer.


Ab exercises

Ab exercises are great at keeping your core strength up – something that you will be grateful for in the last hour or two of pushing. 

  • To do this, stand up straight and breathe in and out slowly and deeply. As you breathe in, pull your bellybutton in towards your spine as if you are trying to button up a pair of tight trousers and release as you exhale.
  • Do two sets of ten.



For those who weren’t into fitness prior to pregnancy, walking is a great way to start. It is the ideal way to maintain a healthy weight which is important for preventing high blood pressure, lowering the risk of a Caesarean and gestational diabetes.

  • A brisk walk between 30 minutes and an hour a day is enough.


Kegel exercises

Your kegel exercises are important for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and improving circulation to your rectal area. They also help speed up healing after an episiotomy and may even shorten the pushing stage of labour. And the best thing about this type of exercise is that you can do it anywhere. 

  • Whether standing, sitting or lying down, simply tighten the area around your vagina as if you are stopping urine coming out, hold for four seconds and release.
  • Do three sets of ten at least twice a day.



You will no doubt be doing a lot of squatting during labour so you might as well get used to it now! This is a fantastic way to strengthen your thighs and open your pelvis.

  • Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding onto the back of a chair. Relax your shoulders, lift your chest and gently lower your bum down towards the ground, keeping your back straight. Keep your balance by putting your weight on your heels. Breathe in as your go down and exhale as your push yourself back up to a standing position.
  • Do one set of ten, slowly working your way up to three sets of ten.


It is important you always discuss any exercises that you are doing with your GP as everybody's requirements are different.