Last week I promised to share a few gems from my Spinning Babies training with Gail Tully. Did you know that you can start a routine at 20 weeks to balance the pelvis? Possible results of these exercises include less pain in pregnancy, greater relaxation in pregnancy, a better positioned baby, and a faster labor. If those results sound appealing to you, keep reading.
Gail refers to this routine as the "Three Sisters of Balance". You can find visual explanations, contraindications, and more information on her website at SpinningBabies.com. Please make sure to visit the Spinning Babies website prior to attempting any of these exercises.
Rebozo Sifting - The rebozo is a great multi-purpose tool for pregnancy and labor. In this application of the rebozo, muscles and ligaments in the abdomen are gently jiggled which causes them to relax. Ideally this exercise is done at least once a week, and for 2.5-5 minutes at a time. The rebozo is spread across the belly and mom assumes a hands and knees position. Her helper holds the ends of the rebozo and with wrists facing inward, moves hands in a pedaling motion (not a sawing motion).
Forward Leaning Inversion - This exercise looks a bit complicated, but can be so beneficial. Begin with your knees on a couch or stair. Place your hands on the floor and walk them out as you lower your body. Once you are inverted, place your weight on your forearms rather than your hands. Your bottom should be in the air. Remain inverted for 3 breaths, approximately 30-45 seconds. Do not use pillows as this can increase risk of slipping. Tuck your chin and do not allow your head to rest on the ground. This exercise lengthens and stretches the uterosacral ligament and also takes the uterus off the pelvic bones. Be sure to come straight up out of the inversion rather than walking out of the position. Aim to do this on a daily basis.
Side-lying Release - Tension and twisting in the pelvic floor can cause discomfort in pregnancy, and slow progress in labor. This exercise helps release that tension and restore balance to the pelvic floor. It is essential that mom has a helper for this exercise. Mom lies on her side on the edge of a bed or table with her belly hanging over the edge. Her helper must support her and keep her from rolling off! The helper stabilizes the hip in vertical alignment and applies gentle downward pressure. Mom's bottom leg is straight, shoulders are stacked, and top leg hangs freely in front. This can be done for 5 minutes per side and must be done on both sides.
Need hands on instruction for these and other Spinning Babies techniques? Contact me to schedule an a la carte session focusing on Spinning Babies, or to learn more about my complete doula services.