exercises to prepare for birth


When waiting for your baby to arrive, it can feel like time is moving at a snail’s pace. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time; make the most of it and help the days pass quicker with these activities about how to pass the time while waiting for your baby past their due date:


If you haven’t already, do some last minute cleaning. It’ll be at least a few weeks before you’re able and free to do any cleaning after the baby’s here.

Meal Prep

I know you probably don’t feel like cooking while 9 months pregnant. However, it’ll be even more difficult when recovering postpartum and caring for your bundle of joy. Here are some ways to get ahead on food:

  • Make sure your pantry is stocked
  • Prepare and freeze some main dishes
  • Put smoothie ingredients in baggies so you can just dump one (plus a liquid) in the blender for an easy, nutritious snack. Don’t forget to include some veggies (spinach or kale, cucumber and carrots), nuts (unsalted walnuts and/or almonds), wheat germ, chia seeds, and hemp hearts.
  • Put together some instant pot or crockpot “dump” recipes (put all the ingredients in a large freezer bag, dump them in the instant/crockpot, set to cook and enjoy!).

Do Last Minute Things

I know there were some things I waited until the baby arrived to do that I could have gotten out of the way sooner. For example, open a pack (or two) of wipes. Load the diaper warmer and turn it on (if you’re using one). Put a clean sheet on the bassinet/crib. Make sure the baby monitor and white noise machine are charged, etc.

Pack the Diaper Bag & Hospital Bag

This is something you can do before baby arrives that you’ll definitely want ready as soon as your little one arrives. You can read everything I keep in my diaper bag in this post.

Pack your hospital bag: Make sure you have everything you’ll need ready to go!

Naturally Induce Labour

You can try to induce labor naturally using the tips in this article. Only do this if you’re past your due date and your doctor approves it.

Relax & Enjoy the Time

I know this is the hardest item on this list. However, here are a few simple ways to take relax before your baby arrives:

  • Play (board) games
  • Sleep (as much as your aching body will let you haha)
  • Go to the movies (you probably won’t do it again for awhile!)
  • Spend time with your husband, older children (if you have any), and extended family

I know everyday feels like it’s crawling by, and each night you might be disappointed that wasn’t the day, but I guarantee your baby will be here soon!

Do you have any other activities I can add to my how to pass the time while waiting for your baby past their due date list?

How to Pass the Time While Waiting for your Baby Past their Due Date

As I write this, I’m 40 weeks and 3 days, and even though I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy, I can’t wait to meet our baby boy and relieve the aches and pains that have crept up this week. This post is a compilation of possible natural ways to induce labor that I’ve heard from midwives, my doula, friends, and Google. Keep in mind that these can encourage your body to go into labor, but probably won’t work if your baby and body aren’t ready. Most have mixed results from studies testing their effectiveness, but hey, worth a try, right?

Please get approval from your provider before trying any of these methods.

Foods to help induce labor

Spicy food: Spicy foods can irritate your digestive system and cause your uterus to contract, possibly starting contractions.

Pineapple: One site said to eat a whole pineapple, but that’s excessive, so I’ve just been eating a few pieces daily and put some in a fruit smoothie when I make one.

Dates: If you’ve never had dried dates before, they’re super sweet and sticky. Eating 4-6 per day can help soften your cervix.

Red raspberry leaf tea: Raspberry leaf tea is good for the uterus at any point in life, but can be especially beneficial during late pregnancy and postpartum because it helps strengthen and tone the uterus. My doula recommended 1-3 cups per day. I heard it’s a slight diuretic though so I make sure I drink water at the same time.

Hydration: Water won’t actually help start labor, but it’s super important to be hydrated as you approach/pass your due date for multiple reasons. First, being hydrated helps maintain healthy amniotic fluid levels; a decrease in amniotic fluid could lead to needing to be medically induced. Second, you want to go into labor hydrated so your body can perform at it’s best, and so you don’t need to be hydrated via IV. Third, being dehydrated can make braxton hicks (practice contractions) feel like real contractions; hydrating will help reduce the chances of thinking you’re in labor when it’s really false labor.

Exercises to start labor

Walking: My doula recommended walking twice a day for 30 minutes. This allows gravity to help bring your baby down.

Curb walking: While walking (or simply using a step inside), walk with one foot on the curb and one in the street. This asymmetrical move helps the baby drop into your pelvis. My doula recommended 30 each side, twice a day. I’ve heard you can also simply walk up the stairs sideways- just make sure you use a handrail for balance!

The Miles Circuit: The Miles Circuit is a 90 minute routine that helps the baby get into the birthing position. I wouldn’t call it exercises, since several involve just laying down in certain positions. You can find the moves in this YouTube video.

Yoga/birthing ball exercises: My doula recommended spending 30 minutes on a yoga ball, twice a day. During that time, make small circles in both directions with your hips, big circles in both directions with your hips, trace a figure 8 with your hips, and bounce on the ball. This helps open your pelvis and encourages your baby to drop lower.

Cat-cow: On all fours, arch your back up and down while looking down as you arch, and up as you drop your spine down. Aim to do this 30 times, twice a day.

Professionals that can induce labor:

Chiropractors that know “Webster’s technique”: Webster’s technique aligns the pelvis and can help rotate a breech baby, but our doula also recommended it as a way to initiate labor.

Acupuncture: I don’t like needles so I haven’t considered this option, but that hasn’t kept people from mentioning it as an option.

Acupressure: For this one, you actually don’t necessarily need a professional. Our doula showed my husband a pressure point between my thumb and pointer finger, and another on the back of my calf that he’s been able to massage each night for me. These pressure points can increase blood flow to the uterus and potentially cause contractions. You can learn more about acupressure from WebMD here.

