Q for those who are BOTH a yoga teacher and a midwife (Inversions) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-14-2012, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Where do you stand on inversions during pregnancy? My pn yoga teacher has us do them every week no matter how far along. She never makes you do them, ofcourse, just mentions how beneficial they are and to only do them if it feels good--most students join in and love it. I've be doing them the whole time (I'm now 33 weeks) and loving the positive affects on lower back pain, digestion, etc.


When I mentioned this to my midwife she was really worried that I was going to turn my baby breech ("s/he's head down now and you have a lot of room in there"). I know this is the recommendation for turning a breech to cephalic, but it feels so good and I can't imagine a 30 to 90 second inversion once/week would do that.


So, yoga teacher says SAFE (hasn't had any alarming number if clients go breech and she knows the outcome of everyone since it's a tight group) but midwife says NOT SAFE from the breech perspective. I wonder if the former doesn't have enough experience in the pregnant body, etc, OR if the latter doesn't have enough experience on the safety of yoga positions.


So if you are an expert in both :) please share your thoughts!




Miles (December 2005) Pascual (March 2009). P's was my beautiful home waterbirth that healed me from my M's birth. natural birth, midwifery, postpartum depression, babywearing, breastfeeding.
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#2 of 6 Old 06-15-2012, 08:20 AM
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Very interesting thoughts. My midwife just suggested I stop doing inversions (especially alone) for fear that I could black-out. (I am 36 weeks.)


I currently am carrying a breech baby and inversions don't seem to change anything. Ironically (or not), I had a cephalic baby when I was not doing any yoga and this is my 2nd breech baby while practicing yoga and doing inversions.

Married to DH since 9/2001, mom to DS (1/2006) natural birth, DD1 (9/2008) transverse baby = c-section and DD2 (7/2012) transverse baby = rcs.
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#3 of 6 Old 06-15-2012, 11:24 AM
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I'm not an expert on either of these things, but there's a Q&A on the spinning babies website that says shorter inversions are perfectly safe and won't turn a head-down baby breech.  They say that the inversions to turn breech babies are much longer (30 minutes at a time), so that might be an important difference.  They recommend daily inversions to keep things loose.  The relevant Q&A is about 3/4 of the way down the page.  Hope this helps!


Edit: I'm not sure if their definitions of "inversion" are quite the same as your yoga teacher's, however.  Just a thought.



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#4 of 6 Old 06-16-2012, 05:19 AM
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Very interesting thread. I'm just a CPM, not a yoga instructor, so in my experience, I too would not recommend inversions in the last trimester if the baby was already in a good place, only if it needed to come up out of the pelvis for better positioning. I do give my clients w breech babies & some w posterier babies the breech tilt exercise to do to get the baby turned around to head down, and it usually works, so I would fear that if it were already head down, it could go breech. Interesting that lbkw 's anecdotal experience would back that up, but anecdotes aren't proof either, as it could be just coincidence. Maybe, like Lilytiger said, the longer time spent inverted, the greater the chance of actually turning the baby. I recommend 20 - 30 minutes to turn, so maybe just a minute or wouldn't be long enough to cause a change in position.  I was hoping that, as you requested, someone who was both a midwife & yoga instructor would answer.

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#5 of 6 Old 06-16-2012, 09:32 PM
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I'm neither, just sharing my experience. I've been using an inversion machine almost daily for 30+ minutes at a time, and my baby has remained head down since 19 wks (I'm now 24).


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#6 of 6 Old 06-18-2012, 08:14 PM
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I am a (semi) retired yoga instructor.  Basically I used to teach then got pregnant, planned to go back and am pregnant again, however my husband and I are part owners of two yoga studios and thus are very involved and educated in regards to yoga.  Additionally, we have used (are using) midwives (the same very educated, they are actually midwife educators themselves) for both pregnancies.


My thoughts are - yoga instructors are exactly that...they instruct yoga, even prenatal instructors are exactly that... yoga instructors specializing in prenatal postures and care in relation to yoga.  Midwives are educated and experienced in all (usually) things mama, baby, birth and more.  I would 100% trust your midwife.  Of course, my midwives would ask me what I thought first as they are very big on trusting your gut instinct...since yours is saying it's ok I'm not really sure.  I taught all through my first pregnancy and demonstrated inversions all the time and my baby was head down...however I did start to feel like I shouldn't be doing them around 36 weeks and usually had a student demo for me instead. 


Inversions are known for their ability to turn a breech baby, they are not "known for" turning a head down baby breech...HOWEVER...just because your yoga instructor says its ok doesn't make it so.  Personally, I would never (cautious with the use of the word "never" but it seems fitting here) let a 35+ week mama do inversions in my class unless she was trying to turn a breech baby without her midwife/doc/ob/etc note. 


Hope that helps!

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