Birthowl’s natural childbirth


Prenatal Yoga Exercises for the first rimester
November 13, 2008, 6:00 am
Filed under: pregnancy | Tags: , , ,

1. Ardha Titali Asan (Half Butterfly)

How to do?

Sit with legs outstretched. Bend the right leg and place the right foot as far up on the left thigh as possible. Place the right hand on top of the bent right knee.

Hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand. While breathing in, gently move the right knee up towards the chest. Breathing out, gently push the knee down and try to touch the floor. The trunk should not move. Movement of leg should be achieved by the exertion of the right arm. Repeat with left leg. Slowly practice about 10 up and down movements with each leg. DO NOT STRAIN.

Benefits

It is an excellent practice for loosening of hip and knee joints, which shall enable faster delivery.

2. Poorna Titali Asan (Full Butterfly)

How to do?

Sit with legs outstretched. Bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet together, keeping the heels as close to the body as possible. Fully relax the inner thighs. Clasp the feet with both hands.

Gently bounce the knees up and down, using the elbows as levers to press the legs down. Do not use any force. Repeat up to 20-30 times. Straighten the legs and relax.

Benefits

Tension from inner thigh muscles is relieved. Removes tiredness from legs.

3. Supta UdarakarshanAsan (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose)

How to do?

Lie in the back. Interlock fingers of both hands and place hands beneath the head. Bend knees, keeping the soles of feet on the floor.

While breathing out lower the legs towards the right, trying to touch the knees on the floor. At the same time move the head towards the left, giving uniform twisting stretch to the entire spine. Repeat on the other side by bending legs towards left, and head towards right.

Benefits

Removes constipation, improves digestion. Relieves stiffness and strain of spine caused by prolonged sitting.

4. Chakki Chalan Asan (Churning the Mill Pose)

How to do?

Sit with legs stretched out in front of the body about one foot apart. Interlock fingers of both hands and hold the arms out straight in front of the chest.

Make large circular movements over both feet, trying to take the hands over the toes on the forward swing and coming as far back as possible on the backward swing. Practice 10 times in each direction.

Benefits

Excellent asan for toning the nerves and organs of pelvis and abdomen preparing them for pregnancy. Useful in regulating menstrual cycle. Also an excellent post natal exercise.

5. Kashta Takshan Asan (Chopping Wood Pose)

How to do?

Sit in squatting pose with feet flat on the ground and one and a half feet apart. Clasp fingers of hand and place them on the floor between the feet. Straighten the arms and keep them straight throughout the practice. Elbows should be inside the knees. Imagine the action of chopping wood. Raise arms as high as possible, behind the head, stretching the spine upward. Look up towards the hands.

Make a downward stroke. Expel the breath making an “Ha” sound and removing all air from the lungs. Hands should return towards the feet. This is one round. Practice 5-10 rounds.

Benefits

It loosens the pelvic girdle and tones the pelvic muscles.

6. Marjari Asan (Cat Stretch Pose)

How to do?

Sit with buttocks on the heels (Vajrasan). Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees. Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor. This is the starting position. Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave. Exhale, while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward.

At the end of the exhalation contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks. Head will be now between the arms, facing the thighs. This is one round. It may be done for 5-10 times .Be careful not to strain yourself.

Benefits

This asan improves flexibility of the neck, shoulders and spine. Tones female reproductive system. Can be safely practiced during first 6 months of pregnancy.

7. Kati Chakrasan (Waist Rotating Pose)

How to do?

Stand with the feet about half a meter apart and the arms by the sides. Inhale while raising the arms to shoulder level. Exhale and twist body to left. Bring right hand to left shoulder and wrap left arm around the back. Look over left shoulder. Hold breath for 2 seconds, inhale and return to starting position. Keep feet firmly on ground while twisting. Repeat on other side. Do twisting smoothly without any jerks. Do about 5-10 rounds.

Benefits

Tones waist, back and hips . Induces a feeling of lightness and used to relieve physical and mental tension.

8. Tadasan (Palm Tree Pose)

How to do?

Stand with feet together and arms on the side. Raise arms over the head, interlock fingers and then turn the palms upward. Place hands over the head. Inhale and stretch the arms, shoulders and chest upwards. Raise heels to come up on the toes. Stretch whole body from top to bottom. Lower heels while exhaling and bring hands on top of the head. Relax for few seconds and repeat whole round 5-10 times.

