Originally Posted by stella.rose
I also think practicing yoga as often as possible is key...this is controversial, but I believe that being in good shape and limber enough to get into a variety of squatting positions helps labor. A lot of yoga postures (cat/cow, squatting, child's pose, etc) are great for labor, too, so having them in your pocket beforehand is helpful.
Actually that's totally evidence-based advice!
Dr. Clap, author of "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" outlined how women who exercised all through pregnancy (which he defined as 3X per week or more, 20 min or more, at "moderate to high intensity") had lower rates of epidural, CS, and instrumental delivery as well as shorter labors. Of course, it could be that women who exercise are health conscious enough to have educated themselves and worked toward a NCB
(so, picked midwives, hired doulas, labored in water, refused unnecessary interventions, etc.)
BUT - I think it's probably both - that the exercising women put some effort into NCB, but also the exercise alone helped them overall - to have shorter labors & cope with pain (getting in touch with endorphins, as you do while exercising) and having strength to push out their babies.
Strength & stamina overall help in birth - it doesn't have to be yoga specifically. I lifted weights (REAL weightlifting, not playing around with pink plastic dumbbells
), & taught kickboxing with bag work & step aerobics. I do teach fitness yoga to & did that as well, but I kinda feel like it is exalted as the ultimate pregnancy exercise & I just don't agree that it is so superior to all other forms of physical exertion. Don't get me wrong, not saying it's not great - IT IS GREAT! It's just not superior
to every other form of exercise you could do in pregnancy. Except "Cat/Cow"- THAT is awesome!
But I did that intermittently while watching TV in the evenings, not as part of a daily yoga practice. (only did yoga 1X per week.)