Keeping your legs strong can really help when you are in labour as you may need to move into many different birthing positions. Watch the video above.
Joan Murphy, a co-founder of Frame fitness studios in London, runs exercise classes especially for pregnant women. Here, helped by fitness instructor Kelly Burns, who is 20 weeks pregnant, Joan shares some exercises to get your body in shape while also protecting your bump. These will have the best effect if you do five to 10 repetitions, three to four times a week, either on their own, or alongside gentle exercise such as swimming, walking or yoga.
- Start in a standing position, or hold on to a chair or table, if needed. Place your feet wider than your hips and turn your feet slightly outwards.
- Keeping your back straight, tuck in your tailbone and pull your shoulder blades together. Bend your knees without letting them go further forward than your toes.
- If your balance is OK, extend your arms out to make a T-position, then turn them in to face each other, and curve them, as if you are hugging a ball, as you bend your knees. Return to standing position and repeat.
For more pregnancy exercise videos, visit the M&B YouTube channel.
Photo/video: Howard Boylan.