Birth Doula - Medway, Kent & south east London

Guest post - Pregnancy Yoga with Hayley

Pregnancy yoga?

“You must’ve done loads of pregnancy yoga right?” A question I got asked all the time when I was pregnant. (Oh yeah disclaimer, I’m a yoga teacher). Well, uh, no. Not really. Not that I’m knocking it. Pregnancy yoga is a marvellous way to connect to and prepare your body for birth. But I didn’t do it.

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 “Hypnobirthing, you must’ve done hypnobirthing! You love all that stuff”  Errrr nope, no hypnobirthing (HB) either. Although I’m well aware and have seen the positive outcomes and the empowerment in birth HB brings.

I was starting to feel like a bit of a fraud...  Now, I didn’t just sit on my ever expanding ass for 9 months eating snickers bars (although there was a fair bit of snickers eating).

 I was very physical throughout my pregnancy due to my job, I worked a lot, teaching my last classes just over four weeks before the birth. I moved around a lot, I travelled for my work a lot. To be honest, I was knackered. As a self employed soon to be mama, I had to fill my coffers so to speak.  So I felt like I literally had nothing left for  any other birth classes when I got home.

I did take the free ante natal class at the children’s centre though and I read a lot of books (maybe too many) and I dragged my tired bones to our local Positive Birth Group once a month.

 Now I did prep for birth, it wasn’t a it’s gonna be alright on the night kind of situation. I work with a body psychotherapist once a week (and have done for two years) and I spent a lot of time with her making sense of the sensations and rising emotions in my ever changing body, I laid my hands on myself and held parts of myself that needed holding. I breathed. I watched. I listened. I felt. I felt it all.

 I tried to tune in and practice some kind of embodiment daily. I still do. The effects that come with connecting with our physical experience daily is deeply soothing to our nervous system. To be embodied, to stand fully in your experience is also really freakin’ powerful. Soothed. Powerful. Ready? Saying that, I did completely panic when my waters broke. Hello adrenaline. But I managed to bring myself back in. Riding each surge and sensation with  breath and touch.

 We as human beings will always want to run from pain, but with each of those surges I felt myself move deeper in to my body where it felt like even the room I was in dissolved.

With regards to the physical prep for birth, I didn’t really anything too special. I saw my cranial osteopath fairly regularly keeping on top of a  niggly pelvis and rib cage. I sat on the floor - a lot. Every evening, in those last few weeks I tried to not sit in chairs or slump on the couch, I crawled around on all fours. I bounced on the birth ball and a did a lot of leaning on it, and I walked. Oh the walking I did! Trying to get my baby in to the optimum position.I also tried to stay hydrated and not obsess too much on my due date (I gave birth at 42 weeks FYI).

I guess with all this rambling I’m trying to say If you find something that allows you to connect with your body, pregnant or not and it allows a dialogue with it, be it yoga, hypnobirthing, gardening, walking, swimming; nurture it. It doesn’t have to be prescriptive. Find what FEELS best for you and get informed about birth, rights and options. Ready?

 Hayley Yoga