How yoga can help with a smoother birthing experience.
Babies that are well positioned in a woman's pelvis at the end of her pregnancy can have a major influence on her birthing experience and the way her baby is born. A lot of women will work up to 36 weeks in pregnancy, often seated at a desk leaning back in the chair. This seated position can cause the heaviest part of the baby ( the back of the body) to fall towards the woman's spine in the Occipital posterior position (OP) or back to back as it is sometimes called.
Occipital Anterior position (OA)
Babies in the Occipital Anterior (optimal fetal position) have an easier passage through the pelvis. Women delivering in the Occipital Anterior position tend to have shorter and more comfortable labours, with rapid cervix dilation and efficient contractions. There is less likelihood of medical intervention or complications during the birthing process.
Occipital Posterior position (OP)
Babies that are in the Occipital Posterior (fetal back towards the mother's spine) have a much more difficult journey to make. Women delivering babies in an OP position tend to have 'back labour', longer deliveries and will sometimes need medical intervention to assist them.
How can yoga help encourage a baby to rotate into optimal position?
Using yoga poses that are forward-leaning or that are on all fours, especially during the last six weeks of pregnancy (last two-three weeks with second and subsequent pregnancies) can help create space for a baby to move into an OA position. Yoga poses such as Cat position, hip rotations and pelvic floor rocking can all assist with this optimal fetal positioning and help assist babies on their journey into the world.