Benefits

Helps develop physical and mental balance. Entire spine is stretched and loosened, helping to clear congestion of the spinal nerves. Also stretches rectos abdominal muscles keeping them nerves toned.

9. Utthanasan (Squat and Rise Pose)

How to do?

Stand erect on feet about a meter apart, with toes turned out. Interlock fingers of both hands and let them hang loosely in front of the body. Slowly bend knees and lower buttocks. Straighten knees and return to upright position.

Benefits

Strengthens muscles of middle back, uterus, thighs and ankles.

10. Kandharasan (Shoulder Pose)

How to do?

Lie flat on back. Bend knees, place soles of feet flat on the floor with the heels touching the buttocks. Feet and knees may be hip width apart. Grasp ankles with hands. Raise buttocks and arch back backward.

Try to raise the chest and navel as high as possible, without moving feet or shoulders. In final position, the body is supported by the head, neck, shoulders, arms and feet. Hold pose as long as it is comfortable. Release ankles and relax.

Benefits

Realigns the spine and relieves backache. It massages and stretches the colon and abdominal organs, improving digestion. Tones female reproductive organs and especially recommended for women who tend to miscarry. Should not be done in advanced stages of pregnancy.* Under expert guidance, it has been successfully used to turn the baby when it is a breech presentation.

http://www.healthandyoga.com

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Backache…not for me.
October 22, 2008, 6:16 am
Filed under: pregnancy | Tags: , , , , ,

More than 50 percent of moms-to-be complain of back pain in the last half of pregnancy. Back muscles get a triple whammy during pregnancy: your ligaments, which are relaxing to allow for easier passage of the baby through the pelvis, are looser all over, putting more strain on your muscles, especially those supporting your spine; your overstretched abdominal muscles force you to rely more on your back to support your weight; and the change in your posture and the curvature of your spine as you compensate for your front-heavy body creates still more work for the back muscles. In the third trimester especially, these overworked muscles and back ligaments will protest in pain.

 

6 Simple Strategies to Prevent Backache:

1. Perform simple low-impact aerobic exercises such as swimming and biking to strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles.

2. Wear sensible shoes. Both high heels and totally flat shoes can strain back muscles. Try shoes with wide, medium-height heels (no higher than two inches) for dress, and walking shoes for casual wear.

3. Avoid jogging on hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, which can be jarring to the spine. Instead of jogging try fast walking, and on natural surfaces like grass, earth or sand, which are easier on the muscles and joints than pounding a hard surface.

4. Don’t twist your spine. When you stand or sleep be sure your shoulders and hips are aligned. Avoid awkward reaches, such as getting a heavy box down from the top of a closet or lifting a sleeping toddler from a car seat. If you must under undertake activities that call for awkward lifting, see if you can rethink the job. Consider unbuckling a toddler’s car seat, for example, and turning the seat toward you before you lift your child out.

5. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. When you do sit, use a footstool to raise your knees a bit higher than your hips and take pressure off your lower back. If you must stand in one position for a while, put one foot forward and place most of your weight on it for a few minutes, then switch your weight to the other foot. Better yet, prop the forward foot up on a stool, telephone book, drawer, or cabinet ledge.

6. Sleep on your side, and frequently shift sleeping positions.

 

4 Safe Ways to Treat Backache:

1. Rest. Usually, simply resting strained muscles will ease the pain.

2. Soak in warm water. Try soaking in warm water or standing in the shower with a jet of warm water focused on the painful area.

3. Pack the back. Many mothers swear by a hot or cold pack (or alternating both) on the painful area. If baby pressing against your spine seems to be the cause of pain, as is common during the final month, try the knee-chest position for a while.

4. Massage it. Ask your mate to give you a back massage. Practice these back massages now so he can later become a useful masseur to help ease the pain of back labor.

www.askdrsears.com



Maca Root Supports a Healthy Pregnancy

The Side Effects of Maca Root During Pregnancy

There are a lot of ways to use Maca Root for better health. One way that is often overlooked is its effects our body during pregnancy.

