Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Common Questions Asked About Yoga and Pregnancy

I keep tabs of what types of questions/statements are asked, in order to find this particular website. In looking at the keywords, I'm thinking, these would be good to answer (to the best of my ability...being a 4 time natural child birthed mom, and prenatal yoga instructor, and Bradley Childbirth participant) these questions. So here we go...

Yoga Postures for Labor. Many, Many postures!
  • Modified Child's Pose - Using either the birth ball to rest your head/arms upon, or the seat of a chair. What is cool about the birth ball, is that you can rock back and forth, using a rhythm, which can help you get into a zone of good slow breathing, maybe humming at the same time, and allowing your uterus relax and do the work of the labor process. This same posture can be done somewhat in the birthing pool/tub, but you have to have the ability to rest your head/arms on a ledge, where your tummy won't be hitting up against something.
  • Cat/Cow - Gentle flexing of the spine, done with a rhythm, inhaling and exhaling from one part of the posture to the next.
  • Seated circles on the birth ball....great for opening up the pelvis, making the second stage of labor quicker!
  • Meditative Walking - During the first stages of labor, walking with a rhythm, pausing during a labor surge (contraction), and concentrating on the long slow inhale and exhale. Focusing the mind on the steps, on the breath, possibly humming under the breath. It is thought that if one can use all of these things at the same time, the neuro pathways are so busy, that when a contraction occurs, there are so many things happening with the body, that the intensity of the contraction is perceived to be a lot less, thus allow you to proceed through your labor with little or no pain medications....you feel and believe that the contractions are manageable.
  • Active relaxation - using progressive relaxation techniques - whether it is yoga based, or based off of the Bradley Childbirth Method (which in my opinion are the same technique), allowing your body to relax and do the work to progress the baby out of the birth canal, while refocusing all of your attention to your breath work (none of the Lamaze breathing, that you often think of, when you see births on TV (Ha Ha, He He)). To repeat, maybe circular movements with your birth coach either on the small of the back, or the tummy, maybe you circling your finger and thumb, humming, softly singing, again, getting a lot of things going on to distract you from the labor surges.
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