14th September 2016
Here at TBJ towers, we are big fans of pregnancy yoga. We have all taken part in classes, but most recently Jules attended Ann Carrol’s Lotus Bud yoga.
Initially…. If I were being totally honest, cards on the table type honest, I wasn’t sure pregnancy yoga was for me, thought I’d struggle to relate to it…… I was very, very wrong.
It’s a fantastic experience, and totally worthwhile….even if you are planning all the drugs on offer during the birth, or your being induced… yoga will still help you during the pregnancy, birth and beyond. I think that there is a common misconception that by choosing yoga, then no pain relief will be offered during labour. Or that medical inventions mean that yoga will no longer be useful, in reality, the 2 can work really well together.
I really looked forward to my yoga classes each week, they became a peaceful opportunity to totally absorb all things positive, thinking solely about my growing baby. Classes would start with the chance to just clear your mind of all the activity from previous days, leading into comfortable stretches. My body went from tight, achy and broken… to supple, bendy and strong.
As busy working women, we don’t often get the opportunity to focus on what baby is doing, yoga allows you the time to think about babies movements, their positions and their gorgeous little faces. Ann always encouraged us to ‘smile’ at our babies, an unusual concept that I came to love and practice. When I smile at Bertie now, and he smiles back… it’s just how I imagined it would be. Perfect.
The fear of childbirth is ever present in society and in our own minds. A miserable grey cloud coming across the sky, creeping up on you when you least expect it. You’ll be happily putting on your mascara in the mirror one morning, when all of a sudden you’ll think ‘my babies head is huge, how am I going to get it out my fanny?!’ and this little bubble of fear and anxiety starts to rise upwards. Midwives get it too you know!
All the ‘helpful’ and often unintentional comments of previous women come to the forefront of your mind. Reminding you how awful it could be, how you’ll never have sex again afterwards and you’ll never cope because you’re too tired. As your resting heart rate starts to rise…… that’s when the yoga thinking comes in. The power of the positive thought can squash those nasty bubbles of fear and anxiety. Reminding you that your body was made to do this, you are strong and your baby knows how to be born. Remembering that your body has done a fairly amazing job so far…….
So how did it help on D-Day, well the amazing ‘Golden thread’ breath helped me to focus – even having the syntocinon drip to start the labour off. I felt in control in a situation that was very much out of my control. I felt him moving, focused on that little smiling face, remembered that he knew how to be born and that I was strong enough to do this.
Breathing techniques learnt at yoga can help with a range of scenarios, those hours in early labour at home, vaginal examinations, stitches, even painful breastfeeding.
The different positions and stretches that we learnt, showing how capable your body is. Making you more confident in labour that you could find a position that would work for you. Practicing them at home amused my husband no end, when I would suddenly leap off the sofa and start stretching during the advert break of location location location – encouraging him to join me!
There is something really empowering about sitting with other pregnant women, comparing bumps, ailments and worries. Sharing funny stories, thinking collectively about labour and motherhood. 2nd and 3rd time mums sharing their experiences and 1st time mums absorbing all that they can. Feeling excited when one mum has her baby and everyone sharing the news.
So whatever birth you are planning, whatever path it may take from being in the pool to being monitored… yoga can help. It can make you feel more positive, empowered and ready for whatever Baby Journey you go on.
There are lots of options for yoga in Cheltenham. We love Ann Carrol at Lotus Bud Yoga (look for her on facebook or tel: 07973 892 404)
And Emma Whitehouse at Mini Moments, you can find them on facebook & website or tel: 07966 160817