2 Types of Squats for birth

September 7, 2016 in Childbirth, Pelvis, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

When I was pregnant for the first time 16 years ago I knew squatting was a good idea to help with birth.  Yet I didn’t know much about how to best squat for birth.  Years later having worked with pregnant and post partum women, I’ve learned a lot I wish I knew back then.  But my births went well so what I did must have helped.  Let me share with you what you really want to do to help open up your pelvis for birth.

Pelvic Motions for Birth

For your pelvis to birth your baby the top of the sacrum first needs to move backwards during the first part of labor

counternutation

and then forwards again during the later part of labor.

 

nutation 2

 

So to help your pelvis do these motions, you can do two different types of squats.

Squatting for Birth

To help open up the top part for the first part of labor squatting with your butt tucked under will help make this happen, like this;

squattingnotgoodcounternutation

Yet so many women sit too much in this posture with pressure on the sacrum so you don’t have to work too hard on this squat other than to strengthen your legs.

 

What you really need to work on is the second type of squat because your sacrum needs more help opening up to get your baby out.  This squat is where you stick your butt out as you bend down like this:

squattinggood

 

Keep working on this last squat for the majority of your pregnancy as your sacrum needs more help opening up like this!

When you start laboring you would benefit from you doing the first squat to help allow your baby into your pelvis. Lifting up on your belly while you do so can help too.  Once you hit the second stage of labor then you want to focus on the second squat as that will help your baby to come on out!

 

So there you have the two different types of squats and when they are most effective during pregnancy and birth!   Squat away!!!

 

3 Signs your Pelvis is Still Birthing after Childbirth

March 26, 2016 in Childbirth, Pelvis, Post Partum, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

3 Signs your Pelvis is Still Birthing

 

Your pelvis may still be trying to birth your baby!  In my women’s health physical therapy practice I have discovered a very common pattern that a woman’s pelvis goes into to give birth. I’ve seen it in most every woman I’ve worked on in the last year since I became aware of it.  Only a hand full of women have not presented with this pattern. There is a certain way the pelvis opens up to help the baby get out.

 

This pattern can get stuck in a women’s pelvis, sometimes for years.   I first discovered this in my aunt who had a very traumatic birth with her first son who was 47 at the time.   So for 47 years her pelvis has been in an open birthing position.  One would think that the bones of the pelvis just go right back into place after the baby comes out.  In some women it does.  In others, which I’m finding is more and more common, it doesn’t.  The one thing I know that is keeping the pelvis from going back to its normal position is trauma!

 

Trauma can keep the pelvis stuck in the birthing position.   Until the trauma is released and the body and pelvis knows it’s safe then the pelvis can come back together to its normal position.   Trauma can be experienced at any time during the birthing process but most typically is occurs during the pushing phase when the pelvis is already open and ready to let the baby out.

 

Anytime a woman gets to the point where she wants to quit, doesn’t feel she can go on, feels out of control, or maybe gets threatened with a c-section a trauma response can happen in the body.

 

A typical trauma response in the body is to fight or flight the situation but since a birthing woman can’t do those two it does the only thing left which is to freeze. This freezing happens while the pelvis is in an opened, birthing position. Until the trauma is released the body tends to hold onto this pattern.

 

I can see how a woman may not recognize this trauma or that her pelvic is still birthing. After opening up so wide to get the baby out, all sense of normalcy, what was felt like before birth, is gone. There is no ground zero in your body once it’s birthed a baby. Also seeing and holding your baby in your arms for the first time is enough to distract anyone from what they’ve just gone through.   The reward of being with your baby seems to outweigh or override any negative feelings felt during the birthing process.

 

But I do know that women can feel a difference in their body after the pelvis has been helped back into its pre-pregnancy state. You must address both the physical position of the pelvis along with releasing any held emotions and trauma in the tissues.

There are 3 signs that I’ve discovered that are clues that your pelvis is still birthing. Let’s see if you have any of them.

 

#1. Your Pelvis is Tilted

The first sign your pelvis is still in a birthing pattern is when you lay down on your back on a hard surface (a soft bed may not the best surface to check this out on) is to check out how level are your hip bones, those little bumps on either side of your pelvis. Are they even? Or do you notice that your right side ilium, or hip bone, is higher than the left?

