…and what does the 12 week pregnancy exercise; birth preparation involve?
The majority of what we see as common pregnancy ailments; back ache, swollen legs, feet getting bigger, pelvic pain, rib pain…. are not really caused by pregnancy. Instead, they are symptoms of a weakened and misaligned body having to cope with the extra weight of pregnancy.
Not only do they impact you in pregnancy being anything from a tiresome regular niggle to being completely debilitating; but they can impact on your birth too. Back ache or pelvic pain, for example, can point to a tucked pelvis or ribs jutting forwards, which in turn can cause your baby an issue in descending into or coming out of your pelvis, or can mean your baby cannot get into the best position to create a firm pressure on your cervix resulting in dilation being slower than it should be.
And even further down the road, a tucked pelvis can cause extra intra abdominal pressure which can mean you are more susceptible to diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse and sneeze pee postpartum.
To rectify this is not as simple as untucking your pelvis. Your body moulds into the position it is regularly in and as our lifestyle has been created to have everything at waist height and for us to be in a sitting position, our muscles and joints will find these positons easier to be in. But how does this impact on our bodies as a whole? A sitting position will keep your knees and hips in a flexed position, shorten your psoas and calf muscles. In turn these muscles will pull the pelvis forward so you end up sitting on your sacrum which becomes fixed and inflexible (the ability for your sacrum to be able to move and open is so very important during birth).
So to help your pelvis to untuck you will also need to lengthen your calves, release any tension in your psoas and strengthen your gluteal and hamstring muscles. The exercises that achieve these will need to be done in a mindful way that ensures your body is aligned whilst doing them and you are not overstretching yourself.
And this is where my 12 week pregnancy exercise; birth preparation programme comes in. Each week the exercises are chosen specifically to help you identify which muscles are tense, tight or weak and will gently but effectively help you to work on stretching, releasing and strengthening. I will also show you how to make simple changes at home so you can achieve the benefits of say a calf stretch or psoas release outside of your exercise practice.
You can also reap the benefits of these exercises, postural and lifestyle changes postpartum and for the rest of your life, so you can grow old gracefully or disgracefully but still strong and active.
Have a look here for some other blogs of mine about alignment and pregnancy