Things I wish I’d have told my younger self… I’ve been talking about ensuring we don’t leave our health, and prioritising ourselves, too late. I wish I’d have started connecting with my body on a physical level during pregnancy. I practised hypno-birthing, which worked wonders for my mental health, but really wish I’d have continued moving, exercising, dancing (I got lazy) – and totally wish I’d have discovered Pilates sooner! Leanne Stitt of Doula Diary, and I have been talking about the importance and benefits of keeping moving during pregnancy to help for a quicker and healthier recovery in the post-natal phase. In this blog Leanne shares her thoughts on why its good to keep moving during pregnancy…and beyond!
Connection is our birth right, but it’s at risk.
More and more we are finding ourselves in our heads losing the connection to our own bodies. Education and society also keeps us in our heads, and this is at the expense of our bodily instinct & wisdom.
Reconnecting to yourself and your body when you’re pregnant can be so empowering. Simple adjustments in your day to day can create new habits which will strengthen the connection to your bodily wisdom, which man of us have lost along the way. Learning to reconnect to yourself in pregnancy is also a great tool to take forward into your labour and your journey as a parent.
Connect with the body during pregnancy
Pilates and similar embodied arts like Yoga is often described as the Dance of Breath and Movement which beautifully sums up Birth too. The breath helps centre us providing you with oxygen rich blood, gives us focus and can allow our mind to relax and our body open. Focusing on your breath has been shown to alter your brainwaves in a positive way, decrease stress hormones, blood pressure and Increases oxygen levels and relaxation.
Practicing movement with breathwork in pregnancy prepares you beautifully for birthing your baby, whether that’s homebirth, caesarean birth, hospital birth, whatever your choice, it will influence a more positive experience. Dancing through contractions has lots of benefits and can help baby descend into your pelvis. You can then take these skills you have learned forward to adjusting to life as a new parent. There will be times you will feel overwhelmed and centring yourself with your breath will help you clear your mind. Movement with your baby will soothe your baby, soothe you and support bonding.
Modern society is overwhelming, the constant juggle and expectation of more, so it is no wonder we are disconnected from ourselves. The above advice does not cover only pregnancy and about but moving forward into your role as a parent.
My top 5 ways to reconnect to your body:
Dancing during the first stage of labour can decrease duration and intensity of pain. Instinctive movement can help your baby move down into the pelvis and will divert attention away from any unwanted sensations. Dancing with your newborn is also a wonderful happy hormone release and the moment is incredibly soothing for your baby.
2. Slow Down and Be Present
Remove yourself away from the noise, switch off technology and pay attention to what you are eating, how you are feeling, how the leaves are changing colour. Note how this makes you feel.
3. Go outside
Feel the sun, wind and rain on your skin. Blow away the cobwebs and clear your mind. Fill your lungs with the gorgeous fresh air and oxygenate your blood.
4. Question authority
Stay connected to your own genuine needs and desires by being in the body. Be your own guru and don’t feel guilty for taking the time you need to keep yourself well physically and mentally.
5. Be creative
Do more of what inspires you. Paint, Make something, read, take a warm bath with your favourite treats. Do that things that you love but you never find time for, make the time. Feeding your soul opens you up to so much peace and joy.
Don’t forget to rest!
Now it is important to note that equal measures of rest and movement are important. Tuning in to your body will help to find the right balance for you. Breathwork can be a key tool and influencer in how we are feeling. When it comes to Birthing your Baby, if you’re too much in your head or adrenaline is taking over it will disrupt the flow of oxytocin which is a key hormone in birth. Breath work & Instinctive movement can break this process. If you would like to learn more get in touch.