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Also, feel free to download our free video at Yoga4Mothers.com so that you can
have instant access to a wide array of pregnancy yoga information and news.
Our mission at Yoga4Mothers is to help women through pregnancy and after
childbirth. Yoga has enormous benefits for mother and child and we want to share
knowledge and techniques so as many women as possible can benefit. One of the
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Our first baby was breech at the first scan - he had plenty of time to turn - but he
never did. Instead, he rolled himself up so tightly that even after he was born he
used to go to sleep by sucking his own toes.
The obstetrician, a kind and experienced woman, advised me to go for a Caesarean
section. Our baby’s health was the most important thing for us, so my husband and
I were happy with the decision.
Our second baby had her head down in my womb so I was determined to have a
natural birth and my obstetrician agreed. When my waters broke I was 10 days
overdue. I managed the labour pain with yogic breathing exercises and by laughing
at all my husband’s jokes.
Because I had already had a Caesarean I was attached to a monitor and was not able
to move around much - the only movements were on a birth ball. After 16 hours
labour, I was still only 3cm dilated and our baby was showing signs of distress. I
resigned myself to a second Caesarean; everything went fine and one hour later our
daughter was born. She was beautiful.
Our third child had to be bornby Caesarean becauseI had already had two sections.
A natural birth was deemed to be too risky. I feel very lucky. My three children are
healthy, and I recovered well.
I have often wondered if I did all I could to have a natural delivery with my second
baby. Should I have moved around more? Should I have had the monitor taken away,
giving me the chance to do yoga and help my baby move down? How important is
it to move during labour? I will never know the answers.
But those questions led me to a decision: I wanted to help other mothers through
pregnancy, labour and beyond. I practised yoga, but I did not know enough about
pregnancy yoga when I was giving birth. Perhaps if I had practised pre-natal yoga I
would have enjoyed a natural birth with my second and third children.
My mission now is to help other mothers by sharing the benefits and techniques of
yoga.That is why we set up Yoga4mothers. I am grateful for the three Caesareans
becausewithout them I would not have had the chance to learn so muchand to share
and connect with mothers, fathers and babies around the world.
The Yoga4mothers classes respond to the changes that take place so quickly during
pregnancy. They are built on a combination of research and personal experience. I
used my nursing background to research in depth what happens in the womb each
week. I combined this knowledge with my own experience ofpregnancy to develop
classes that are appropriate for each week of our pregnancy.
I look forward to seeing you on your yoga mat.
Our mission at Yoga4Mothers is to help women through pregnancy and after
Yoga has enormous benefits for mother and child and we want to share knowledge
and techniques so as many women as possible can benefit. Yoga during pregnancy
keeps mother and baby healthy. It prepares the mother mentally and physically for
labour. It maintains the mother’s figure and speeds up the process of regaining the
woman’s figure after giving birth.
Yoga4mothers offers yoga video classes and information for pregnant women and
Christelle Donaghy, a qualified pre and postnatal yoga teacher, registered nurse and
yoga practitioner presents the videos. Christelle practices yoga, yogic breathing and
meditation every day. Before teaching yoga she worked as a nurse in France,
Switzerland, Ireland, and New Caledonia where she assisted in delivering babies.
She is qualified in Bowen Therapy and Thai massage.
We know that every birth is unique; however, if we are familiar with yoga postures
and we either practice them alone or with a birth partner, they will help us to move
freely and to ease contractions and have a less painful labour. These postures make
pregnancy much more comfortable and can also help to alleviate the pain associated
with labor and delivery.
Of course, you should always check with your doctor if you have any worries or
concerns about your or your baby’s health before you practise yoga.
Benefits and Content
The postures, or asanas will help you and your baby. You will practice movements
to create more space for your growing baby, to release back pain and to open your
hip joints. You will learn how to practice a specific breathing exercise to help you
to stay calm and focused.
At the end of the class you will take time to relax your body, and follow a guided
meditation that will help you to gain awareness and self-control.
Postures for Labor
Hello Yoga Mother, and welcome to this class. What you will get here is a series of
postures, sometimes alone, and sometimes with your partner that will help you to
ease labor. This is not a series of postures that I would like you to learn by head
because once you’re in labor everything has been learned by head will be forget.
What it is instead is a toolkit that I would like you to practice all along your
pregnancy so that your body feels comfortable and well and you recognize it.
By practicing and feeling with your body, you will be able to adapt, to
accommodate, and to accept whatever happens during labor. This is a very useful
attitude once you go to labor. The other benefit you will get by practicing these
postures is that woman usually feel more comfortable in their body. They move
around more easily and they have more confidence because they’ve learned and
practiced breathing exercises that will ease the pain during labor.
The other main point that you will gain is trust. You’re going to learn to trust
yourself and to trust your body. You and your baby will know exactly what to do
and you have all that you need for your baby to be born. So let your body know,
keep practicing, and it will be fantastic. Namaste.
You can hold your partner in a standing position. Your partner may wish to find
some support, and lean against a wall with his knees bent.
At that stage, bend into your knees and make sure that your both feet and heels are
well grounded to the floor.
This will help to keep your spine aligned, and help you to have freedom of
movement. Try to draw imaginary figures of 8.
That posture can easily be done for the laboring woman without a partner, and by
just leaning against a wall. The upright position reduces pain and helps the woman
to be more in control. Try these different variations of tilting and rolling of your
hips, with or without your partner. If you have a partner ask him to press his both
hands on your back, and to breathe with you.
