Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Labor & Delivery Tips, Part Three

As promised, here is the third and final installment in the Labor & Delivery series. Today I need to elaborate on post #3 from the 5 Absolute Must Have Tools For Birth.

Here is last week's excerpt from Tip #3.

3. Partner Assisted Therapy Techniques. There is a short but very effective list of manual (hands on) techniques to help relieve pain and open the pelvic outlet during labor. I teach coaches to use these while moms are either on a birthing ball or a sidelying position in bed. For the mom: Asymmetrical lunges have long been used to help open the pelvic outlet and facilitate birth. In general, I use 3 specific yoga postures to assist with pelvic opening, which also help with pain relief, which I will share in future blogs.


My complete program for using yoga to ease labor pains and assist with labor & delivery will be shared in my upcoming book, Fit & Fearless Birth. However, here is a sneak peek of important points to prepare you and your birth coach for labor and delivery.

Before we get started, there is one important point to share. There are two tools you can use to your advantage during labor. They are:
  • Visual Imagery
The visual image you want to imagine is that your pelvic outlet is widening to allow baby to pass through and be born. Visual imagery is a powerful tool, and has been proven to change neurophysiological pathways and promote motor learning in absence of physical work. What does this mean? It means that by just imagining you are doing something - your mind and body can respond physically in kind. Read my past blog on how to use visual imagery to get fit and help with birth. It is this same kind of visual imagery that will help you through labor and can help baby be born easier. In short, imagining success can help you have a successful birth.
  • Mantra
I strongly suggest this to all first time mothers. I was well prepared for my first birth - so much so that I was able to labor through 36 hours for a natural birth. However, for my second birth - I decided I could equip myself even better - emotionally, spiritually, and physically - if I had a mantra.

A mantra is not associated with any religion. It is simply a phrase you choose that empowers you. For me, my mantra was also my prayer. It helped me work through every contraction with a fierce determination. If labor took another 2 days this time - I was ready for the challenge. I was ready for the long race.

What was my mantra?
Give me strength, give me endurance, give me courage. I repeated it over and over during my entire labor - sometimes to myself and sometimes out loud - probably hundreds, perhaps even thousands of times.

Other than speaking to my midwife, the attending nurse, and my husband once - the words of my mantra were the only ones I spoke during my entire labor with my second child. Those words were a powerful help to me in my greatest time of need.

Now on to the three main yoga postures I use for laboring moms. In addition, I'll cover a few methods that your birth coach can use for pain relief and for widening the pelvic outlet.

DOWNLOAD a free copy of the Labor & Delivery excerpt from my book,
Fit & Fearless Birth, here.

Download other book excerpts
from my website here.

*Photo was taken during my second pregnancy at week 35.

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