The typical birthing pattern is the right side will be higher than the left. When lying down on your back the pelvis will be tilted to the left as seen in this picture.

 

Position of pelvis after childbirth

Position of pelvis after childbirth

The reason for this is the sacrum gets jammed up and over to the right during the birth process.

 

Here is a normal posterior view of a sacrum prior to birth.

 

Normal position of sacrum in pelvis

Normal position of sacrum in pelvis

This is how the sacrum shifts to the right for birth.

Sacrum shifted to right

Sacrum shifted to right

This shifting of the sacrum to the right is also why so many women have right-sided low back pain after childbirth.   The sacroiliac joint gets jammed and the sacrum can’t move as freely as it should which is why the pain is created. Getting the sacrum back into proper place alleviates the pain.

There is a two-step process I do to help mobilize the sacrum back into midline again. I haven’t figured out how to help women do this on their own yet! Stay tuned….

 

#2. Sitting Unevenly or Uncomfortably

For the baby to be able to come out of the pelvis the sits bones or ischiums need to splay out to the side. Ideally they splay out evenly.   But depending on the baby’s pathway through the pelvis or the birthing position used, one ischium may be more splayed out to the side. Birthing in a side lying position can limit the mobility of the lower sided pelvis (on the bed) and cause more movement in the upper side (ceiling side). Birthing on your back with two separate people holding your legs at different angles can also potentially cause an imbalance in your pelvis.

If the pelvis remains in this birthing position, sitting may seem different. It can feel uneven, or awkward.   This is not from swelling or tenderness in your perineum, as that can cause discomfort and or pain. If you don’t have pain but sitting still feels weird, it’s because your bones are in a different position than before your birth.

#3. Feeling Ungrounded or Discombobulated

One of the things I ask the moms that I find with birthing pelvis’ is “What are you feeling in your body and in your life?” The most common reply is “ungrounded, not myself or discombobulated”

When we realize the pelvis is our energetic foundation for our body and life, when it is open and unbalanced we don’t have a solid foundation. In one of my clients it felt like energetically she was walking around with her energy just flowing out full blast, like both faucets handles turned on and water spilling out with no container to hold it.  When you can’t hold and contain your energy within you, if can feel a little unsettling. Most new moms may attribute this to figuring out how to care for a newborn, not that she has no energetic container.

 

So if you find you have one, two or all of these signs you now know what’s going on. Your pelvis is stuck in a birthing position and needs help coming back together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is in the Air, Is it for you?

February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Can You Say “I Love Myself?” 

Unfortunately not many people can.  Most women are really good at pouring the love out to others, partners, children, family and friends that when it comes to actually loving themselves, it’s a hard thing to do.
I think all of us are on a journey to learn to love ourselves more.  Here are three things that I feel have had the greatest impact in my ability to have greater love for myself.
 

4 Secrets to Loving Yourself

 

Secret #1:  It’s either Love or Fear, which are you in right now?

The world is only made up of two different kinds of energy, Love or Fear.
You can’t experience both at the same time.  Every emotion and feeling boils down to either of these two energies.
When we are feeling love our bodies and cells expand and we are open and receptive.  When we are living in fear our bodies and cells contract and we close ourselves down to life.
Being aware of the state of your feelings is the first step to changing it.  When I notice myself contracting in a fear based response, I simply notice it and focus in on sometime that can open my heart to love instead by doing Secret #2.

 

Secret #2:  Have Gratitude for Everything

 
One of the easiest things we can do to bring in more of what we want in life, including love, is to have gratitude for everything.
Be grateful for all your talents, gifts and abilities that come natural and easy to you.
Not everyone has what you have.  Honor that and cherish the blessings that you bring to your life and the lives of all that you encounter.
Keep your focus on what you do like and not about what we don’t like about yourself.
Where your attention goes, energy flows and results show.  Focus on the positive and be grateful for having them so you have more positive showing up.
Feel that gratitude in your body and embrace it fully.  That is love.

Secret #3:  Use your Imagination to remember your perfection  

 
Our mind knows no difference between our imagination and our reality.  We can use this to our advantage.  
 
