It’s almost the end of your maternity life and the end of 9 long arduous months beckons! Getting enough exercise can help strengthen muscles and make you stronger, not to mention induce labor when your expected delivery date (EDD) approaches or has passed. We know it isn’t easy to walk the talk, so first, let’s look at the benefits of walking and the things you need to note, and we might just convince you that it’s worth your while to take a walk.
Does walking induce labor?
Pregnancy is everything but a walk in the park, and you might be having the jitters every time you think of labor and delivery. If you want to have an easier labor, it’s recommended that you take walks in the third trimester, especially in the last month. This will help widen the cervix, loosen the joints in the pelvis and strengthen your body.
Do light exercises in the last month of pregnancy and be careful of overexertion. You might want to try squats, aerobic exercises, maternity swimming, maternity yoga in the last month of pregnancy, but if you aren’t a fan of sweating it out, taking walks might be just what you need. Going at your own pace, people watching and a change of scenery might make you feel rejuvenated. Why not plan a walk around the neighborhood?
3 points to keep in mind when walking in the last month of pregnancy
1. Going out in comfortable clothes
Change into comfortable clothes and sneakers, and you’ll all ready to roll. If the weather is cold, you might want to grab a shawl or jacket as well, so that you can keep your body warm when you stop and take a rest. Bring along your identification card, handphone, a bottle of water and some snacks if you want. Put them in a small sling bag or backpack and you’re good to go!
2. Set a course
Know where you’re headed before you set off. Although you might want to explore new roads, remember that it’s the last month of pregnancy and that your belly is big. Try to choose a route that has fewer stairs or hilly paths and more flat ground. If you decide to take a promenade through the park, stick to pavements and be careful not to stumble over roots sticking out from the ground. You might want to avoid main roads with high traffic.
Decide how long your walk should take. It’s the last month of pregnancy and you can go into labor anytime, so don’t stay out for too long. You might want to settle for a 30 to 40-minute walk each time you head out. Instead of walking at a snail’s pace, hasten your pace so that the walk can effectively be considered as exercise. There is no need to rush or walk a lot at one go – it’s more important that you do this consistently and make it a habit.
Walking to induce labor: What should I note?
If you’re out on a stroll and you suddenly don’t feel too well, take a rest, and when and if you’re feeling better, head home immediately after that. Don’t be overly ambitious and increase the distance of your walks and walk further away from home just because you think you’re feeling great. It might be a different story when you head home.
Be on the lookout for bad weather like rain or strong winds, and stop when you think it’s not safe for you to proceed with your walks. Listening to music or checking your phone once in awhile while you’re walking is fine, but make sure you can hear and see what’s going on around you. You need to keep an eye out (and an ear out!) for possible dangers around you.
Go slow and steady, at your own pace
Taking a walk gives you new scenery and hence new perspectives. This might help lift your mood and help you be able to get rid of some stress that comes from thinking about the impending labor. If you can, try to do light exercises even if you find it too troublesome. Don’t do anything extreme, though, and walk at your own pace. Start walking now, and you will be giving yourself a pat on your back if your labor turns out to be a breeze.