As an Osteopath who treats a lot of pregnant ladies (both pre and post natal) and treats babies too, I am especially interested in the preparation for birth both physically and emotionally, as from my experience it reflects in the health of both the Mum and the Baby.
I often treat women before they give birth to check the mechanics of the pelvis, lower back and pelvic floor, helping to prepare their bodies for the various changes and adaptions required during delivery of their Baby. Babies know what they need to do in order to be born and so the more the Mum’s body can respond to accommodate that the better for both Mum and Baby. Part of that process is also helping Mum’s to become more in tune with their body, listening to the signals that tell them they are tired and need to rest, change position to relieve tension on a particular part or move around a bit more to improve the mobility of the joints, allowing the pelvis to relax and open up. This starts during pregnancy but becomes invaluable during the labour.
A confident and relaxed Mum during labour, not only helps her emotionally (even if things don’t go to plan) but also helps the baby to stay calm and relaxed too.
If we are to believe what we read in the press it is alleged that The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, used yoga before the pregnancy to help her to relax and is thought to have used hypnobirthing too. Whether she did or didn’t is something we will never know for sure but if nothing else it opens up a conversation about changing our mind set towards birth being a terrible experience women just have to get through in order to have their baby, but is this really the case…..?
I was thrilled, this weekend, to be asked to talk to another hypnobirth group, by the midwives, Emily and Jane, who run Cheshire Hypnobirth and Cheshire Birth Support. It is always a pleasure to share ideas with a like minded group of people and Emily and Jane are always so reassuring and confident that birth can be a positive, empowering and even enjoyable experience, even if it doesn’t go to plan. Some people may think hypnobirthing is all about saying no to pain relief or interventions but that isn’t necessarily the case. In this group at least, it’s more about taking the fear out of birth, relaxing and feeling in control of the process. A woman can then make her own choices about birth based on the facts and not a knee jerk reaction to fear – hopefully this naturally leads to a more relaxed birth with less need for pain relief and interventions.
I spoke to the group about how their posture changes during pregnancy, how mechanical dysfunctions in the pelvis and spine may affect the Baby’s position, encouraging optimal foetal positioning, Pelvic Girdle Pain also known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (PGP/SPD respectively), including helpful tips and advice, the birth process from the point of view of the Baby and how cranial osteopathy can help both Mum and Baby.
Birth is an intricate interaction between Mum and Baby, working together towards the same goal – getting to meet one another. In my experience, preparing the mind and body helps to facilitate this process and helps Mum and Baby to cope better with whatever happens during the labour.
Hypnobirthing and Osteopathy in Pregnancy