Using your imagination I invite you, as you are today, to go back to the time of your birth and see yourself standing at your mom’s bedside. When you come out, picture the doctor handing you, as the baby, to you as the adult. You are holding yourself as a little newborn baby.  Look down at that baby in your arms and see the perfection, goodness and wholeness of that little being in your arms.  Feel that in your body.  All those not so good feelings you have about yourself, do you see or feel them in this baby.  
 
Our body knows no time or space so that little babe in your arms is still inside of your being.  She’s just been covered up from your life experiences.  Remind yourself of that perfection still inside of you and focus in on that.  
 

BONUS:  Secret #4:  Your life experiences don’t define you, they teach you.

 
Neither do your roles in life.  Who are you really, besides wife, mom, friend, your job title? 
 
Getting to the core of who we really are as a spiritual being gives greater meaning to our lives. 
 
I choose to believe that I am Soul inhabiting a body versus a body that has a soul. 
 
From this higher perspective I can choose to experience my life from a spiritual state of mind. All that happens to me is for my highest and best good and I’m here to learn from it.  When I can see my lessons, I can grow and expand my awareness so it doesn’t happen again.  This helps to lessen the guilt and judgement of what’s happening to me and I have a greater ability to love myself more.  
Isn’t that what life is all about?  How do you find ways to love yourself more?
 

Is Your Due Date Coming and Your Baby Not Dropping?

October 24, 2013 in Pelvic Floor, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Is your baby due in a couple of weeks and he’s not engaging into your pelvis?  Feeling your baby should be dropping down into your pelvis a little more than he is?

There is one major thing you need to check to see if it is what is stopping your baby from coming on down.

 

CHECK OUT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLESpelvic floor muscles

 

I encourage every woman, about to give birth, to assess her pelvic floor muscle tone.  (Actually every woman should check their pelvic floor muscle tone, whether you are having a baby or not!)   This is more than just perineal massage.  This is about making sure your pelvic floor muscles have the ability to release and stretch.  When doing your perineal massage, you need to make sure your pelvic floor muscles have spring to them.  They should give and release like when you push down on a trampoline, it gives way and then comes back up.
Imagine the opening of your vagina is a clock you are facing.  At 12:00 is the urethra and clitoris and a 6:00 is the perineal body, junction between the anus and the vaginal opening.  From 3 to 6 :00 and from 6 to 9:00 are your muscles.  If you push down and out to the side at a diagonal you will see whether your muscles give or not.  They should give easily to your pressure and spring back up when you release.

 

PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES AS STOP LIGHT FOR BABY

 

I liken the pelvic floor muscles to a stop light, signaling the baby on what to do.  If you have too much tone in them, as in red light tone, that’s telling the baby to not come down this way.    Red light tone is where the muscles have zero deformability to them.  You press on them and they are bricks and don’t budge.  This may be caused by a passive tension in the muscles from our unconscious holding or clenching of these muscles from an injury.  Actively we can clench these muscles if we want to stop gas from passing.  The problem is so many women are walking around with tension in these muscles and they don’t even know it.

 

Have you ever caught yourself with your shoulders up by your ears and once you were aware of it you were able to relax them back down.  That same kind of tension can be found in our pelvic floor muscles.  The only difference is we don’t have the visual cue of our shoulders to let us know the tension is there.  But we do know what is there if we assess the pelvic floor muscles.  When you find increased tension in the muscles, and it can be one side or both sides, simply put a gentle pressure on the muscle and breathe down into it.  With awareness, passively held tension can release.   If it’s resistant to release you may need some help from a Women’s Health physical therapist.

 

Red light tone can also be caused from a fall on the tailbone that happened anytime in your life. Having the tailbone offset can create tension in the muscles keeping it in that position.   Getting your tailbone back into alignment is not something you can do on your own.  I haven’t found a way yet to help someone do this to herself so again seeing a women’s health PT can be very helpful.  (You can find a WHPT near you at www.MoveForwardPT.com)

 

I’ve seen a couple of women come in with a baby’s head off to one side, heading into the hip, instead of the pelvic inlet.  In evaluating their pelvic floor muscles the opposite side pelvic floor muscles had increased tone, like it was repelling the baby’s head from that side.  As soon as those muscles released the baby’s head shifted to midline.   In one case the baby’s positioning change was so dramatically I wished I had taken before and after pictures of her belly.

