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In the modern day the most common birth position used is on the back, legs open, feet in the air. But, what many women today does not know is that there are many other suitable positions which accompanies labour and birth.
Depending on your built and the baby’s position one way may be more efficient and comfortable than the same old position used today. Yoga can help you prepare for the long expected day and relieve much discomfort, pain and guide the way for the baby’s path to birth.
In today’s post I will explain my “Birth & Labour Prep” video online and explain why each posture and exercise is helpful.
Breathing helps to keep the body relaxed and the mind focused. It is very important to focus the mind and visualize the birth process in order to gain the determination and mind-over-matter attitude to have a successful birth. Pain, like many other obstacles first takes over the mind, reacts in panick and then takes over the body. It is important to keep your mind focused and your connection strong with your baby and you own body. You are the creator of your own destiny.
There are 3 tips for a successful labour and birth:
- Stay Calm (Breathing)
- Stamina (Accomplished through appropriate exercises)
- Flexibility (Yoga Postures)
Breathing during Labour:
Nadi Shuddi Alternating Nostril Breathing can be used to keep stabilize the functions of the body and keep the mind focused.
Cleansing Breathing through deep abdominal breathing, exhaling through the mouth assist in pain relief when the first contractions start.
Shorter breathing, like bastrika breathing can be very helpful when the contractions becomes more intense and nearer to each other. But is is important not to practice this breathing throughout the pregnancy, and only for short periods towards the end, as it creates heat in the body and empowers the uterus and the cervix for delivery.
Cooling breathing like Left Nostril Breathing, Shitkari and Shitali can be performed during contractions to cool down the body.
Ujay breathing (J-Breathing in Hypnobirthing) is the final breathing technique used during the delivery. Inhale deeply then exhale from the throat, making a guttural sounds (lion breathing) and move the energy down the throat, through the abdomen, through the uterus and finally pushing the baby through the vaginal walls. The push and energy pressure stems from above, while the pelvis releases.
Hip Rotations – Gain movement and flexibility in the hip joint, SI joint, lower back and groins, while the circular movement help guide the baby into the right position for birth. A good posture to use for pain management during those enduring labour cramps.
Squats & Goddess Pose – Strengthen the thigs, buttocks and lower back, to support the lower body during birth & builds stamina.
A standing squat or chair pose is an effective alternative position for delivery, if you are supported by your birth partner.
Sitting Squat – Opens pelvic region and allows movement in the joints to assist birth.
This position opens the pelvis and supports the lower back and can be an option for delivery.
Gate Pose movements – This also allows hip openings to assist and birth and can be very useful to manage labour pains through the swaying movements.
Happy-Angry Cat – By breathing in and contracting the abdomen the lower abdominal muscles and vaginal muscles strengthen, think of the Kegel excersies while doing this posture. Followed by an exhale, tilting the pelvis back, creating a space in the pelvic bone and allowing the lower back to move freely to assist and guide the baby’s way to birth.
A very successful posture and option for birthing.
Child’s Pose – Releasing lower back pain and opening the pelvic area. Another great posture to manage labour pains.
Bridge Pose – Strengthens the inner thighs and buttocks & builds stamina.
Hamstring stretch on side- Laying on the side can be an effective birth position, it allows the lower back to extend and guide the baby’s delivery. By performing this stretch it increases flexibility and movements of the appropriate joints. Also an excellent posture for labour pain management allowing an exposed lower back for your birth partner to massage.
Butterfly on block- The block supports the sacrum and stability of the SI joint, while the thighs fall to the sides allowing a release through the inner things, hip flexors and abdomen, relieving muscle tension and allowing flexibility to improve in the pelvic region.
Happy Baby Pose – Pull the knees into the armpits, allowing the hips to open. By rocking from side to side it creates a motion that massages the lower back.
Seated Spirals – The spiral movements of the hips help to guide the baby into the correct birthing position and is very helpful to relieve pain during labour too.