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Keep Moving During Pregnancy for an easier Birth

Our Yoga Teacher Erin was recently interviewed about the benefits of Movement during Pregnancy, Birth and Post natally, you can watch it here

Keeping active during pregnancy benefits your physical and mental health while decreasing your risk of a wide range of pregnancy complications. Best of all, Regular Yoga practice during pregnancy has been shown to shorten Labour!  According to the Australian Department of Health & Human Service some of the many benefits of regular exercise  in pregnancy include:

  • increased energy
  • improved fitness
  • reduced back and pelvic pain
  • decreased risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • preparation for the physical demands of labour
  • fewer complications in delivery
  • faster recuperation after labour
  • prevention and management of urinary incontinence
  • improved posture
  • improved circulation
  • weight control
  • stress relief
  • reduced risk of anxiety and depression
  • improved sleep and management of insomnia
  • increased ability to cope with the physical demands of motherhood.

(Ref: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-exercise)

Choosing safe exercise to practice during pregnancy is very important and the guidance of a qualified pregnancy specialist is the way to go! Ask your Midwife or Obstetrician about whether the exercise you plan to do is suitable during pregnancy and then find a teacher or instructor who has a particular interest (and qualifications) in pregnancy safety.

Please sit with me a minute, I have some news to share.

To all of my dear Womb 2 Move Mummas and Friends,

I am a Midwife. When I get asked ‘What do you do?’ My answer is proudly that I am a Midwife. It is usually followed up with “Well I suppose I am a full time Mother and Part time Midwife”. If the conversations goes further I get as far as “I am a Midwife who teaches Pregnancy Yoga”.

My greatest joy as a Midwife is to watch a family unfold as a woman sheds her insecurities, finds her inner warrior and gives birth to her child. The woman doesn’t need to know the science but her Midwife does- that the exquisite cascade of hormones being released to encourage birth and provide pain relief are a result of her feeling safe to surrender to the process. That the movements and sounds she is making are coming from wisdom held in the deepest most primal part of her brain and this knowledge can only be accessed when she trusts herself and her baby. Even if there are surface doubt and anxiety, fueled by a society that tells her she isn’t strong enough… Deep down, she truly believes in herself.

Pregnancy is a time for women to gather all the information and support that they need in order to confidently head in to Childbirth and Motherhood. This is why I especially LOVE teaching childbirth education programs. I get to see men and women come in feeling nervous, anxious, even scared of the whole idea and leave feeling confident and LOOKING FORWARD to the occasion with love and wide eyes.

I have now taught Childbrith Education classes for 10 years. Four years ago I decided that I dearly wanted more skills to be able to incorporate the breath and movements that I learned in my personal Yoga practice into these childbirth classes. I undertook study to become a Yoga Teacher for Pregnancy (and early post natal months) and Womb 2 Move was born.

Over the past 4 years incredible numbers of amazing women (Over 700 of you!!) have trusted me to guide you through Yoga practice during your pregnancies and help you to prepare for Birth and Motherhood with confidence instead of fear.

I have loved every shared moment.

Sharing your trials and triumphs along the journey has be so very fulfilling for me as a Midwife and a woman. You have all become my Sangha- a community of like-minded women who have gathered together each week to share information and our journeys. I have learned so much!

While more and more of you have chosen to join the sangha, I have continued to add classes to the Womb 2 Move schedule to keep each group small and intimate.

Without realising, I have become a Full Time Yoga Teacher and under-prepared business owner and have no time left for being with families in during birth. I miss it dearly. On top of this I have tried to learn how to run a  small business, what a hashtag is and how to fit in being a full time Mother. I am trying to work out if there is a way to be present enough in the digital world sharing empowering information to nurture my sangha, while wholeheartedly present with my children whenever they need or want me.

It feels like there are not enough hours in each day.

I have so many ideas for Womb 2 Move- I want to study more yoga philosophy, dive into yoga for fertility, offer classes for families and more birth preparation. But I cannot find the time to get this in motion.

I feel there is not enough time in the week. 

I’d love to find a home for Womb 2 Move where we can spread our arms wide (literally!) and welcome women from refugee families, and young Mums into our sangha and raise funds to reach other women who cannot afford to pay for Yoga classes but so desperately need support.

But each month goes by and I feel overwhelmed that I have run out of time. Again.

