3 Tips to Strengthen This Commonly Neglected Muscle That Weakens Your Chance of Having a Vaginal Birth

Part 1 of 2: The Lesser-Known Birthing Muscle

by Shaela Daugherty, Birth Doula and Physical Fitness Trainer
 

The Psoas (so-as) muscle is one of the most functional and crucial muscles our body has when it comes to movement in everyday life, and especially during pregnancy and postpartum. It is the deepest foundational core muscle to our bodies. The Psoas is attached to and down your vertebrae, then through your pelvis and end at the top of your femur bone. 

With the Psoas, we are able to bend at our hips in flexion, but it also keeps our trunk and spine stable during any other type of movement. Most importantly in relation to birth, the psoas helps to keep our pelvis open and free to move in the way our body needs, it stabilizes. If your psoas is tight or short, it could tilt your pelvis forward, if your psoas is stretched to far or weak, your pelvis could be tilted backwards, causing low back and leg pain. In either situation, it can become a snowball effect in pregnancy, and could possibly lead to a C-section if a doctor does not feel your pelvis is in the right place to get the baby through the birth canal.

 

3 Tips to Strengthen Your Psoas Muscle


1. Try not to sit for extended periods of time. Get up and move every 30 minutes or so, as you walk maybe throw in a couple lunges;
 

2. Perform Pelvic Tilt exercises as seen in the below video:

 

3. Do this Lying Psoas March to strengthen your core and hip flexor: 



The psoas is often an unheard of or overlooked muscle in pregnancy and birth. Using these three tips can help get you on the right track to prevent pain and build a stronger core for your healthy and happy vaginal birth. To make sure you are correctly strengthening the psoas, check out any one of our packages for a personal assessment.