As contractions surge, you may be fighting the urge to tighten your body, including your pelvic floor. Tightness in the pelvic floor may make it more challenging for baby to descend and rotate!
Fortunately, I have 4 ideas for you to incorporate into your birth to help relax your pelvic floor!
Shake the apples! Someone on your birth team can gently shake your hips or upper legs. It is very hard to stay clenched and tight when someone is adding movement to the muscles.
Jiggle! Again, call on your birth team to very gently jiggle your sacrum or legs, which helps to release fascia. When we do this in prenatal yoga class, I instruct that it’s not a shake but the slightest jiggle (like the wobble of a delicious panna cotta)! YUM!
Relax your jaw! Next time you stub your toe or feel general stress, chances are your jaw clenches up. There is a direct correlation between tension in your jaw and the pelvic floor. You can massage your jaw or just think about creating a bit of space between your upper and lower teeth.
Open and low sounds! For years I have humorously used the phrase open throat, open vagina! – but there really is truth to that statement. When the throat is open, this opening is reflected in the throat of the uterus, the cervix. There is also a relationship between your larynx (vocal cords) and your pelvic floor. In fact, the cervix and vocal fold tissue behave similarly when tested.
Remember, practice makes progress! The more you practice these relaxation techniques, the quicker your body and mind will respond and learn to relax. So set aside some time to practice these skills with your partner and birth team.
Check out our IN PERSON or ONLINE prenatal yoga classes to learn more about your pelvic floor and how to prepare for birth!
Want to learn more about the pelvic floor? Listen to the Yoga | Birth | Babies episode, How Stress Affects Your Pelvic Floor with Hayley Kava PT, MPT