Preparing the body for childbirth
You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, right?
Dr. Gowri Motha describes how preparing for childbirth is like preparing for a big race. Here she describes some of the methods she uses in her practice to prepare moms-to-be for their big day…
Just as an athlete prepares for a marathon, I firmly believe that moms-to-be should prepare their body properly for childbirth – to become “birth fit.” I have found in my practice that there are a few simple but very effective treatments to help pregnant women become birth fit – to experience normal and gentle deliveries, of short labor duration and with efficient recovery.
In my practice I have been using reflexology for pregnant mothers since 1987! In 1992 a clinical trial was undertaken of women receiving a set of 10 treatments during pregnancy was amazing, with 89% of women having normal deliveries, the average duration of labor times being two to six hours.
Reflexology is a pressure point treatment on the feet – different areas of the foot relate to different parts of the body. Each point detoxes and relaxes organs and muscles in the body and increases energy levels. These treatments on the feet are extremely helpful in preparing the mother for birth.
Creative Healing Massage treatments
Creative Healing was introduced into my program as a result of the obvious need for the lower back, sacrum and coccyx (together with the muscles associated with those areas) to be extremely mobile and free from congestion to facilitate a gentle birth. Throughout pregnancy, Creative Healing treatments focus mainly on the spine, pelvic area, sciatic areas and sacrum because the health and mobility of these areas are directly related to the birthing process. (You will also often hear women complain of pain or discomfort associated with these areas of the body when pregnant.) However, as birth is a function of the whole body, the Jeyarani schedule of Creative Healing has been developed to align the energy flows in every system of the body. Therefore, Creative Healing treatments for the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and gut are included at relevant times during the pregnancy.
Creative Healing offers:
- General and pelvic lymphatic drainage
- Abdominal toning – massage for baby and uterus
- Digestive treatment – toning pancreas and liver
- Heart treatment – improve cardiac efficiency
- Back and neck treatment
- Sciatic treatment
Bowen simply “re-connects” parts of the body with the brain, using the many receptors distributed throughout the body. The practitioner, using thumbs and fingers, makes very gentle, rolling-type moves over precise points on the body. Bowen can begin at any time during pregnancy. It is safe and non-invasive. Bowen has particular uses for relieving back pain, sciatica and re-aligning the pelvis.
Bowen is also particularly useful for re-aligning the pelvis, and we recommend it around 33-34 weeks of pregnancy before the baby’s head is engaged. This correction of any pelvic tilt encourages and helps the baby’s head to engage within the pelvis and rotate easily within the birthing canal to an occipito-anterior position, which is the optimum position for vaginal birth. If the baby is overdue, certain gentle Bowen moves on the coccyx can be done to encourage labor.
In my practice we also offer other specialized treatments including Alexander Technique, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Ayurvedic Diet, and lifestyle consultations and Gentle Birth full body pregnancy massage. There are other methods for preparing the body physically for childbirth including specific types of yoga and stretching, and you should investigate the type of preparation appropriate for you.
Just as you would prepare your body for a big running race, childbirth is a physical challenge for which you should prepare. Staying fit and healthy, eating a healthy diet and investigating techniques that can assist you physically on the big day are a good start to a natural, gentle labor and a quick recovery. Good luck!