Is Maca Root Safe to Use While Pregnant? Maca Root can be consumed safely throughout your whole pregnancy. Maca Root is actually not technically an herb. It is a whole food. It is actually part of a daily diet consumed by the people of Peru. It works very well to balance hormones and keep progesterone levels high while you are pregnant. This can be especially beneficial during the first trimester. There are no hormones in the Maca itself, so there is no need to worry about over doing it in anyway. It works by stimulating and healing the pituitary gland so that it can function at a higher efficiency. There is no way to overdose on Maca Root; there is no toxicity from it. Worrying about overdosing on Maca is the same as worrying about overdosing on potatoes. It is a food, not a drug.

Maca Root Supports a Healthy Pregnancy There are vast amounts of nutrients found in Maca Root. It can almost be a pre-natal vitamin in itself due to the large amounts of vitamins, minerals and amino acids contained within. Maca Root helps to ensure that your unborn baby is getting the nutrients that he or she needs.

Choosing the Right Maca Root There are a lot of different brands of Maca Root out there. I have successfully only used one kind of Maca Root throughout two of my pregnancies. This is because the extracts and gelatinized versions do not contain the whole food, therefore they will not provide the same benefits. I highly recommend Organic Raw Maca Powder.

How to Eat Maca Root Maca Root tastes like it sounds, like a root. The taste can easily be compared to that of a potato, but slightly more bitter. This is why it is best to disguise the taste in food.

Associatedcontent.com, posted by “the Reviewer”



Question Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Cephalopelvic Disproportion is rare yet is vastly overdiagnosed. Here are the stories of a few women who were told their babies were too big for their pelvises by one care provider, but fortunately sought a second opinion and subsequently birthed an even BIGGER baby through that same “small” pelvis.
VBAC = vaginal birth after cesarean
HBAC = homebirth after cesarean
HBA3C = homebirth after 3 cesareans
UBA2C = unassisted birth after 2 cesarean

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

by Kelly Milotay

What Is CPD?

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) is the medical diagnosis used when an infant’s head is declared too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis. Often, this diagnosis is made after the woman has labored for some time, but other times, it is entered into a woman’s medical record before she even labors. A misdiagnosis of CPD accounts for many of the unnecessary cesareans performed in North America and around the world annually. This diagnosis does not have to impact a woman’s future birthing decisions. Many actions can be taken by the expectant mother to increase her chances of birthing vaginally.

Understanding the Mechanics of Birth

A woman’s pelvis is flexible and is made to open during birth. When there is interference with the birth process (induction before baby is ready, mother’s movement is restricted, etc.), the pelvis is not able to open to its maximum. The baby’s head molds (changes shape) during labor and delivery in order to fit through the pelvis. Neither the pelvis nor the baby’s head are fixed in one position; both expand and shift as labor progresses. A birthing woman’s pelvis is most likely to expand freely and accommodate the baby when the following conditions are present:

The birth takes place when the baby is ready and when natural birth hormones are present.The laboring woman moves freely to her comfort level.Adequate time is allowed for the molding of the baby’s head.

ICAN.org



Nutrition during pregnancy

Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems
By Susun Weed

natureWise women believe that most of the problems of pregnancy can be prevented by attention to nutrition. Morning sickness and mood swings are connected to low blood sugar; backaches and severe labor pains often result from insufficient calcium; varicose veins, hemorrhoids, constipation, skin discoloration and anemia are evidence of lack of specific nutrients; preeclampsia, the most severe problem of pregnancy, is a form of acute malnutrition. Excellent nutrition includes pure water, controlled breath, abundant light, loving and respectful relationships, beauty and harmony in daily life, joyous thoughts and vital foodstuffs.

During pregnancy nutrients are required to create the cells needed to form two extra pounds of uterine muscle, the nerves, bones, organs, muscles, glands and skin of the fetus, several pounds of amniotic fluid, a placenta and a 50 percent increase in blood volume. In addition, extra kidney and liver cells are needed to process the waste of’ two beings instead of one.

Wild foods and organically grown produce, grains and herbs are the best source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed during pregnancy. All the better if the expectant mother can get out and gather her own herbs: stretching, bending, breathing, moving, touching the earth, taking time to talk with the plants and to open herself to their spiritual world.

Photo by Marg

Susun Weed 



Life before Birth

Q. When does a baby’s brain develop, and do we have to wait for this development before trying to communicate with our baby?

