6 Bed-Rest Friendly Pregnancy Exercises

Bed-rest during pregnancy doesn’t have to mean complete inactivity. While it can be hard on your body and mind, causing loss of strength, stamina, and flexibility, there are some bed-rest friendly pregnancy exercises that can help. With the right approach, you can maintain some level of physical activity and avoid feeling tired or unable to perform everyday jobs, even while adhering to your doctor’s bed rest advice.

But you can do gentle exercises that will improve your circulation, stamina, mobility, energy, and flexibility without having to get out of bed or off the couch. These exercises will also help stop pain and stiffness and keep you from losing strength. When combined with deep breathing, these simple bed rest-safe movements will also boost your mood.

Don’t give up!

1. Kegels

Kegels can be done no matter where you are. Pull the muscles around your vagina up, like an elevator going up to your belly button, and tighten them as if you were stopping the flow of pee. Don’t squeeze your buttocks. Maintain a firm grip for 10 seconds while breathing normally, then release. Ten to twenty times.

Benefits: It aids in the localization, management, and strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles, which can prevent urinary incontinence and speed recovery after childbirth.

2. Chest and Shoulder Opener

Lace your fingers behind your head and open your arms wide. Sit up straight and slightly lean back, lifting your chest as you take deep breaths until you feel your ribs getting bigger. Relax as you let out a breath and bring your hands down toward your knees. Five times, increasing to ten.

Benefits: It makes you feel more awake and alert, improves your balance, and stretches your chest and shoulders.

3. Ribcage Breathing

Grab your upper body with your hands and spread your fingers out along your ribcage. Inhale fully through your nose. You should feel your ribcage extend as you do this. As you do a Kegel, breathe out through your mouth as you slowly pull your belly in. Do five times and work your way up to 10 times.

Benefits: It strengthens your deep belly and pelvic floor muscles, improves your breathing and circulation, and gives you more energy.

4. Gentle Pelvic Tilts

Cross your legs and lean back in your chair. Inhale deeply through your nose as you pull your navel into your spine and arch your back. As you do a Kegel, breathe out through your mouth as you round your back, gently tuck your hips under, and pull your abs in. After five repetitions, return to the starting position and repeat ten times.

Benefits: It improves blood flow all over your body and slowly tones the deep abdominal muscles, which helps digestion.

5. Shoulder Press

You should contract your abdominals and shrug your shoulders back and down as you bring your arms out to shoulder height and bend them to a 90-degree angle. Inhale, then release as you press your arms above your head, tightening the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and upper back. Continue to squeeze as you slowly bring your arms down. Ten to fifteen times.

Benefits: It builds strength and energy in your upper body, which you’ll need to carry your baby and all their stuff and makes you stand taller.

6. Ankle Rolls

Pull your abs in and stretch your legs out in front of you. Roll your feet 10 times in a clockwise direction, and then change direction. Then, bend your feet so your toes point toward your knees. Ten times in a row.

Benefits: It improves circulation in the lower legs and helps keep muscles strong and joints flexible.

Meaningful articles you might like: What to Expect from Fetal Movements During Pregnancy, What to Expect from Pregnancy After a Stillbirth and How to Cope, Top Pregnancy Concerns (and Why You Shouldn’t Worry)