After MUCH contemplation, searching and trying to find another way, I have decided to take a break from teaching weekly yoga classes for the moment. There will be no Womb 2  Move classes in term 3 and probably the remainder of 2019.

I understand that I will be letting down a lot of you who will still be pregnant in 5 weeks time and will need to find another place for your yoga practice. I know a lot of you have trusted me to be there for you each week during your pregnancies and were looking forward to bringing your new babies back to the group. I am sorry.

I need some time.

I want to reconnect with my Midwifery practice. I need to feel like there are enough hours in each week and be there for my sons when they get home from school. I would even love to find time for yoga for myself!!!

And after a break to find myself, I promise I will be working hard to find a sustainable way to take Womb 2  Move into the future with a new schedule (and help!) in 2020.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

Namaste

Erin

Womb 2 Move Yoga

Salt Flotation, an In-Utero Experience.

Yesterday I has my first flotation therapy. Last night I had the best nights sleep I have had since I became a Mother.

For years I have pregnant Mummas coming to Yoga and telling me about their float experiences. They have raved about the Meditation, Enjoyed feeling weightless, Found relief from muscle aches, foot cramps and restless legs. I’ve hear that the magnesium is great for anxiety and sleep and after a few weeks of big emotions and hard decisions I decided it was time to treat myself.

I must disclose that I did not pay for my float. I walked into my local- Pinch Salt and Float- with so many questions that the lovely Leah asked me to strip off and try it for myself!

   Is this safe for pregnant Mummas? Is there enough room for their bellies? Can they easily roll over? What if you feel claustrophobic? Will I be hot or cold? What are the benefits? How do you clean the water?

I was looking forward to the sensory deprivation and challenge of quieting my mind for an hour, so I chose the ‘Pod’. The ‘Pool’ would be ideal if you do not enjoy closed spaces or want a friend to join you.

I am assured that water is filtered 5 times between uses to extract every particle (mostly hair.. Ewww) and that there is so much salt in the water that microorganisms cannot survive. Excellent, sounds more hygienic than the local pools to me. I remember a friend waning me not to urinate in the water or the stinging would be incredible- she inferred this from an excruciating experience she had once in the dead sea with an equally high salt content.

I was shown in to my own little oasis, warm room with fluffy towels, float pod, calming music and a waterfall shower to clean myself before I got in. Leah talked me though the process and left me with her last words-

“You know you go in nude yeah?”

“OK!”.

Was I feeling ready to be nude in this new experience? Nope. So, undies insitu, I showered and then climbed in to the pod. The water was perfectly skin temperature and I was shocked to feel my entire body weight lift and actually float on the water. I closed the lid and tried out a few lying positions. Shavasana was nice but my arms up above me was delish! There was enough room for me to starfish and JUST touch the ends… more roomy that I expected. I could also easily sit up and not hit my head.

While floating my boobs and belly were out above the water initially feeling a little chilly but within minutes the temperature of the air around me warmed up and there was no telling where I ended and the water began. Delightful. Don’t wee in the Dead Sea.

 WAIT! The air is warm. I cant breathe warm air! A rush of panic of confinement hits. I sit up and open the roof a crack and with one deep breath I am ready to close it again to get that warm floating feeling back. Panic gone.

I truly enjoyed the weightless feeling. Once I was comfy I turned off the little light and mellowed to the relaxing quiet music that was playing- Bliss!

After 10 mins the music stopped and the sensory deprivation experience began.

Ahhh, its just me and my breath… Inhale for 4 Exhale for 6…  Mmmmm… Wait, what is that??? I can hear my heartbeat and the soothing sound of water all around. Oh yes I know what this is!! THIS IS WHAT THE WOMB SOUNDS LIKE. An unexpected treat for this Midwife… Ohhh this would be nice for pregnant women…

DRIP!!! A cool drop of water hits my forhead (Oh Yes, Leah did give me a cloth to wipe the roof of my pod). The drip is a bell of mindfulness- calling me back to my body, breath and the exquisite floating experience…

I tried out rolling over- easy enough but think if you were in your third trimester the water would be too shallow to float on your front.

Back to floating, breathing, surrender. To me the time seemed just right when the music gently returned and it was time get out, shower and return to the world.

I packed my wet undies into my handbag and left with a feeling of spaciousness of mind I desperately needed. Salt floats might not be for everyone but I found it a nurturing experience and the incredible nights sleep afterwards was priceless.