Waiting for baby to arrive can be hard, waiting for baby to arrive after we've passed our due date can be even harder. I always like to tell students to think about it as a "due month" rather than a "due date." Anywhere from three weeks before to two weeks after your due date baby can arrive. This can take some of the pressure off that magical due date (on which only about 1% of babies are actually born!). With that in mind, once we pass our due date our care providers may start to encourage us to do things to get labor going. There's tons of tips and tricks out there but here are 3 quick things you can do that can help baby drop into position if that's what is keeping labor from starting.
A friend of mine recently had a blessingway ceremony as part of her baby shower. For those unfamiliar with blessingways, they can be a beautiful way to offer guidance, support and community to mamas as they prepare for their birth. They can be as simple as a circle of friends sharing stories and wisdom or can be much more elaborate in offering ceremonies to nourish and honor the mama-to-be. Something I've seen many times is the creating of a bracelet for the mama-to-be with beads offered by each participant and a blessing to go along with it. The beads can then be made into a bracelet or necklace that the mama will wear during the birth to remind them of the community supporting them.
I like to play music in my studio taught Prenatal Yoga classes and often after class a mama will come up and ask about the music I was playing. Many folks are seeking a playlist that feels authentic to them for their labor, and there are times where yoga music can feel particularly appropriate.
Some of the music I've included below is very soothing and calming, other music has a beat and is more uptempo. I've included favorite songs and a few of my favorite albums. The nice thing about yoga music is that, in general, there are few lyrics which can be helpful for many people during labor. A lot of folks report finding lyrics to be distracting. As you're putting together your labor playlist I encourage you to check some of these songs and albums out, and please comment with your favorites to share with other mamas.
The pelvic floor is an extremely important network of muscles at the base of the spine that creates a hammock of support for the internal organs in the torso. As women we may have heard of the importance of pelvic floor tone for better sex (many of us have heard of kegels), but pelvic floor muscles are infinitely more important than that. They are helping hold all of our insides in. As the pelvic floor muscles lose their strength and tone we can start to experience issues like incontinence or worse.
In recent years, is has become increasingly clear that yoga has huge health benefits not only dot he physical body, but also in helping relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga has also become an important form of pregnancy exercise and yoga during pregnancy is something that can have many positive impacts not only for the pregnant mama, but also during the laboring process and subsequent childbirth. There are very few pregnancy workouts that will offer some of the benefits that yoga can have as you prepare for childbirth. Here are some ways that yoga will support you during labor and childbirth:
Cesarean sections are on the rise. In the United States it is estimated that around 33% of births end in a C-section. The World Health Organization estimates that on average 10% of births should end in a cesarean section. Why is it that the US is 23% higher than the suggested rate?
Don't get me wrong, Cesarean sections are life-saving medical procedures that can be invaluable in cases where the mother or the baby is in extreme distress. As someone who had an emergency c-section I can attest to the fact that there are certainly times when a c-section is both valuable and life-saving. However, given the impacts a Cesarean birth has on the mother and on the baby one would wonder why the rate is so high above WHO standards. I believe one of the reasons for this high rate is general misinformation or a lack of education around birthing options and practices that are available.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.