Yoga and birth are very intertwined for me. Yoga means union of the heart and mind. Which, is something I desperately needed as I was preparing to have my baby.
While there are plenty of studies that show yoga is beneficial during pregnancy, for me, yoga was a necessity.
You see, my first birth was one of the most traumatic events of my life. One I suffered PTSD from and that shaped me very much. (in fact 1 in 5 women have a birth that leaves them with PTSD. It’s not birth but the way we handle birth that creates this problem.)
Entering into pregnancy and birth another time, was very scary for me.
I have practiced yoga here and there ever since high school. Catching a youtube video online when I thought of it, but never consistently. As I was healing from my previous birth trauma, yoga gave me a place to literally burn out my emotions. Pre pregnancy, I loved having a regular practice of hot yoga or bikram yoga, classes that challenged me to the very core and left no room for my mind to do anything but focus on what was right in front of me.
This mental focus is a gift of yoga. One that is crucial to my mental health.
Of course, when I became pregnant with Hazel, I had to change up my yoga practice. I was not comfortable doing hot yoga while pregnant. But I remained in the studio as long as possible.
I did have to take time off and rest during my first trimester.
Second trimester, I was able to be in the studio 2 or 3 times a week.
When third trimester hit, it was full on fatigue, big belly, and my ability to modify for my new body was not keeping up with the rate of my body’s changes. At this time I switched to doing prenatal yoga online and from my home. This was amazing and I wish I had found this studio sooner so that I could at least supplement my in studio yoga practice with it earlier.
When it came time to birth my baby, I was grateful for the mental focus, strength and ability to completely relax and surrender that I had developed. All of these helped me as I birthed Hazel – who was over 10 lbs and presented sideways with her hand over her head. You guys, it was a naturally birth in my bedroom and still the BEST EXPERIENCE of my life even though she was so big.
I could not have done it without being so completely prepared and being surrounded by an incredible team of women and my husband.
Though we aren’t planning on more kids any time soon, I really hope I get the chance to do it all again.