 

Yellow light tone in the pelvic floor muscles, means there is some tension and resistance to the tissues to being stretched but it can do it a little bit.  Yellow light tone just means the baby will have a little bit more resistance coming through.  If you work with this tension you should be able to let go and get your tissues into a green light state.

 

Green light tone in your pelvic floor muscles is the go for it signal for the baby to come on through!  This is the kind of tone in the muscles you want with no tension in them at all.  You press on them and they spring and stretch easily and pop right back up when you release that pressure.  Babies love green light tone in the muscles!

 

So what kind of tone are you carrying around in your pelvic floor?  Assess yourself and find out now, before you go into labor.  If you do find tension in the muscles work with them to see if you can release it.  You’ll be so glad you did and your baby will be too!

 

What is your mother’s gift to you?

May 1, 2013 in Pregnancy, Uncategorized

The ancestral heritage of our mothers, beneficial or baggage?

When we are pregnant we have lots of time to plan and ponder our new role as mom.  What kind of mom do you wish to be?  Is there a gender that you have any fears around raising? What was your relationship like with your mother? What aspects from your mother do you wish to pass on and which do you choose to abandon?pregnant with kid By hin255

I saw a pregnant woman today who was expressing some fear around bringing a girl into her life.  She did not want to recreate the same disconnected relationship that she has experienced with her mom.   Interestingly enough she was also having some problems in her left side sacroiliac joint in her back.    That joint was jammed and unable to move as freely as it needed to.

 The Feminine and Masculine

The left side of our body represents the feminine aspects of ourselves and the right side the masculine.  In Tami Lynn Kent’s book the Wild Feminine she talks about the ancestral lineage that we carry energetically from our mothers on the left side in the back and our fathers on the right side.    This corresponded to my client’s current problem area.

When I asked her about her mothers relationship with her mother there was the same disconnect between them.  This dysfunctional relationship was being handed down from mother to daughter for generations and she was very aware of it and not wanting to repeat it.  I asked her to sense into that energetic chain of poor relationships between females in her family and sever it in whatever way felt best.   She did so and her sacrum released.  I also asked her to look at the women in her family and to find the traits that she was proud of and to honor those traits.

In releasing those qualities of what doesn’t feel right to us and hanging on to those that do, we consciously create our future.  It’s only in releasing these held bonds that bind us to our ancestry, once we become aware of them, that we can truly have freedom in our relationships and in creating our life.

Growing up in my family, my mother and grandmother were the queens of doing.  Constant busy bees, doing whatever they needed to fill up the time, avoiding any moments of down time to just be.  My great grandmother was a mother 14 times over so I can only imagine how busy her life must have been.   I too took on that role thinking “I just like to do things, there’s nothing wrong with that!”  It wasn’t until several people continued to ask me why I did so much “doing” that I really started to stop and ponder the question.  What was this all about?  I realized there was a fear inside of just being with my feelings and myself.  I faced my fears, my feelings and myself and saw the ancestral chain that bonded me to my heritage and I wanted to stop this insanity.    While I released this constant need to do and was able to just be with myself, I embraced the wonderful quality of the power of getting things done that was so strong in my female lineage.

I had another client who came to me while pregnant complaining of left hip pain.  In feeling into her left hip there was a holding pattern, blocking the flow of energy around her left hip and pelvis.  I helped her to feel into that pattern and it became clear to her that she too did not want to recreate the same connection with her soon to be born daughter as she had with her mom.  Realizing this, she was able to come to terms with what she did want to create with her daughter; she released the fear and pattern in her ancestral chain and became conscious of creating a new way of connecting with her child.

Energetic Holding Patterns

Pains in our body can be more than just something wrong with the tissues.  Energetic holding patterns can create pain. When we become aware of what the holding pattern is about, we can release them and allow us to grow and connect to others and ourselves in a new way.

What ancestral patterns are you carrying on?   Once you become aware of the pattern you have a choice whether you wish to continue creating it.  How is it serving you?  What would it take to release any detrimental patterns in your life?

I would love to hear from you; post your comments below so we can all learn from each other.

 

 

 

 

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February 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

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