Thank you to Body Geography for originally posting this list!
(and to Jillian Nicol at www.livealigned.ca for the fabulous picture!)
You’ve probably heard the saying “giving birth is like running a marathon” and you’ve probably been scared out of your wits, right?
Well, the point is birth is athletic, rigorous, and requires preparation (or “training”) of the specific muscles and areas you’ll need for the big event.
Most important of all – you need to prepare your pelvis!
According to Miya Sati Tischler of Body Geography:
“…the joints of the pelvis are naturally capable of a great deal of movement. Their apparent lack of mobility in the western world is based MUCH more on our movement habits than genetics.”
Hear that ladies? If you’re worried at all about how this baby is going to make it out of your body, trust your body! It was made to do this! Your pelvis was made to stretch and move and let baby out. The only thing holding you back (aside from a medical condition that disallows a natural birth) is how much you move!
Below are Tischler’s 5 recommended movement habits for a better birth:
- Get off your tailbone
See that picture above? Even when you’re sitting, not squatting, you want the pelvis tilted forward to shift your weight off of your sacrum and onto your “sits” bones. This is especially helpful to get baby’s head into the best position for birth as you near the end of pregnancy.
- Squat to strengthen your lumbar curve
Squat exactly like in the picture above. It may take some practice, as well as some mobilizing of the ankle joints and lengthening of the calf muscles, so be prepared to work your way towards that squat. The best way to start would be to read up on squatting so you can take it slow. Don’t hurt yourself in the process!
- Move differently every day
Instead of sitting on the couch, sit on your floor. You’ll be more inclined to stretch when you’re on the floor. Stretch long like a cat first thing in the morning to really feel into your body. And dance! Play music with a beat, something sensual, and get those hips movin’ and that booty shakin’! Make these daily habits and you’re one step closer to a (hopefully!) easier birth.
Breathe deeply and slowly. Get a gentle massage. Start, or strengthen, a meditation practice. Relaxation is huge because in birth you not only want strong pelvic floor muscles but you want to be able to relax them deeply as well. From experience I can tell you relaxation is a POWERFUL tool during birth!
- Walk…a lot
Unless your doctor tells you to stay home, put your feet up, and rest, get to walkin’! According to Tischler, “Walking may be the most important movement that you do. It strengthens our core musculature, our glutes, and our legs, supports circulation, moves the lymphatic system, and creates healthy cellular loads.”
There you have it – super simple moves to get you birth-ready. Time for a walk!