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  • Writer's pictureHelen

The benefit of Yoga

I gave birth to our first daughter in March 2018 at Worcester Royal. I had a straightforward pregnancy, although following investigation into a urine sample, due to repeated infections, they identified Strep-B; I also had SPD from around twenty weeks, which definitely slowed me up!

I started Jo’s Birthlight yoga class when I was 16 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t previously done any yoga, so was a bit unsure what to expect. However, I now attribute the weekly classes that I attended, until I gave birth, to my amazing birth experience.

These classes went far beyond ‘exercise’, while I relished the weekly stretch, I learnt so much about my body. I learnt to appreciate how movement affected the baby’s position, how my body would respond during labour and importantly breathing techniques. I was also given the confidence that my body knew best and to listen to it.

I started my labour journey at around 9.00pm on Tuesday evening, and I quietly bounced on my ball until around 11.00pm, as the contractions ramped up. At this point I went out for a walk with my husband and I waddled up and down the hill outside our house – having learnt from Jo the importance of tilting the pelvis. The walk was followed by a warm shower and a call to triage – the contractions were really ramping up! We got to Worcester Royal at about 1.30am, I was examined, told I was 2cm, and to go home. I was reluctant to leave hospital as I was concerned about my oxytocin levels dropping and I didn’t want any stress – up until this point I felt in control. Instead my husband suggested a walk around the hospital, so off we went. Contractions at this point were very uncomfortable and we returned to triage forty minutes later and were told I could go to the delivery suite – having reached the magic 4cm.

Because of the Strep B, I couldn’t go to Meadows, the midwife led birth suite, as I needed/choose to have IV antibiotics. However, as I’d requested a water birth, again having learnt about the power of water from the yoga classes, I was lucky to get the room with a fixed pool.

I got in the pool at around 4.00am and from there on in my labour was text book, I remained up-right for as long as possible and trusted my body. At this point I really concentrated on my breathing techniques I learnt from yoga, I used the gas and air to help me through the contractions. I also used the affirmations from the yoga classes and shut the outside world out. I was confident throughout and at no point scared. I breathed the baby out and our daughter arrived at 9.37am on Wednesday.

I am so grateful for all the information I gathered during Birthlight yoga and I firmly attribute my calmness and belief in my body to the classes.

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