During the COVID 19 pandemic, when we ca not meet face to face, we are sharing as much useful information, ideas, links and discussion as we can. Some of this is being done through WhatsApp communities, and you can join those here, and we are also storing that information on this page too.
Both Prenatal Yoga (Relax, Stretch and Breathe) and Mother and Baby Yoga include an integrated discussion or informal prenatal or parenting class. These discussions are always interested and varied after each session I share more information, ideas and links. Here are some of those follow ups, for anyone who might find them useful...
There has been plenty of discussion this week on the RSB WhatsApp group about protecting the perineum during birth and how to avoid a tear on an episiotomy. Episiotomies are not done so frequently in Switzerland - ideally there won't be any damage to the perineum at all, and the midwives here are quite hands on to help with that, but a tear is considered preferable to a cut - as it will usually be less deep and heal more quickly and more strongly. An episiotomy is usually necessary for an assisted birth- one that uses ventouse or forceps.
Perineal massage, using water throughout the active labour (even if intermittently), spending time in the water or giving birth in the water, choosing particular positions and breathing patterns and making sure the midwife knows if you are fearful about tearing are probably all effective to prevent tearing. Interventions (eg induction, or augmentation) can cause a cascade of other interventions which may include (earlier) epidural and therefore reduced mobility, less optimal position for baby and so bigger stretch for the perineum, and more likely use of ventouse, and therefore episiotomy).
If it’s an option for you and appeals then the geburtshauses usually report extremely low rates of perineal trauma (for example 96% women have intact perineum at the Tagmond). This is partly because of the lower rate of interventions; the protocols about the length of time for stages of labour are different (more time, which again leads to fewer interventions like augmentation) and very high rates of water birth, plus women using a v wide range of positions to birth in. If a geburtshaus is not for you you can absolutely recreate those conditions in a hospital setting, you may need to be more of an advocate for yourself, to consider the effect of any interventions that are suggested (the ins and outs of why there are more interventions in hospitals than home births and birth houses are fascinating and complex).
So to help avoid stitches:
- perineal massage from 34 weeks (if this feels okay for you - if it makes you feel really stressed then that might become counterproductive. There is research that shows that perineal massage from 34 weeks has a statistically significant effect on reducing tears - but equally there are many women who never do perineal massage and don't tear)
- pelvic balancing work and pelvic floor work, basically what we do in RSB
- staying mobile, upright/forward leaning
- using the bath or birth pool
- choosing not to have an epidural, or keeping the epidural low dose
During the second stage/pushing stage/ as the baby’s head is emerging
- telling the midwife you are worried about tearing, she can be hands on and also suggest positions and breathing
- panting or doing steam train impressions when the baby’s head is crowning
- using all fours positions/Sphinx pose over squat positions (but the midwife will guide/coach you with this.)
I rather like this article on this topic
Please stick within your limits and if anything feels uncomfortable please stop. Whether you are pregnant or have a small baby, now is not the time to be pushing yourself, instead yoga should be about finding what feels good and keeping yourself within that feel good place.
Some prenatal Yoga from Yoga with Adrienne (also nice with a small baby): https://youtu.be/0cKnStmV1dI
Some Spinning Babies Yoga moves from our regular RSB sessions. See also www.spinningbabies.com
Some Mindful Mama relaxations and affirmations to listen to: https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2016/mindful-hypnobirthing/
A Mother and Baby Yoga session, with sketch drawings and song ideas
RCOG guidelines on corona virus in pregnancy: https://www.rcog.org.uk/coronavirus-pregnancy
Coronavirus and Breastfeeding: https://www.llli.org/coronavirus/
Due to the COVID19 pandemic there are currently no face to face classes. However we are maintaining our community on WhatsApp and on FB, so do join us
RSB WhatsApp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/CKpk9dlhb6dA5NR76izmtz
MBY WhatsApp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/I5CPvSmU42xEaHo6D6Acuv
I am also adding useful links, ideas and information here:
We also have regular Relax, Stretch and Breathe sessions, Mother and Baby Yoga classes and Preparing for Parenthood classes running on Zoom
Relax, Stretch and Breathe: via Zoom
Tuesdays (or occasionally Wednesdays) 18.15-19.45 please get in touch via email for the Zoom link
Mother and Baby Yoga: via Zoom
Mondays 10.00-11.00 please get in touch for the Zoom link
Preparing for Parenthood antenatal courses
Preparing for Parenthood 07 (hopefully face to face, if not then via Zoom with adjusted timings)
Saturday 4 July 9.30-13.30
Sunday 5 July 9.30-14.30
Tuesday 7 July 18.30-21.00
+ postnatal session (1,5 hours) after the babies are born
+ 2 RSB sessions prenatally
+1 MBY session postnatally
Preparing for Parenthood 08 (hopefully face to face, if not then via Zoom with adjusted timings)
Saturday 29 August 9.30-13.30
Sunday 30 August 9.30-14.30
Thursday 3 September 18.30-21.00
+ postnatal session (1,5hours) after the babies are born
+2 RSB sessions prenatally
+1 MBY session postnatally