Pregnancy and childbirth

26 Aug 2012

The Alexander Technique can help you during pregnancy in a number of ways:

– You will learn to keep moving with suppleness and ease. Especially during the final months you will feel far more comfortable if you know the best way to sit, stand, lie down, walk and turn over in bed with your ever-growing belly.

– In this way, many back pain issues and other problems such as pelvic girdle pain can be prevented.

– Your new way of moving creates space in your belly for your baby, your breathing and your organs. Many pregnant women lean over backwards while walking or when sitting on a chair or sofa. This unsupported posture and way of moving is unhealthy for your back, exerts unnecessary pressure on the large blood vessels, nerves and muscles, and leaves less space for the baby, your organs and your breathing. The Alexander Technique teaches you how to sit upright in a relaxed way, without this costing you any effort.

– You will be given movement exercises that encourage optimal positioning of your baby, helping to prevent breech and ‘sunny-side up’ (baby facing towards the mother’s abdomen) deliveries.

– You will learn a number of postures, breathing exercises and movements for during the birth process, which will help you to bear the pain, free up your breathing and minimise cramping during and between contractions.

– It is important not to fight against the pain. Resistance causes your muscles to unconsciously tense up, which unfortunately only results in greater pain. Your own thoughts and feelings about giving birth will have a decisive influence. Did the women closest to you (your mother, sisters, friends) have good or unpleasant experiences? Do you have confidence in yourself? Do you think that you can handle the pain, or do you expect that you won’t be able to cope?

– In a duo lesson your partner will be given tips on how to help you and offer maximum support.

Below is a short quote from my own experiences in giving birth with the help of the Alexander Technique:

“A natural home birth was a logical choice for me, in view of my Alexander Technique background. I had learnt how to use my mental strength to achieve physical relaxation and was able to coordinate myself in such a way as to ‘help’ the baby find his way out, without getting in his way. Gravity plays a crucial role in this, together with breathing, of course. Both times, I experienced giving birth as a natural process;something that simply took its course. I didn’t need to do anything, my body just took over. All I needed to do was to avoid getting in the way. I certainly experienced pain, but the inner calm, confidence and the preparatory work inspired by the Alexander Technique guided me through it all and made it a positive and powerful experience …”