Women's bodies are built to nourish, protect and birth a baby. I sometimes think about the hundreds of births I've witnessed and think, what if? What if that woman had more confidence in her bodies capabilities? What if she went into her pregnancy and labour understanding what to expect, and preparing her body for the marathon that can be childbirth? What if she strengthened her pelvic floor and found more flexibility in her hips? What if she sat in squat positions for the same time as an average contraction over and over while swaying and dancing to music? What if she did all this surrounded by other women with the same dilemmas and fears? How would it change her birth experience?
Then I think well, if she did that, it may give her the ability and knowledge to understand the difference between early and active labour. She would understand how to comfort herself and seek comfort from support people in these different phases. It may give her the physical and mental power to know positions that her body finds comforting while in labour. It may give her the emotional intelligence to understand that instead of looking at the pain in a contraction and anticipating it, she can distract herself and look forward to the break her body gives her between each uterine surge.
Instead of her legs shaking in a squat position, unable to find more flexibility she can easily open her hip flexors and squat for 1 minute intervals or more! She can push her baby out in less time because she has strengthened her pelvic floor and opened her hips. She understands how and when to push because she is listening to her body. She knows when her body has had enough, and she will doubt herself less because she understands her body and its true and beautiful capabilities. So how can we provide women with these experiences?
Yes that's right! She can take a prenatal yoga class that educates her on her body in pregnancy, labour and beyond! A class where women can come together as a community to support each other and open up about their experiences. A safe environment for women to learn about their bodies in pregnancy and what to expect in labour and beyond. The SOGC has 6 recommendations outlining that women without contraindications should exercise in pregnancy (SOGC, 2003). There is no way around it, labouring and then pushing your baby is like running a marathon. Stork Pose can prepare you for it.
There are moments you may doubt yourself, moments where you think “I am an amazing and strong woman...I can totally do this,” and moments where you are so focused inward that everything else around you may feel like a blur. Then you reach that finish line and you look into the eyes of your beautiful newborn baby resting on your skin. It is all worth it.
So now the question is, why not? Why not prepare your body and mind for this amazing journey?! Stork Pose can help with our exciting new 8 week prenatal Program beginning this April. For more information click here.