Global yoga specialist, childbirth educator, and director of prenatal yoga specialist Jiivana UK Ltd, Zoe Mongey, lists her top five tips for labour.
Top Tip One: Carry out the early stage labour position: All Fours
This pose can be done on the floor or the bed.
It helps to encourage the baby into the anterior position so its spine swings to the front of your belly. It also relieves the pressure in the pelvis as gravity takes the weight away from the pelvis and to the belly.
Doing this pose, particularly in the last trimester, is an excellent way to encourage anterior lying babies.
Top Tip Two: Learn to use pelvic rotations to dissipate contraction discomfort
Kneel on floor or up onto the bed and use slow circling motions of the hips to help to dissipate the discomfort.
In this pose gravity also helps to push the baby down into the dilating cervix.
Use this position during contractions in the second stage to help descend the baby further down the birth canal in preparation for the next push.
Top Tip Three: Relax using the child’s pose
Take the knees wider than the belly, big toes touching and sit back onto the heels. You can place your arms up on the bed, on your partner, stacked pillows or a ball.
In this position gravity also helps to push the baby down into the dilating cervix.
Top Tip Four – For the later stages of labour use the deep Squat position
Lean back onto your partner who is sitting on a chair or the ball and squat down with the knees wide.
You can also do this position up on the bed with the back of the bed raised to 90 degrees supporting the back, the knees bent and the feet flat on the bed.
This helps to widen the pelvic diameter bringing the baby’s head down into the dilating cervix.
Top Tip Five: Visualise your end goal by focusing on something special
It can be anything that you feel is beautiful. You can look at it every now and then during your labour and this will help you focus on why you are there.
For more top prenatal and labour tips check out ‘Bliss from Within’. Jiivana’s complete package DVD helps to guide pregnant women through a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Zoe Mongey, director of Jiivana UK, said, “Whether you are birthing at home or in hospital yoga can help you cope better and enjoy the journey of pregnancy and the experience of labour.
“By physically preparing your body with yoga you will improve your comfort during pregnancy and reduce your risk of complications during labour. By practicing breathing techniques and visualisations you will calm and centre yourself and bond with your unborn baby during pregnancy and provide yourself with a tool to cope better during labour.
“Understanding and learning these poses will empower pregnant women with knowledge and understanding of active birth positions.
Jiivana has two renowned yoga DVDs — ‘Bliss from Within’ for mums-to-be, and ‘Baby Bliss’ for new mothers.
‘Bliss from Within’ has been endorsed as the most comprehensive prenatal Yoga DVD on the market by The National Association of Childbirth Educators as it features two 45-minute yoga programmes, alongside advice on positions and massage for labour, pelvic floor techniques, partner assisted yoga, breathing techniques, home prop for yoga and baby bonding visualisations.
The ‘positions for labour’ segment coaches Mums to be through a number of breathing techniques and positions that can help them during labour and provides massage and support techniques for their birthing partner.
‘Bliss from within’ is also used in hospital active birth classes around the world.
For more information on Jiivana please visit www.jiivana.co.uk.