Using yoga in labour

Yoga can be hugely beneficial to use during your labour to help make it more

comfortable, control your breathing and also to focus your mind.

Postures for labour and birth:

The cat pose – kneel on all fours and arch your back.  This helps to push baby down.

Child pose – a relaxing resting pose to

use in-between contractions.

Dog tail wagging – kneel on all fours and move your hips as if a dog wagging its tail.

A very soothing position.

Hip Circles – as if exercising with a hoola hoop, move your belly in wide circles.

Extremely comforting during childbirth.

Polar bear posture – sometimes your baby’s position may not be right for birth.  In

such cases kneel down in the polar bear position with your upper body bent lower

than your hips, this allows the baby a chance to come into the right birthing position.

Squat – this is the most traditional position in which women gave birth.  It naturally

opens up the vaginal opening so that the baby can be born easily.  Practice squatting

beforehand so that you can try this yoga postion during labour.

Breathing – Yogic breathing can be used to sustain and focus, draw attention within, lower blood pressure and maintain calm.

Breathe out into a contraction and focus on the exhale and then continue breathing

as feels comfortable; find a rhythm.   If in doubt breathe out!  The out breath is the

antidote to pain.  If massive contractions and you can’t help but hold your breath, use

sound to help you exhale.

Focus your mind

Focus on your breathing or meditate on a word or sound to help become and stay

relaxed.  Use visualisation to imagine a relaxed place such as lying on warm sand or

floating in water.

Remember yoga is about the individual, not about attaining perfect postures.  All

labours and deliveries are different and unpredictable.  Any movement that brings in

focus and relaxation can be used.

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