There is a famous quote by Ina May Gaskin: “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.” There’s a couple reasons that 300 squats a day can help facilitate a fast labor: 1) squatting opens the pelvic outlet by up to 20-30%, and 2) trained muscles are able to squat for longer periods of time. So, if you squat multiple times a day, your muscles will be better prepared for the endurance-squatting women often do in birth.
Is squatting beneficial to prepare for birth?
Sure! Research has shown squatting to be great during birth for a few reasons: 1) gravity assists in the baby’s delivery, 2) oxygenation for the baby is better because mom’s aorta is not compressed, and 3) uterine contractions are more efficient and help baby position for birth better. Since labor, and even pushing, can take hours, it’s important to have muscles that can hold out for a long period of time.
But how do you do 300 squats a day? Let me show you….
With this list of how to get in squats each day, I’ve counted some of the ideas several times because how often they are used. For example, if you squat to get your pans out of the cupboard to cook a meal, you could squat three times per day because you’re making three meals per day. So that one idea (getting pans out of the cupboard) counts for three squats.
It will look like this on the list: Getting pans out of the cupboard to cook a meal (3x). Also, some of the ideas count for more than one squat because you may squat several times during it. [Some of these could be counted much more toward the daily goal, and some of these may not apply to you at all (ex: your pans hang above your stove). So I tried to just meet in the middle.]
And shout-out to all my Birth Boot Camp friends, who helped me come up with this list! I started asking for help somewhere around 100 squats, and they pulled through with some awesome (and very creative) ideas.
Okay – let’s get to the list! Incorporate squats during your day while you are:
- Getting your toothbrush from under your bathroom sink (2x)
- Brushing your teeth (2x) –Allison Record, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
- Pulling clothes out of the bottom drawer of a dresser (1x)
- Using the Squatty Potty (3x) –Amanda Devereux, Birth Boot Camp DOULA
- Picking up your shoes (1x)
- Picking up your kid’s shoes (3x)
- Tying your shoes (1x)
- Tying (and untying) your kid’s shoes (4x)
- Changing a diaper on the floor (3-8x)
- Changing kid’s clothes on the floor (1x… more for accidents and more kids!)
- Blow bubbles with your children (15x)
- During commercials while watching TV (20x)
- Alphabetize books on a bottom shelf (15x) –Kristi Keen, Birth Boot Camp Instructor and DOULA
- Practice recorder with your kids (10x)
- Picking up the newspaper off of the front porch (1x)
- Picking something up off of the floor (2x … multiple this x100 if you have small children)
- Kissing your little ones (5x, but hopefully more!) -Emily Vasel, Birth Boot Camp DOULA
- Unload the dishwasher (1x)
- Getting pans out of the cupboard to cook a meal (3x)
- Putting pans away after they’re washed (3x) –Jillian Freeland, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
- Getting food out of the fridge to cook a meal (3x)
- Load the dishwasher (3x)
- Spot-cleaning the floor (2x)
- Picking out books to read with your toddler (1x)
- Checking the pressure on your tires (1x) –Alisa Spear, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
- Getting groceries off the bottom shelf (5x)
- Putting those groceries away onto bottom shelves when you get home (5x)
- Sorting dirty clothes (3x)
- Putting clothes in the dryer (1x)
- Pulling clothes out of the dryer (1x)
- Folding clothes (20x)
- Picking up one of your kiddos (6000x… just kidding… not really… but let’s say 10x)
- Weeding the garden (5x)
- Picking garden produce (5x) –Rachael Bradley, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
- “Have a dance party and drop it likes it hot (or like it’s lukewarm because pregnancy is exhausting)” – Hailie Wolfe, Birth Boot Camp Instructor and DOULA (20x)
- Wiping the baseboards (1x)
- Playing ball with your kids and being the catcher (20x)
- Petting the dog or cat (2x)
- Doing your Birth Boot Camp pregnancy exercises (60x)
- Untying your shoes (1x)
- Giving your kids a bath (5x)
- Clipping your children’s nails (4x)
- Unclogging the shower drain (1x)
- Cleaning the base of the toilet (2x)
- Organizing under the bathroom sink to get chemicals/medicines/razors out of kid’s reach (15x)
- Attaching babyproof locks to all bottom cabinets (20x)
- Coloring with chalk on the driveway with older kids (10x)
- Laying down mulch (30x)
- Cleaning up your dog’s accident in the house (1x) –Cameo Sherman, Birth Boot Camp DOULA
- Giving your dog a bath (5x) –Michelle Davidson, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
- Exfoliate your ankles (2x)
- Clip your toenails (2x)
- Painting your toenails (1x)
- Picking a movie to watch with your hubby (1x)
- Putting the movie away after watching it (1x)
- Looking under the sofa for kid toys (2x)
If you did all of those things, every day, you’d hit 362 squats!
Okay, okay, you got me – you can’t do all these things every day. But what a great starting point, right?! You can do way more squats than you thought. Be sure to ask your hubby for a massage the day after you start using all these awesome squat ideas!
(As with all exercise, talk with your provider before you begin a new exercise program.)
Which way to squat is your favorite? Can you think of other ways to incorporate squats into your day?