Step 8 of 12 Essentials for Natural Childbirth: Leg Exercises Will Make a Difference

Rhondda Hartman
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Rhondda Hartman

Natural Childbirth Expert, Author, Exercise & How-To Advice and Information - over 14,000 moms taught to have successful unmedicated births with joy.
Rhondda Hartman
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The following exercise and any leg exercises are offered to improve and maintain circulation of the lower extremities. Use them faithfully and you may have no problems with varicose veins. Leg elevation is also a way of increasing the circulation in the lower part of your body.

One easy way to elevate your lower body is by raising the foot of your bed with three or four bricks. You may find that you are more rested in the morning and have lost that “woody” feeling in your legs. See if you like it.

Leg stretches and exercises are critical to your baby. Why? They keep the circulation active to your uterus. This maintains the proper supply of blood to the uterus, which assures perfect nourishment for your growing baby.

Step 8 of 12 Essentials for Natural Childbirth: Leg Exercises

Keep Your Circulation Moving

Foot Circles are easy, fast, and will get your sluggish circulation speeded up.

Foot Circles Exercise

Since varicose veins can be a threat during pregnancy, this is a good exercise to help minimize that possibility. It makes you feel better and more energetic, too.

It can replace walking as an exercise at least some of the time. The good effects of walking when pregnant are somewhat cancelled by the pressure created in the pelvis. So we offer foot circles as an alternative!


    1. Sit on the floor, leaning back against a pillow or your sofa with your right knee bent.
    2. Rest your left ankle on your right knee.
    3. Do a series of nine circles to the outside of your foot (clockwise).
    4. When you’ve finished at least nine circles, your toes are pointing up, then relax your foot and shake out your whole leg, so that any muscle crampiness is released.
    5. Do the same thing with the right ankle resting on the left knee, making counterclockwise circles.
    6. Now enjoy the good feeling in your legs and feet.
    7. Repeat as much as is comfortable.

Think of tracing the face of a clock with your big toe. Start with your big toe pointing straight up to an imaginary twelve o’clock. Then your toes point to three o’clock, six o’clock, nine o’clock, and then twelve o’clock again. Do three quarter circles, three half circles, three whole circles, all clockwise. Now, do the opposite with the left foot — go counterclockwise.
Here’s an added benefit: This will help strengthen the arch in your foot so that you need not be flat-footed with pregnancy.

You can give yourself a muscle cramp in the calf of your leg by pointing your big toe. Avoid doing that! Point your heel to relieve the cramp!


Anywhere that you can relax and get into position, you can do foot circles.


Do this anytime your legs feel tired. It is especially indicated if you’ve not rested sufficiently during the day.

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