What are the benefits of pregnancy relaxation?

A key part of hypnobirthing is how to remain relaxed during labour. For many, especially if you are scared or anxious about giving birth, this is an odd concept. Birth is painful, undignified, and out of your control, right?! Well. no it’s not and doesn’t have to be. Here are my top reasons why you should practice pregnancy relaxation for a better pregnancy and birth.

Pregnancy relaxation can help to speed up your labour

This might seem a very far fetched claim, but there is science behind this one. Mammals (which we are) give birth more efficiently when we feel safe and unobserved. This is because in the wild, a pregnant animal will not want to give birth, for that baby to then be eaten. The animal will go somewhere where they are safe and can relax. If that animal senses danger, the labour will slow down and potentially stop so that the mother can get away to safety.

We may not be birthing in the wild these days, and we don’t have predators out to eat us. But that animal instinct is still in us. So by being relaxed and calm during labour, you can create a sense of safety. Encouraging your body to open up and give birth.

Bonding with your bay

In our busy, hectic lives it is sometimes so hard to switch off. Women are working closer to their due dates to maximise earnings and maternity leave. Or if you already have children, it takes you to a whole new level of busy. But taking time out to connect with your bump is so important. From my own experience, when I did pregnancy relaxation sessions I would feel my baby move so much more, as if they were responding to me. It was a wonderful experience and really helped me to feel excited about parenthood.

Pregnancy relaxation can help your baby’s development

Everything you put into your body during pregnancy can have an affect on your baby’s development. At a basic level, this will mean food and nutrients, but it can also be hormones. Your hormones will be going to your baby whilst in the womb. What you eat, experience and your hormones are telling your baby what the outside world is like. They are learning if the world is a safe and happy place, or if it is not. There is a fascinating Ted talk for more information on this – which covers how newborn babies cry in their mother’s accent and prefer food their mother ate in pregnancy.

If you listen to a pregnancy relaxation out loud later in pregnancy, your baby will be able to hear it, and associate the sound with your happy hormones. You could then use the same pregnancy relaxation once your baby is born to make them feel happy.

Meet other mums to be at a pregnancy relaxation class

You can study pregnancy relaxation at home. If this is for you I recommend guided relaxations by Tracy Holloway or you could try some simple relaxing music.

Alternatively, you could take part in a class. The benefit of this is a class is at a set time, so you must commit. On your own it’s easy to procrastinate and put off your pregnancy relaxation! The other benefit is there is the opportunity to make friends with other mums to be. To share the experience with and enjoy play dates together once you’re on maternity leave.

If pregnancy relaxation is something you are interested in why not drop me a message? I run weekly classes in Dartford at the Irish Club, they are every Monday 7-8pm. Classes cost £60 for 6 classes, £35 for 3 classes or £12 for a drop in session.

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