Moving for an Easier Birth
Techniques to help manage discomfort during pregnancy and to ease your baby into the optimum position for birth before and during labour
Today, interventions in labour have reached an all time high. To give an idea of the scale of the problem - the World Health Organisation suggest cesarean births should be no more than 14 or 15%, yet, in the UK, we are commonly witnessing rates of more than 30%. Other interventions such as oxytocic augmentation (hormone drip)’, increased use of pain relief such as epidurals, and instrumental births occur far more frequently.
In 20 years of midwifery practice I have learned and used a number of techniques that help women have a quicker, more comfortable and more effective labour, reducing the risk of intervention. I can’t guarantee these will work in every case, but in my work I often see startling results.
This class will give you enough information to use many of these “tricks of the trade” you can use by yourself or with the help of your partner.
How does it work?
Malposition, any position that causes labour to be more painful and prolonged, for example “back to back”, is one of the most common reasons for labour “failing to progress”. This type of malposition will often eventually resolve during labour. It is not dangerous to mother or baby in itself, but can make the birthing process far more arduous and exhausting.
Malpositions can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle, or the mother's pelvic floor having some twist or tightness, forcing the baby, to contort themselves into a position that works for that situation but makes labour and birth more difficult.
The techniques I teach use biomechanics - the way our musculoskeletal system works - to ease baby into positions that help labour progress effectively. Many of the movements are quite simple and all are non-invasive and gentle. I will also discuss how to inform your midwife about what you have learnt so she can support your preferences during labour.
Moving during labour is one of the most effective methods of helping your baby make the journey through the birth canal and can help the birth to feel easier and more enjoyable. Moving can also relieve discomfort and helps you feel more in control. There is a reduced incidence of long labour with less backache and less complications when your baby is aligned well.
The course shows you how you can increase the likelihood of a more comfortable and straightforward birth by learning:
- How your body is built and develop an understanding of the importance of muscle and pelvic balance
- How to encourage your baby into a more comfortable position through particular postures and exercises.
- Integrate easy, logical and effective exercises in your daily life
- What habits to avoid that increase the chances of a malposition
- How to recognise signs that your baby is in a malposition
- What to do when labour is slow and prolonged
- Using a Rebozo (a shawl or scarf) for comfort and to help release muscle tension in labour
- The importance of the correct size birth ball and how to use it effectively.