Exercises for the Pregnant to Relieve Discomfort
The following exercises are deigned to provide relief for specific discomforts. Become familiar with them, so that you can use them when necessary.
Rib Cage Stretch
Benefits: Relieves tension in the upper body. Helps relieve indigestion.
Directions: See “Rib Cage Stretch” subsection in this article.
Benefit: Relieve tension in the neck and shoulder area.
Directions: Begin with your chin resting on your chest. Slowly rotate your head around to the right, then to the back, then to the left,and finally to the front again. Rotate your head in this clockwise motion two more times, then reverse the direction and rotate your head three full times in a counterclockwise motion. Try to totally relax the muscles of your neck as you do this.
Caution: Rotate your head very slowly and carefully if you have ever had a neck injury.
Frequency: Whenever you feel tension in your neck or shoulders.
Benefit: Helps relieve upper backache.
Directions: See “Shoulder Rotation” subsection subsection in this article.
Foot Bending and Stretching
Benefits: May help to prevent varicosities, swollen ankles, and leg cramps by improving circulation.
Directions: Sit or lie down and elevate your legs. flex your ankles, drawing your toes toward you. Rotate your fee first in one direction, then in the opposite direction.
Caution: Do not point your toes. If you develop leg cramps, pull your toes toward your head until the cramps subside.
Frequency: Whenever you sit for long periods, do 1 rep three to four times per hour.
Benefit: Relieves leg cramps.
Directions: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Have your partner press down on the knee of the cramped leg with one hand and grasp your foot, pushing your toes toward your head, with his other hand. Use stead pressure. Continue until the cramp is relieved.
Frequency: Whenever necessary.