I have been teaching prenatal yoga classes for a number of years now, and over this time have come to admire the almighty squat. Back in the day, we used to teach our mums that 100 pelvic floor lifts a day would help prepare them for the birth of their babies. Much has now been learnt about this topic.
A kegel, or pelvic floor lift, attempts to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle, but it really only seems to pull the sacrum inwards promoting even more weakness and more pelvic floor gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are called the gluteal muscles (glutes). A lack of glutes (no butt) is what makes this group of muscles so much more susceptible to pelvic floor disorder (PFD). Also, no lumbar curvature (curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the pelvic floor is beginning to weaken.
To My Sweet Baby
I trust your wisdom; I have faith that you know better than any of us earthside.
I know the veil is so thin for you that you are connected to the truth.
I will not interfere with that pureness.
I will only have patience trust and faith.
I know the discomfort I am feeling is only physical. I know it will not last. I know that it will vanish the moment you are in my arms.
I will only feel the ecstasy of birthing you and giving you life.
As your baby gets larger and applies more pressure to your spinal cord, the sciatic nerve, which runs all the way down the back of the leg to your foot, can become compressed, and may start giving you a degree of discomfort.
Sciatic pain takes many forms ranging from tingling sensations in your legs, to a sharp, stabbing pain. When severe, it can also cause the leg to go numb when standing or walking.
During pregnancy your expanding uterus stretches and weakens your abdominal muscles and alters your posture, putting strain on your back.
The extra weight from your pregnancy also means extra work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints.
Hormonal changes in pregnancy can loosen the joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine which can make you feel less stable (pregnancy waddle) and cause pain when you walk, stand or sit for long periods. This hormone, called relaxin, allows your baby to pass through the pelvis.
The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit yuj, which means ‘to join’, ‘yoke’ or ‘coming together’. The practice of yoga is a union of the soul, the mind, the emotions and the physical body. So taking a prenatal yoga class is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby when you are pregnant. When yoga is practiced regularly, we develop an understanding of our own nature, our physical bodies become more subtle and strong and balance can be established in all parts of our being.
Taking a regular prenatal yoga class will help alleviate some common pregnancy discomforts including;
This is the first post of Jen’s new Pregnancy and Yoga Blog.
There will be lots to read and see written here over the coming weeks and months, so make sure you check back to stay up to date with all that is happening at Yoga For Two.
The blog will be updated every week and will feature detailed information on pregnancy, yoga, massage and much much more
The altered shape of the pelvis and birth outlet that is caused by our upright stance; our babies need to twist and turn to navigate these unique bends. Even our nearest cousins, the great apes, have a near-straight birth canal.
However, in every other way, human birth is like that of other mammals — those animals that suckle their young — and involves the same hormones: the body’s chemical messengers. These hormones, which originate in the deepest and oldest parts of our brain, cause the physical processes of labour and birth, as well as exerting a powerful influence on our emotions and behaviour.
Researchers such as French surgeon and natural birth pioneer Michel Odent believe that if we can be more respectful of our mammalian roots, and the hormones that we share, we can have more chance of a straightforward birth ourselves.
|1||Make some home cooked meals and drop them off at your friend’s house for her to freeze and have as needed|
|2||Find out if there is a local play group in the neighbourhood, or a mothers group that your friend could join.|
|3||Next time you visit your friend, toss in a load of washing and do some of her ironing.|
|4||Offer to take care of her older children, to give her a break for a couple of hours.|
|5||Rent out some movies for her to watch at home.|
|6||Call your friend next time you’re heading out to the shops to see if you can get anything for her.|
|7||Plan a ‘mummy shower’ after the birth and suggest gifts like a massage or spa.|
|8||Take her basket of yummy food like fruits cheeses and nuts.|
|9||Remind your friend often that she doesn’t need to be the perfect mum. Perhaps invest in a humorous book or two about motherhood.|
|10||Mother the new mother. Run her a bath, remind her to rest, rub her feet, and paint her nails.|