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The Power of Movement for labour and birth

For those of you who have attended one of our active birth classes or follow us on instagram, it wont come as a surprise to learn that over at Grow+Gather, we are keen for people to have a good understanding of the importance of movement for birth. Hailey and I have looked after thousands of folk during their labours and births. Whilst every labour is different and every birth unfolds in its own way, one key thing we notice is how women move. Movement is such a useful tool during your labour and it is one that is often overlooked but understanding its benefits can empower you to navigate the process more confidently. Let's delve into why movement matters and how it can positively impact your birthing experience.



Embracing Your Body's Natural Rhythms

Labour is a dance between your body and your baby, and movement is the rhythm that guides you through it. Your body instinctively knows how to birth your baby, and movement facilitates this process by helping your baby descend through the birth canal. Whether it's swaying, walking, or changing positions, allowing your body to move freely can enhance the progression of labour and ease discomfort.


A Natural Comfort Measure

Labour is intense, but movement can be a powerful tool for managing the intensity. Engaging in gentle exercises, such as pelvic tilts or squats, can alleviate pressure and encourage your baby's descent. Experimenting with different positions, like kneeling, squatting, or leaning on a birthing ball, can also provide relief and promote relaxation.


Optimise Your Baby's Position

The position of your baby plays a crucial role in the efficiency of labour. Movement can help encourage optimal positioning, such as the baby's head engaging in the pelvis or rotating into an optimal alignment for birth. By staying active and exploring various positions, you can help guide your baby into the most favourable position for delivery, potentially reducing the duration of labour and the likelihood of complications.




Empowerment and Confidence

Remaining mobile during labour empowers you to take an active role in your birthing experience. Instead of feeling confined to a bed, movement allows you to respond intuitively to your body's cues and adapt to the changing dynamics of your birth. Having the confidence to try different positions and utilise movement can give you a greater sense of control over the birthing process, fostering a more positive and empowering experience.


Partner Support and Connection

Understanding the importance of movement during labour is not only beneficial for you but can be a super useful tool for your partner too. Your partner can provide support and encouragement as you move through different positions. A good understanding of movement, and being able to offer advice and reassurance around positions can be a crucial tool for birth partners. And certain positions can promote feelings of connection (hello oxytocin!) confidence and calm for you both.



Conclusion

As you prepare for childbirth, remember the profound impact that movement can have on your labour and birth. If you aren't sure about what positions you can try or what movement during birth might look like, come to one of our active birth classes. We practice positions and talk about the benefits of certain movements. There is an opportunity to ask questions, try breathing techniques and for your partner to practice some massage too. Movement for birth matters and by prioritising movement, you can enhance comfort, promote optimal positioning, and cultivate a sense of empowerment and confidence as you welcome your little one into the world.

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