In the past 30 years the number of births by c-section has skyrocketed. One reason for this, posits Pete Egoscue, the founder of the Egoscue Method, the world leader of nonmedical pain relief, is the skeletal misalignment that results from our modern, sedentary lifestyle.

Through the course of pregnancy, Egoscue explains, the unborn child develops with the head up and it eventually must turn upside-down into position in the birth canal. This requires the pelvis to flare, tip itself forward, and open up to create enough space in the birth canal for natural childbirth. With optimal anatomical alignment this is an easy process, but when the pelvis is not in a neutral position—and for anyone who spends the majority of their day sitting, it probably is not—the body can’t find the muscles to rotate the pelvis into birthing position, leading to a need for c-section or problems with childbirth.

This exercise program is designed to help the body return itself to a neutral position early in pregnancy, so it can prepare for the process of having a baby. For best results, set aside 20 minutes every day to do this program. The targeted exercises will gently and effectively build strength in the subtle supporting musculature essential for good posture and natural childbirth.

Related: Taking the First Steps Toward Pain-Free Living