Around the third week after conception, a folding maneuver creates the neural tube from which the brain and spinal cord develop. If all goes well, a rapid, richly choreographed set of movements will put all the basic parts of the brain in place by eight weeks. These will not be replaced. From this foundation, brain parts will send out branches and establish billions of connections necessary for the perfect coordination of the entire nervous system. This process will continue for years after birth. Amazingly, the brain, like the heart, remains active during its own construction. Various experiences the brain has during this period including encounters with food, drink, medicine, games, accidents, and nicotine–will actually determine its final size and organization. Therefore, it is best to assume the brain is already working and to love your baby and communicate with it without any waiting period.

pregnant belly


Q. Can our baby feel pain or become emotionally upset in the womb?

Medical specialists and psychologists never thought this would be possible even for a newborn baby, but research now confirms that even babies born very prematurely express a gamut of emotions, and, without doubt, can experience excruciating pain. Ultrasound observations of behavior in utero, especially among twins, reveal a spectrum of emotions including anger, fear, and affection. Babies appear to react to needles that intrude into the womb with a mixture of shock, withdrawal, and aggression. Studies of pregnant mothers watching upsetting videos suggest that babies can become upset along with their mothers. Several studies have revealed that babies tend to become depressed when their pregnant mothers are depressed, an effect which begins in the womb and has been measured after birth.

birthpsychology

Photo by Mark Von Minden



The Sound Environment of the Womb

The sound environment of the womb is very rich. There are various interpretations as to the noise level, ranging between 30 to 96 dB. (decibel being a measure of sound intensity or loudness). A whisper can register 30 dB., a normal conversation is about 60 dB. and rush hour traffic can average about 70 dB. On the other hand, shouted conversations and motorcycles reach about 100 dB. Rock music has been measured as 115 dB. and the pain threshold begins at 125 dB. Yet, recent research with hydrophones have revealed that the womb is a “relatively quiet place” (Deliege & Sloboda, 1996), something comparable to what we experience in our environment between 50 and 60 dB.

Uterine sounds form a “sound carpet” over which the mother’s voice in particular appears very distinct and which the prenate gives special attention because it is so different from its own amniotic environment. These sounds are of major importance because they establishes the first patterns of communication and bonding. Some researchers have discovered that newborns become calmer and more self-regulated when exposed to intrauterine sound (Murooka et. al 1976; DeCasper 1983; Rossner 1979).

lullaby from the womb

The soothing sounds of the ocean and water are probably reminiscent of the fluid environment in which we began life. Tomatis suggests that the maternal heart beat, respiration and intestinal gurgling, all form the source for our collective attraction to the sound of surf and may have to do with our inborn sense of rhythm. Prenatal sounds form an important developmental component in prenatal life because they provide a foundation for later learning and behavior. With fetal sound stimulation the brain functions at a higher level of organization.

The ear first appears in the 3rd week of gestation and it becomes functional by the 16th week. The fetus begins active listening by the 24th week. We know from ultrasound observations that the fetus hears and responds to a sound pulse starting about 16 weeks of age (Shahidullah & Hepper, 1992); this is even before the ear construction is complete. The cochlear structures of the ear appear to function by the 20th week and mature synapses have been found between the 24th and 28th weeks (Pujol et al. 1991). For this reason most formal programs of prenatal stimulation are usually designed to begin during the third trimester. The sense of hearing is probably the most developed of all the senses before birth.

Four-month-old fetuses can respond in very specific ways to sound; if exposed to loud music, and their heart beat will accelerate. A Japanese study of pregnant women living near the Osaka airport had smaller babies and an inflated incidence of prematurity-arguably related to the environment of incessant loud noise. Chronic noise can also be associated with birth defects (Szmeja et al. 1979). I recently received a report from a mother who was in her 7th month of pregnancy when she visited the zoo. In the lion’s enclosure, the animals were in process of being fed. The roar of one lion would set off another lion and the sound was so intense she had to leave the scene as the fetus reacted with a strong kick and left her feeling ill. Many years later, when the child was 7 years of age, it was found that he had a hearing deficiency in the lower-middle range. This child also reacts with fear when viewing TV programs of lions and related animals. There are numerous reports about mothers having to leave war movies and concerts because the auditory stimulus caused the fetus to become hyperactive.

Alfred Tomatis notes that the ear is “the Rome of the body” because almost all cranial nerves lead to it and therefore it is considered our most primary sense organ. Embryonically, according to him, the skin is differentiated ear, and we listen with our whole body.

birthpsychology.com