Babies that are well positioned in a woman's pelvis at the end of her pregnancy can have a major influence on her birthing experience. This, in turn, can affect the way her baby is born. In this article, we will look at how yoga can help with a smoother birthing experience.
Many women continue working up to 36 weeks into their pregnancy, often sitting at a desk and leaning back in the chair. This seated position can cause the heaviest part of the baby (the back of the body) to fall towards the woman's spine. This is the Occipital Posterior (OP) - or 'back to back' - position.
OCCIPITAL ANTERIOR POSITION (OA)
Babies in the Occipital Anterior (optimal foetal position) have an easier passage through the pelvis. Women delivering in the Occipital Anterior position tend to have shorter and more comfortable labours, with rapid cervix dilation and efficient contractions. In addition, there is less likelihood of medical intervention or complications during the birthing process.
OCCIPITAL POSTERIOR POSITION (OP)
Babies that are in the Occipital Posterior (foetal back towards the mother's spine) have a much more difficult journey to make. Women delivering babies in an OP position tend to have 'back labour', longer deliveries and will sometimes need medical intervention to assist them.
HOW CAN YOGA HELP ENCOURAGE A BABY TO ROTATE INTO OPTIMAL POSITION?
In first pregnancies, using yoga poses that are forward-leaning or on all fours can help, especially in the last six weeks of pregnancy. These poses create space for a baby to move into an optimal foetal position. In second and subsequent pregnancies, these poses will be beneficial in the last 2-3 weeks of pregnancy. Yoga poses such as the Cat/Cow position, hip rotations and pelvic floor rocking can all help with this optimal foetal positioning and assist babies on their journey into the world.
BREATHING AND BIRTH PREPARATION YOGA
Yoga Mama runs Birth Preparation and Hypnobirthing CPD workshops for qualified yoga teachers. In addition, we also offer periodic Breathing and Birth Preparation yoga workshops for expectant mothers at our studio in Putney. 1:1 private classes are also available.