I was talking with a patient and she described the last weeks of pregnancy as a “physical and emotional roller coaster”. Having two children myself, I can see her point! You’re excited because baby is almost here, but there can be new sensations that you haven’t yet experienced: more pressure lowering onto pelvic floor, the famous “lightning crotch”, increased fluid making you question if your water broke. You might even be feeling new emotions such as being worried that you aren’t prepared, or even exhausted because you haven’t gone into labor and you just want to get it over with! I can be a lot, so to help you feel empowered, I wanted to share some tips that can help during those last weeks to prepare you and baby to have an easier labor and birthing process.
The Last 2-3 Weeks of Pregnancy
During this time, you can start to help guide baby into position by incorporating some movement patterns.
Side Step up stairs: If you have access to stairs, you can side step up the stairs and then walk down normally and repeat on the other side. If you feel like you need support, you can hold onto the railing for improved balance.
Curb Walking: Walk with one foot on top of the curb, while the other foot is on the ground. Repeat on each side.
Hands and knees position: on a comfortable surface, get into an all fours hands/knees position. From here, you can perform different movement patterns such as rocking forward and backwards, child’s pose, cat/camel, etc.
These movements will help open the pelvis to allow baby to descend and engage into position. Ideally, perform these movements throughout your day during the last weeks of pregnancy. As with anything, if you have any pubic symphysis or any other type of discomfort, please check in with your medical provider or physical therapist.
Breathing is also a great practice to include in the last weeks of pregnancy. It can help with stress, give you some time to focus on your body, and also help prep the pelvic floor and supporting muscles and structures for laboring and delivery. See if you can set aside 5 minutes a day for focused breath work, focusing on a full inhalation followed by a comfortable, long exhalation.
If you’re in your last weeks of pregnancy, I encourage you to try some of the techniques and see how they feel. I hope that they can be a nice addition to your birthing process preparation!