A consistent stretching routine is essential for pregnant women and offers a myriad of benefits for you and your little one. Stretching increases flexibility, keeps your muscles loose and relaxed, and can ease those pesky pregnancy aches and pains. Plus, it'll help you maintain mobility throughout every trimester and prepare you for the rigors of delivery. This is our list of the best stretching tools for expecting women.
Breathe, stretch, let it go
Yoga is a wonderful practice throughout your pregnancy, and the Manduka PRO is the best mat out there. Its high-density cushion and 6mm thickness offers superior joint protection and unmatched support. It has a closed-cell surface that prevents sweat from seeping into the mat and is non-toxic, comes from emissions-free manufacturing, and is 100% latex-free.
The birth ball was designed specifically for pregnancy and labor with mothers in mind. It's made from the highest quality, eco-friendly material and includes an 18-page guide with trimester-specific exercises for before, during, and after labor, as well as postpartum and baby soothing. It also includes a pair of non-slip socks to keep your feet warm and a pump to inflate it.
This strap is great for expecting Mamas because you probably don't have the mobility that you used to with that growing baby belly of yours. It provides you with 10 individual loops for versatility and adjusted stretching throughout your pregnancy. This woven nylon strap is 6-feet-by-4-inches and poses a multitude of benefits for the overall health of you and your baby, such as greater flexibility, improved range of motion, and enhanced muscle recovery.
Sweet dreams & assisted stretching
Sometimes the best stretch for pregnant women comes from a pillow. This c-shaped body pillow design replaces the need for multiple bed pillows and helps support your back, hips, knees, neck, and head. This pillow can be reconfigured into several different shapes to allow for incredible restorative stretching and release, including a coil. So, you can insert your bump into the hole and lay face down (probably for the first time in months), giving your entire back the most delicious stretch and release.
Roll it out Mama
This yoga wheel features a hybrid TPE foam that is comfortable and sweat resistant with 10mm of extra thick padding for comfort and grip. It can support up to 330 pounds and is a great fitness and stretching tool to assist you with spinal stretches, improving core strength, opening your shoulders and chest, and improving your flexibility and balance. It is 12-inches in diameter and 5-inches wide and comes with an ebook for instruction and guided stretching.
A cushy lift
Kiss your aching feet goodbye by keeping both legs elevated with this leg rest pillow. This memory foam, layer support, pillow can improve circulation, relieve back, hip, and knee pain, and help reduce the discomfort of those swollen pregnancy feet. This pillow is made of high-density memory foam and comes with a breathable, machine washable cover.
Treat yo tootsies
These Yoga toe foot fixers are wonderful for pregnant feet and can soothe a variety of ailments from plantar fasciitis to hammertoes to chronic foot pain. Endurance, balance, and mobility all depend on well-functioning toes, and these GEMS soothe aching feet and strengthen neglected, weak toes; stretching, and fixing foot problems naturally.
This yoga bolster is a wonderful prop for assisted stretching and support throughout your pregnancy. It is made of 100% cotton, comes with a zippered case, and is machine washable. There are handles on each end making moving it and adjusting it easy, and it's a large size: 28-inches long with a10-inch diameter and weighs 6 pounds.
These Manduka cork blocks are made of sustainable cork and possess a firmness that allows you to feel secure in the support they generously provide. They have a resilient solid structure and an easy-to-grip textured surface with comfortable contoured edges. They measure 9-by-6-inches and weigh 2.5 pounds and are perfect for solo stretching or your Yoga practice through every trimester.
Tumaz yoga strap is a simple non-elastic band that provides extra stability and flexibility while you stretch. It's made of extra-thick special knit and can support 2000 pounds. This strap comes in many colors and different sizes: 6-foot, 8-foot, and 10-foot to suit your body and your practice, and the manufacturers offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
Roll & release
This high-density foam roller has molded edges and is ideal for stretching, balance, strengthening, flexibility, and rehab exercises. It's made from molded polypropylene to maintain firmness and is lightweight and easy to clean and transport. It measures 12-by-6-by-6 and is perfect for all body types through every trimester of pregnancy.
Sweet, stretching, release
Our favorite is the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat (opens in new tab) because it provides a high-density, closed-cell, well-cushioned surface to practice all your yoga stretching on. You can also use it in conjunction with some of the other yoga props on this list like the Manduka Cork Yoga Block (opens in new tab) and the YogaAccessories Supportive Round Yoga Bolster (opens in new tab) for even more support and assistance while you stretch.
Whether you're in the first trimester or the third, keep stretching, mama! It will keep you open, healthy, and happy while you prepare for birth and the arrival of your baby.
Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette has become an expert in the industry. As a writer, quadruple-certified master fitness instructor, DJ/MC, and mom; she’s had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the world throughout her career. A dedicated creative, Nicolette enjoys writing about all things: health, fitness, audio, and home. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.
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