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6 Prenatal Stretches Before Bed

  • 22, Nov 2022

Pregnancy is a tough time; it may leave you feeling exhausted as your body is busy creating a human being. As much as it is important to rest so is to remain active by engaging yourself in light physical activities. Being active not only helps you in dealing with mental and physical stress but also prepares your body for a natural delivery.

Wondering which exercise is right for you? It is always best to consult your doctor if you can do certain exercises and stretches. If you get a green flag and your pregnancy is without any complications then you may start with light stretches. Here are 6 prenatal stretches that you may add to your routine before going to bed.

Side Neck Stretch

In this stretch, you got to sit up straight and tilt your head to your side such that the ear reaches down the shoulder. While doing it, keep your gaze straight with your shoulders in a neutral position. If you are feeling the stretch, hold it here and if you want to go further, lift your arm up and slowly pull your head down towards your shoulder.

Do this while simultaneously going for your opposite hand down toward the ground. Hold the pose for 10 seconds then come back to the resting position and repeat on the opposite side. This stretch targets the upper trapezius.       

Seated Single Leg Hamstring + Inner Thigh Stretch

In this stretch, you got to sit with one leg extended outwards straight in front of you and the other leg bent such that the sole of the foot rests on the inner thigh. If you need support, you may put a pillow under the bent knee.

Now, face the extended leg, and inhale while lifting your torso up then exhale while bending forward over the folded leg. To intensify the stretch, you may flex your toes while keeping the spine aligned to minimize any tension in shoulder and neck. Hold it for 30 seconds.

Now slowly return in the position from where you started and turn little inwards towards the space present between your legs. Inhale while straightening the torso and exhale while folding forward between the legs with forearms placed on the floor. Hold the pose for 30 seconds as you feel the stretch in your inner thigh and then repeat on the opposite side.  This stretch targets the lower back, hamstrings, and the adductors. It helps in relieving the pain and stretching the inner thigh which becomes tight as the pelvis shifts during pregnancy.

Calf Wall Stretch

In this pose, you got to stand in front of the wall with your hands holding it for balance. After this, place toes of one foot flat against the wall with heel touching the ground. Lean forward while keeping your leg straight until you feel your lower calf stretch; this pose targets the calf muscles. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then repeat it on the opposite side.

Child’s Pose

In this stretch pose, you got to start on your shin with your knees placed hip-width apart and feet touching behind you. While you exhale, fold forward, lengthen the spine, draw the ribs away from the tailbone, hinge the hips, and stretch the crown of the head away from the shoulders.

Place your belly between the legs and extend the arms forward on the ground while your palms are facing downwards. You may even use a pillow beneath your forehead if you like; hold this pose for 30 seconds. In this stretch, the muscles targeted are of low back, front shoulders, ankles, and hips. If you have low back or hip pain then this stretch is great for you.

Bridge Pose

In this pose, you have to lie down on your back with bent knees then put your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Now press your heels and lift up your pelvis to create a straight diagonal line starting from your chest to knees.

Remain in this pose in 10 seconds then slowly come back to rest and then repeat. This position targets the front of pelvis and hip flexors; it strengthens glutes and helps in relieving the lower back and pelvis pain.

Seated Spinal Twist

Sit in a cross-legged position, now with one hand touch the opposite knee and place the other hand back behind you. Use your hands for leverage and lift up through your spine, twist to the side enough to be able to see the back behind you.

Hold this pose for around 5 to 10 seconds then slowly come back to resting position and then repeat. This position targets the spine and the back; it helps in relaxing by calming the nervous system.

All these stretches will increase flexibility and help in relieving the pain in different parts of your body. Ensure that you consult your doctor before performing any exercise and do it only till you feel fine. If you feel any discomfort while doing any of the above stretches, immediately stop. The best way to know what is right for you is by listening to your body.