Stretching can help ease some of the growing pains and discomfort that come with the physiological changes women experience throughout pregnancy. Stretching can also help to train your muscles to be responsive and supportive throughout your pregnancy and during labor.
These stretches are amazing for opening up your chest and pelvis! Chest and Pelvis muscles are often short and tight in many people, not just pregnant women, due to modern-day desk jobs where people are sitting for long periods of time with poor posture. Both are important muscle groups to prevent from keeping tight and short during any stage of life, but especially pregnancy!
Opening The Pelvis
Sitting down too much can tighten your hamstrings which can lead to non-optimal posterior pelvic tilt aka tucking that booty in too far – which unfortunately is far too common in pregnant women!
In the image above, the top 2 and middle left stretches can help to stretch your Hip Flexors and Psoas muscles which will open up the pelvis to support your baby during pregnancy and prepare your body for labor.
Lunge + Reach (top left)
Garland Pose (top right)
Swiss Ball Hip Flexor Stretch (middle left)
Opening The Chest
The chest is usually faced with a lot of tension as is (pregnant or not!), with day to day activities done in front of our bodies. So add things like growing breasts and alignment changes, and it can get even worse! Not to mention once the baby is born, breastfeeding will only add to the rounding of your shoulders! Open up the chest with the middle-right and bottom two stretches!
Swiss Ball Chest Roll
Open Chest Stretch over Stability Ball
Shoulder Retraction Stretch with Band
Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. However, you need to be cautious when stretching during pregnancy! Your ligaments are already lax (thanks to the hormone relaxin!), so be careful not to “over stretch.”