Continuing on with my series on easier birth, here's another way that we can ease the birthing process. Decreasing intra-abdominal pressure. We have a lot of upward pressure in the abdomen created from years of sucking in- whether to make our belly look flatter, or to "engage the core." Have you ever heard a fitness instructor tell you to "pull your belly in towards your spine" ? Chances are, what you were doing was not in fact engaging your deep core musculature, but just sucking your belly in and increasing the pressure in the abdomen. And when we suck in we are actually also sucking UP and thereby the pressure gradient is moving upwards.
THEN, come time to push anything out- whether it be something that you push out into the toilet once a day or.... the much cuter.... A BABY. We have to push harder to push against the upward force to create enough pressure downward to cause baby or, um, something else, to move down and out.
BUT there is hope! We can begin to release that pressure by de-training our bodies from sucking in all the time. Most of the time, we don't even realize the habits we have formed over our lifetime. So here is a little exercise that will help you begin to release the belly and be mindful about it more during the day.
Relaxing the belly doesn't mean that we never fire the abdominal muscles. It means that they shouldn't be on *all the time.* And most of us don't even know how to fire them properly. Pulling the "belly to the spine" is not an adequate cue for engaging the core because it leaves out the transversalis (our god given girdle and deepest core!) entirely.
If you are local and want to learn more about the core I have a workshop coming up in November where we will be doing some great exercises to help heal and strengthen our abdominals. We will release our bellies as well... they shouldn't be turned on ALL THE TIME. They should be able to respond to the need to turn on, but they should be able to relax as well. For better birth, and for better digestion!
Here's the event page
Please email to register! There is a pelvic floor class and a class for birth professionals in November as well! And as always- I do private sessions as well!
ALSO- if you're having pelvis issues- imagine when we suck in that all that would be hanging out has not disappeared.... it's just displaced our organs. And the organs gotta go somewhere so sometimes... it's outward causing prolapse issues! So sucking in causes a lot of damage and not just to the pushing process of birth- though that's the issue I choose to cover mostly in today's post!
Have a fabulous day!! Enjoy the beautiful fall!
Mama Aligned is Lindsay McCoy.