6 Best Exercises For Inducing Labour Naturally

6 Best Exercises For Inducing Labour Naturally

13 Dec 2022 | 6 min Read

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At 39 weeks, you officially reach a full-term pregnancy and will be more than ready to meet your baby. But even with your due date around the corner, there is no accurate way of telling when your little bundle of joy will make their grand entrance. This is why many mums-to-be try to take things into their own hands to put pregnancy behind and help kickstart labour. One tactic? Trying out certain exercises to help induce labour.

But is exercise safe at this stage of pregnancy and does it really work? Find out in this post as we discuss everything including safety concerns, benefits, and the different exercises for inducing labour.

When Is It Okay To Induce Labour?

When Is It Okay To Induce Labour?
It’s best to induce labour between 39-41 weeks, but ensure you have your doctor’s go-ahead for that / Image credit: Freepik

It’s always best to speak to your ob-gyn before trying to induce labour at home. Generally, the optimal time to encourage labour is between 39-41 weeks, as babies born during this period are considered full-term and have positive health outcomes. 

However, keep in mind that if you haven’t given birth by 42 weeks, then your healthcare provider may not recommend exercise for inducing labour. Instead, they will suggest you induce labour medically to prevent any kind of health risk to both the mum and the baby.

Who Should Avoid Exercise to Induce Labour?

While exercise is considered safe and encouraged for most pregnant women, some may have health complications and are advised to avoid any strenuous activities. If you have any of the following conditions, then it’s best that you avoid exercising to induce labour.

  • If you have been prescribed complete bed rest
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placenta previa
  • Severely low or high amniotic fluid
  • History of premature labour
  • Short cervix
  • Gestational hypertension

6 Safe Exercises for Inducing Labour

6 Safe Exercises for Inducing Labour
Make sure you do all these exercises in moderation and have someone from your family to assist you / Image credit: Freepik


A simple walk can keep your body healthy and even jump-start labour. It can also help expedite slow labour by promoting uterine contractions and preparing your body for birth. A brisk walk around your neighbourhood can help dilate your cervix, and drop your baby further into the pelvis. If nothing else, walking can serve as a pleasant distraction for you, and ease your mind and body. 

Climbing Stairs

Walking up the stairs naturally angle your body at about 40-45 degrees, which encourage your baby to move lower into your pelvis. Skipping a step while climbing up the stairs can help open up your pelvis more and allow your baby to descend further. This helps put gentle pressure on your cervix, causing it to thin and dilate. 

Try to be very careful while doing this exercise, and if needed, have your partner or family member walk along with you to avoid any injury or accident. Also, ensure to hold onto the handrail at all times for safety.


Squats are a great exercise to add to your pregnancy workout routine. They help prepare your body for labour, and maintain strength in your legs, hips, and pelvic floor. Squats allow gravity to help open up your pelvis, giving your baby more room to descend further in your birth canal, thus initiating labour. 

To do squats properly, make sure you are standing straight up, with your feet and shoulder width apart. Now, gently squat, while keeping your back straight, and ensure that your knees aren’t protruding. Try to hold this position for about 20-30 seconds, and use your legs to lift yourself back into the standing position.


This exercise can help prepare your body for vaginal birth. Doing lunges can help strengthen your hips and open your pelvis, allowing more room for your baby to rotate and descend. 

To perform this exercise, stand tall with your feet together. Take a giant step forward, and drop your back knee to the ground. Make sure that your front knee is in line with your front ankle, and that your spine is straight. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then push back up. This is a difficult exercise to perform, so don’t hesitate to ask your partner or family members to assist and monitor you.

Birthing Ball Exercises

Birthing Ball Exercises
Exercising on a birthing ball can help open up your pelvis and facilitate labour / Image credit: Freepik

Get off your couch and sit on a birthing ball! Birthing balls, also known as exercise balls are an excellent tool that prepares your body for birth and induces labour naturally. Sitting on a birthing ball with wide legs can help increase blood flow to your uterus, placenta, and baby. It also opens up your pelvis, encouraging your baby to descend and get into a suitable birth position. 

There are many exercises that you can perform using a birthing ball. For instance, you can try circular hip rotations, bouncing, leaning, and rocking back and forth to stimulate labour. 

Butterfly Stretches

The butterfly stretch that you usually do before your gym class can also help initiate labour. It increases flexibility in your pelvic joints and induces labour naturally. 

To do this stretch, sit up straight on the floor (you can also have your back against the wall, if that feels comfortable). Place the soles of your feet together, and gently press your knees toward the ground with your elbows or hands. 

Remain in this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat this stretch 5-10 times. It will help stretch the muscles in your back, pelvis, and inner thighs, and prepare your body for a smooth labour and delivery. 


While these exercises for inducing labour are effective and easy to do, they are not suitable for all pregnant women, especially those who have pregnancy complications like hypertension, a history of premature labour, or an incompetent cervix. Hence, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider before doing these exercises. Also, be very careful while doing any kind of exercise during pregnancy, and ask your partner’s assistance to ensure safety. 

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com



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