Breathing together is a fantastic non-verbal communication, and makes youfeel that
you’re not alone, that you’re well supported. Tuck your pelvis forward.
It will help to relieve pain and help you to go through contractions. Again, it’s
crucial foryour partner, even if you don’tseeit here, to have his backagainst a wall,
or strong support and to bend into his knees.
Standing squat can be used by placing yourself far enough apart so that both arms
can be straight.
Hold each other from the forearms, not by the wrists, and only go as far as you can.
Mommy, if your baby is breech, I’m not recommending you to do this posture.
Make sure your heels are, again, well-grounded to the floor, and if you feel like
moving, your partner should move with you. Balancing, circling moves together.
Inhale, come up to center.
To create a nice bond, and help the laboring woman to take some rest, you can offer
a massage so she can lean against a chair, or on the bed. Feeling your hands against
her back, giving her a soft massage will help her to keep her mind away from each
This will help your partner to be more engaged in the labor with you.
And you’re in the right to ask for whatever type of massage you want mommy, so
if you like it hard, soft, fast, slow, just express what you feel, and it’s okay to change
your mind, it’s okay to ask for as much as you want.
It is your unique experience.
It helps sometimes to keep practicing your rolling and tilting moves, just go with
the flow, just go with what your body wants. Keep breathing, exhale. Your partner
may breathe with you. You feel safe, you feel connected. This is crucial for a woman
in labor to feel a nice bond so that she’s not on her own. This massage takes away
all the pain in your lower back. Ask for some support if mommy wants to get up.
This is a fantastic posture to open up your pelvis, and to get ready for baby to be
born. Your partner is sitting on the chair in front of you, your knees are well
supported with a cushion.
Contractions are now getting stronger and last for more than a minute.
You feel the urge of moving, keep breathing. The breath will help give rhythm to
your practice, and your partner will move and breathe with you. This is a birthing
posepar excellence, and this pose will give you an idea of how to maintain a wide
open pelvis to give birth to your baby.
Keep your knees a good distance apart so that you can allow yourself to rock.
In this pose you can continue to circle and reach up to grab your partner’s neck so
that your spine feels straight.
Your partner helps youby pressing his bothhands onyour upper back, and breathing
As you move into your breath, you bring your energy down and use these long, long
exhalations through your lips, to breathe your baby out.
Change side, or come back to center for rest.
You still feel the bond with your supportive partner.
Some women find that to be in an all four position is very helpful to go through
stages of contractions.
At any stage, in any position, your partner can help you to relax. Remember, it’s the
rest you take between each contraction that will help you to carry through labor.
Your partner will press against your back with each exhalation.
Having that soft touch connection will help mommy to feel safe to carry through
labor. Order your partner whatever type of massage or touch you would like.
Again, it’s okay to move around your hips at that stage. Try to exhale as long as you
can through your lips.
Or use whatever breathing techniques that are useful for you.
Somewoman find they get a better opening if there’s supportfrombehind. So, place
yourself in a supported squat. Your partner can sit on the chair or at the edge of the
You can use this position when your baby is ready to enter to the world. You can
place cushions on the floor, or blocks to support your buttocks.
Adjust the position of your feet so that your bodyis straight yet relaxed. Again, it’s
crucial that you keep yourbothfeet really well grounded to the floor. Use catposture
if you feel that you’re overwhelmed with the contraction, and that you deserve a
Go on your all fours and support your knee with a cushion or a folded blanket.
This will help you to bring your focus back into your breath, and again cat pose
helps to release back aches.
Inhale, look up with your head, arch your back. Exhale, lower downyour head, push
your backupwards, and press yourhands downas you breathe through contractions.
This gentle rocking of your lower back will help you to ease the pain, and free up
Use the forceof gravity to take away some pressurefrom your lower back. You can
even stay there and relax for a deep breath into child pose.
It’s worth knowing a few simple variations of all four positions. So that if you feel
comfortable, you can maintain them. Another way to give yourself somefreedom is
to lean forward and backwards with your breath, or by doing simple circle moves.
Inhale, exhale, come back.
Breathe with each contraction, breathe with the wave of the contraction, move it
Remember that your uterus is tilting forward with every contraction, and that all the
time it’s working to open up your cervix.
So vary in all four positions to find a comfortable place to be..
because it gives you some relief, and doesn’t stop the process of labor.
In the fully established stage of labor, the laboring woman is sometimes simply too
tired to use any floor positions, or to sit on the chair, or to stand up.
She wants a rest, however, she doesn’t want to stop the process of labor.
So by lying on your left side with the partner supporting the weight of your right
leg will help you to get some rest without stopping the process of labor.
Again, it looks tricky, it is easier if the woman lies on her bed, and your partner by
her side on a chair.
In this position, you still keep the large opening of your pelvis.
Don’t hesitate to use any type of resting position in between contractions, in
between each stage of labor.
Lie down on your left hand side with as much support as you need. Stay with your
breath, and ask your partner to give you a nice, gentle massage.
By placing his both hands on your back, he will go along with you and with your
breath. It will help you to keep your mind on your breath, especially in your
Breathing together is a very powerful bond. Make your breath noticeable so that
your partner can breathe along with you, and may even sometimes correct you if
your breathe gets out of sync.
Having somebody who breathes with you will help you to go through labor.
You are fantastic. Well done Mommy.
If you are interestedin learning more about yoga formothers you are welcome
to visit us athttp://yoga4mothers.com. We look forwardto sharing information
for your pregnancy, labour and after childbirth.