Additional ways to start labor

Sex: From what I’ve read, having sex seems like it might be the most effective way to start labor naturally because semen contains a chemical that softens the cervix. If you feel up to it, give it a try!

Pumping/hand expression/nipple stimulation: Starting to pump/hand express and nipple stimulation can all trigger uterine contractions which can start labor naturally.

Relax: I know it’s hard to relax when your life is about to completely change, but you don’t want to be stressed while waiting to go into labor. If so, your body will likely be in a fight/flight mode and won’t think it’s safe to give birth. To relax, try massage (either from a professional or your husband), meditation (there are lots of free apps and YouTube videos), watch a funny movie, etc.

I know it feels like your baby might not ever come, but I promise he/she will- possibly sooner than you think! In the meantime, use this time to get some last minute chores and preparations done.

I hope these natural ways to induce labor are helpful; give some a try and let me know which worked for you in the comments!

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

Moving your body is always a smart choice, but especially during pregnancy. Beachbody has some great and affordable pre and postnatal fitness programs to physically prepare you for labor and postpartum! Not only does pre and postnatal training positively impact you, your weight gain, and health, there have been lots of studies showing its positive effects on babies born to mothers who worked out during pregnancy! I even heard it can improve the baby’s sleep, and who doesn’t want a baby that’ll sleep better?! 

It’s recommended that adults aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This includes when you are pregnant. Broken down to 5 days per week, that’s 30 minutes a day.

I never realized just how much pregnancy would decrease my cardio and strength levels until I was pregnant. Somehow I’ve managed to continue to lift weights 2-3 times per week. Yet, my favorite workout in the first and second trimesters was walking. If walking is all you can manage, that’s a great pregnancy workout too! If you’re feeling up for something a little more intense, keep reading for my review of Beachbody’s pre and postnatal fitness programs.

This post contains affiliate links to my favorite items, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.

If you don’t have a Beachbody membership yet, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial here.

Please talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby.

Pregnancy-Specific Workouts

Pre and Post Natal Barre Blend with Elise Joan:

This is a full program for all of pregnancy and postpartum. If you’re looking for a barre workout while pregnant, this is for you! Unfortunately I’m not a fan of barre, so instead of following the program as created, I’m mixing these workouts in with other workouts. I’m used to a difficult and different type of burn. However, it’s a great program for building functional strength for pregnancy, labor and postpartum. She even has workouts that are specifically designed to mimic labor!

I wasn’t feeling these workouts in the first trimester. Yet, towards the end of the second trimester I started to really enjoy them. Additionally, normally Elise is a little too positive for me, but by that point in my pregnancy it was nice to hear her celebrating my body and congratulating me for everything I’ve been doing.

Total Body Pregnancy with Idalis Velazquez:

Honestly, the first trimester workout was pretty fast-paced for how I was feeling. Luckily, I was able to pause the video to take the breaks I needed.

Active Maternity with Autumn Calabrese:

This was my favorite prenatal workout in the first trimester because Autumn gives us more breaks than the other programs do. I’ve repeated some of these workouts and I’m still loving them. They give me the perfect burn and a nice workout without wiping me out!

Pre and Postnatal Yoga with Desi Bartlett:

I’ve never been a fan of yoga but I did do one of these when I didn’t want to do an actual workout. It went okay but I’m not flexible, so some moves were uncomfortable; I was able to make some adjustments and still finish.

Yoga Booty Ballet, Baby on the Way:

I haven’t tried this video yet but it’s on my list!

Modified Barre Blend Originals:

These workouts are from the original Barre Blend program but were adapted for pregnancy. I haven’t tried these yet since there are plenty of pre and post natal barre blend workouts. However, it’s nice to have these as another option.

Normal Programs that can be Modified for Pregnancy


This is actually the program I was doing when I found out I was pregnant. I was able to continue it (with extra rest days) and still complete it, which was nice because I always feel accomplished when I finish a program. It’s 25-35 minutes a day.

Fire & Flow:

I’m about to start this program as I head into the third trimester. I think it will be a great fit. It’s only 30 minutes a day, and every other workout is a low impact recovery day with the creator of Pre and Post Natal Barre Blend. I’m even thinking of doing the prenatal-specific barre workouts on these days to prepare for labor.

Let’s Get Up:

If you’re into dancing, this is the program for you! It’s beginner-friendly. I’m planning on doing it in my third trimester when it’s hard to move, I don’t feel like working out, and when I need a pick me up.

Country Heat:

This is another dance program on my list for the end of pregnancy. I’m saving it for when I don’t want to move.

21 Day Fix:

One of Beachbody’s most well-known programs, it has pretty simple moves, is only 30 minutes a day for 21 days, and has a modifier that shows how to decrease the intensity of the workout. Also, knowing Autumn (she likes to talk), you’ll probably get more time to breathe than some other programs. (You might want to skip the “Dirty 30” workouts when your belly starts to get in the way.)

Hammer & Chisel:

This is a heavy lifting program. You can choose whatever weights are best for you and your situation. It has minimal cardio if you’ve been having a hard time catching your breath.


This lifting and HIIT program is nice because it gives you 3 rest days per week! It also includes a modifier you can follow to decrease the intensity of the workouts.

Turbo Fire:

If you want low-impact workouts, this is a good option for you.


This program is only 25 minutes per day and has a modifier you can follow to decrease the intensity.


You don’t ever need to lay on your belly, so this bodyweight program is a good fit for the second and third trimesters.

Still need a Beachbody membership? Start with a free 14-day trial, or jump into a yearly membership for only $120/year.

I know working out during pregnancy can be hard. Nevertheless, there are so many benefits to moving your body, especially during pregnancy! If all you feel up for is a walk, do that! On the days you have more energy, try a program that’ll help get you strong for pregnancy, labor, and beyond!

Best Pre and Postnatal Beachbody Programs