Why should I squat?
- Squatting stretches the calves of your legs so that getting into a good pushing position will be easier.
- Squatting stretches the lower back, relieving lower back aches.
- Squatting puts the body in proper alignment for eliminating, helping to lessen the effects of constipation.
- Squatting allows you to pick up objects that are low or on the ground without putting unnecessary pressure on your back.
- Squatting to sit helps prevent unnecessary pressure on your pelvic floor.
Squatting is the natural elimination position for the human body. In a squatting position, the pelvic outlet opens and the perineum is able to stretch. In contrast to lying on her back, a woman in a squatting position allows gravity to help move the baby through the birth canal. Because squatting is not a common position in modern life, women who do not regularly squat may find getting into a squatting position difficult or uncomfortable at first. Using this position during pregnancy helps stretch the squatting muscles, making it more comfortable to assume variations of a squatting position in labor.
How to do it
Keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor, lower your upper body into a slight bend; lower your bottom to the floor by bending your knees and hips.
If you find it is difficult to keep your balance, stand in front of a table, counter, heavy chair or another person, and hold it/them while you lower your body.
To come out of a squat, lift your bottom first, then bring the upper part of your body back into alignment. This helps to prevent putting unnecessary pressure on your knees, which are more prone to injury during pregnancy because of the hormone relaxin.
How often to do it
There is no set standard for how many squats you should do each day. Instead, make squatting part of your every day activities by squatting to pick things up, talk to small children or reach low cupboards. As you use squatting during normal activities you will find that your flexibility and comfort for squatting will naturally improve.