Training For Natural Birth?
Don’t Forget Your Psoas
In the world today there are many women who have been born with a condition called Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD). The PFD is caused by lack of flexibility in the pelvic floor muscles.
These muscles play a major role in maintaining continence during childbirth. They also prevent incontinence afterwards. Women suffering from this problem may experience pain during or after childbirth, and they may even pass out due to it.
The most common symptoms of the PFD include:
Pain during or after birth. This can range from mild discomfort to severe pain.
Some women may not feel any pain at all, while others may experience intense and prolonged contractions. If labor pains become unbearable, then you will need to go into emergency labor. You will definitely want to avoid having a C-section if possible!
Passing out due to the pain. This happens when the woman experiences a loss of blood pressure or her heart rate becomes too fast.
A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause death. The same goes for an irregular heartbeat which causes unconsciousness. If you experience one of these symptoms, then call 911 immediately!
If none of those things happen, then you will probably be able to deliver your baby naturally without any medical intervention whatsoever! It is important to avoid pushing ahead too quickly, since that can cause the muscles of the pelvis to separate further.
If this occurs, then your baby will need to be pulled out with forceps or a vacuum extractor. You definitely want to avoid these things if at all possible!
There are some techniques that you can use during labor to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of PFD. The first and most obvious is breathing.
When you push you should take fast and shallow breaths to prevent from passing out. You can also try to “yawn” to trigger a natural increase in melatonin. Melatonin is naturally created by the brain and helps you stay asleep. Triggering a surge of this hormone should cause your heart rate to stabilize.
Research studies have proven that the psoas major (muscle) plays a vital role in preventing PFD. A psoas minor also exists, but it does not help prevent PFD.
Stretching these muscles is vital to avoiding PFD and its symptoms. You should try to hold each of these stretches for at least 30 seconds, if not a minute or even two.
Try doing them a few times every day in order to prevent from PFD and reduce the chances of PFD happening during labor.
Below are the names of the muscles and the stretches you should perform:
Floor Psoas Stretch
This is one of the most effective ways to stretch your psoas. It will also stretch your gastrocnemius and soleus (calf) muscles and your iliacus (the inner part of your thigh).
Here’s how you do it:
1. Kneel on the ground with your knees spread about as far apart as your hips.
2. Put your palms on the ground in front of you and lean forward until you can place your elbows between your knees.
3. Keep leaning forward until you feel your psoas stretch.
You’ll know you’re doing it right if you feel a stretch deep in your hips. Hold that position for at least thirty seconds.
4. After thirty seconds, push yourself up using your palms.
5. Kneel on the ground with your knees together and your feet spread wide apart.
6. Place your left palm on the ground outside your left leg.
7. Quickly place your right hand on the ground outside your right leg.
8. Lean forward until you feel your psoas stretch.
Sources & references used in this article:
The psoas book by L Koch – 1997 – books.google.com
Look right through: intention and accident in performer/audience training by JB Whalley, L Miller – Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
Breathing, voice, and movement therapy: Applications to breathing disorders by I Buchholz – Biofeedback and Self-regulation, 1994 – Springer
A new modified technique of triple osteotomy of the innominate bone for acetabular dysplasia by GE Lipton, JR Bowen – Clinical Orthopaedics and Related …, 2005 – journals.lww.com