When you’re pregnant there is so much to do! Regular doctor’s appointments, more careful attention to nutrition, dealing with rapid changes in your body, preparing the nursery, and generally planning for baby’s arrival.
In all of the “dealing with now” and “preparing for the after”, it can be easy to forget about preparing for the actual birth of your baby. Preparing for labor and delivery goes beyond choosing a medical provider and birth location. The physical and emotional energy required for birth is often equated to that required to complete a marathon. And you certainly wouldn’t attempt to run a marathon without some serious preparation, practice, and support from friends and family. Right?!?!?
Over the past couple of years I have noticed that one of the most reliable methods of preparing for the physical and emotional requirements of giving birth is…PRENATAL YOGA!
Women know that the intentional use of breath during labor can help them relax and deal with the intensity of the contractions. But lacking solid experience using the breath for this purpose can make it difficult to access this simple and powerful tool.
It’s best to learn your coping techniques before labor begins so that it’s already second-nature.
I have noticed that New Day Doula clients who take prenatal yoga learn to be more calm and relaxed, and when I remind them to use their breath during labor they know exactly how to access that tool. In addition, they learn simple things about themselves that they can use to better cope during birth. One client learned that she liked lavender oil massages when the prenatal yoga teacher gave foot massages during class, and then asked us (her doulas) to bring lavender oil to her birth.
Prenatal yoga helps New Day Doula clients to bond with their babies while still in the womb, to use their breath to relax, to find a centered calm place inside themselves. Yoga also helps these women practice moving in ways that may help make for a more comfortable pregnancy and an easier, more empowered birth.
Would you like to give it a try?
Locally, prenatal yoga classes can be found in Canton at The Yoga Loft and in Potsdam at Trillium Center for Yoga and Health.
New Day Doula
Rainbow and Mary share thoughts on pregnancy, birth, and the parenting journey.