Labor is different for every woman. While some women may have regular contractions that progress labor quickly, others might find themselves stuck in limbo, with irregular contractions that aren't dilating the cervix. Sometimes changing the body's position or doing yoga can help increase contractions to move labor along.
Yoga is a safe alternative to using contraction-inducing medications, which can sometimes cause changes in heartbeat, fainting, headache and vomiting. Yoga is often recommended for women during the later months of pregnancy, since it can help keep you fit and prepare the body for labor.
Practice belly breathing during early labor when contractions have just started and aren't intense yet. Sit with your legs crossed, close your eyes and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, while staying relaxed.
Sit on a stack of cushions, hold your hands on your lower abdomen and move your pelvis in a slow, circular motion. Imagine your baby moving down into the birth canal. This can help your baby move down into your pelvis and may relieve back and pelvis pain.
Kneel on the bed or floor, with someone helping keep you stable, and make slow, circular motions with your hips to reduce pain. The movement helps to push the baby down and to dilate your cervix.
Stay in the kneeling position and hold your knees wider than your belly, touch your big toes together and lean back onto your heels. Rest your arms on a birthing ball or your birth partner. This yoga position helps to let gravity push the baby down into the cervix.
Do a deep squat when you make it further into your labor. Have your labor partner sit in a chair, while you lean back on that person, with you stay in the wide squat. Laboring in this yoga position works to widen your pelvis, shorten the birth canal and bring your baby's head down to dilate the cervix even further.