In her wonderful book Gentle Birth Choices, Barbara Harper talks about the profound benefits of regularly practicing deep guided relaxation during pregnancy. Harper states that during labour, women experience an altered state of consciousness.
Knowing this gives us the superb opportunity to work with the body’s innate desire to rest during labour. When a birthing woman consciously breaths and rests in labour, she is better able to release the intensity that builds in her body with each contraction. In the time of rest she able to restore her stamina and build her resilience to continue with her birth journey.
In labour, birthing women are highly suggestible to words and visualisations that support their desire for a safe birthing experience. In this suggestible state, birthing women crave hearing simple phrases that they associate with bringing calm and relief. If birthing women have heard these words during pregnancy, while in a state of deep relaxation they will be even more powerful in helping to overcome resistance. The use of familiar, positive, nurturing language and imagery in labour supports birthing women by allowing them to trust in their ability to surrender to the power that moves through them.
This is where time spent working with subtle breathing practices like the Silky Soft Sighing Breaths and Deep Pelvic Release truly come into their own. Each time you consciously connect with these techniques, you deepen your association with the physical and emotional benefits of the practices. It’s in the moments between each practice, that you have the opportunity to reflect on which are the key phrases you like the most. Which phrases most readily help you create state of internal calm and clarity. Take these phrases home with you, share them with your partner and your birth support team. Let them know how they make you feel, write these phrases down if you need to! There may be times in labour, where you will need to be gently reminded after each contraction and that’s perfectly fine : )
These techniques are so delightfully simple, that it’s easy to underestimate the potency they have in helping you embrace your birthing potential. While we would never offer any guarantees, the one that is absolute, working with your breath consciously through pregnancy and birth will nourish and support you and your child. Regardless of the way your child needs to find his or her way into the world, these techniques will help you both move through the experience with grace and with dignity.
If you’d like to share these practices with your partner, there are a couple of places available in the next Active Birth :: Prenatal Yoga for Partners Workshop
1:00 – 5:00pm Saturday 10 December at Kundalini House
Contact Nina for your bookings & enquiries
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