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Certified childbirth educator Susan Cooter, R.N., recommends the following activities during labor and delivery. She also advises alternating them every 15 to 20 minutes; changing positions has been shown to reduce the length of labor.
Check out the moves and activities here.
Sit on an Exercise Ball
Slowly lower yourself onto the ball with your partner's help. Sit with knees apart, feet flat on the floor. Rock back and forth or side to side until you find a soothing rhythm. (If you're 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, use a 55 cm ball; if you're 5 feet 7 inches or taller, opt for a 65 cm.)
What it does: Opens the pelvis, helping the baby descend through the birth canal.
Face your partner and place your arms around his neck or waist; slowly sway from side to side. You also can have him stand behind you and cup your belly for support while you "dance."
What it does: Helps you relax.
If you have access to a staircase and the hospital allows it, walk up and down the stairs for a few minutes. Otherwise, mimic stair climbing by marching in place.
What it does: Helps the cervix open and encourages the baby to rotate into the birth position.
Get Down on All Fours
Lower yourself onto your hands and knees and rock back and forth; use pillows for comfort, if necessary. You also can "hug" the exercise ball in this position.
What it does: Relieves the pain of "back labor"; moves the baby through the birth canal.