SuNu Wellness Exclusives: 4 Lesser-Known Techniques to Elevate Your Birth Prep by Sarah Auna

SuNu Wellness Exclusives: 4 Lesser-Known Techniques to Elevate Your Birth Prep by Sarah Auna

When you are expecting a baby (or babies) there are so many ways you can care for yourself and your body here at SuNu Wellness.

Of course we know about prenatal yoga and massage as a form of birth preparation. You might even know about using acupuncture to help ripen your cervix in preparation for those final weeks before birth. We offer and love all of those services here. BUT one of the lesser-known approaches to birth and postpartum preparedness is nervous-system regulation. Read on for 4 Lesser-Known Techniques to Elevate Your Birth Prep!

Nervous System Regulation:

Our nervous system is in charge of providing information to every single part of our body. It’s basically the messenger. The body looks to the nervous system to answer the questions- “how should we be feeling about things?” “ How should we be operating?” 

If we are in a state of tension, uncertainty, fear or over-functioning, our nervous system is telling our body, “Hey! Stay on alert! We aren’t sure if it’s safe here or if our needs will be met!”

You have probably noticed tension, uncertainty, fear and over-functioning are a HUGE tradition in the American birth culture. Lots of tests, few positive stories, an emphasis on “to-dos” for the birth giver and fear-heavy language are commonplace. No wonder we are in this state of dysregulation when we are expecting! 

When we assist the body into a state of calm, we are disrupting the “Fear, Tension, Pain” cycle and helping it into the “Calm, Confident, Coping” cycle. In the FTP cycle, all tissues of the body (most importantly the cervix) become high, tight and closed. In the CCC cycle all tissues move 

down, soft and open (again, most importantly the cervix). And the most fundamental rule of birth says you must have a soft and opening cervix to birth a baby vaginally. It’s known as the Sphincter Law (please read more on it here!) 

So what can be done to help our bodies come into a full-body exhale? A state of rest, digest (and birth, BTW). We can participate in the following birth-prep behaviors and services: 

Craniosacral with Alex1- Craniosacral therapy

a gentle body work approach that uses a catalog of “holds” or “gestures” to help your nervous system have a felt-sense of ease, certainty, creativity, intuition and rest. Think about a loved one stroking your forehead, rubbing your earlobes or placing a loving hand on your back. These are examples of the kind of touch that brings us into that regulated state. 

2 – Chiropractic Adjustments

Sometimes, it’s not external factors that are causing static in our nervous systems (like the overwhelming pressure to get parenting “just right”) it’s internal, physical misalignment. Friction or tension that’s interfering with the nervous system’s ability to communicate that relaxation is possible. A literal restriction of the spine could be the reason we are constipated or experiencing anxiety. The messenger cannot deliver the message to let go or breathe easy. A spinal and pelvic adjustment (specifically for pregnant bodies called the Webster Technique) is ideal for eliciting calm AND making more space in the body for the baby to ride comfortably through pregnancy and have more space during birth.

Sarah Auna, Birth Educator and Coach, Sunu Wellness Center Minnetonka3- Birth Coaching Services

Not knowing where to start or desiring a birth outcome, without knowing how to get there, can cause a great deal of fear, tension and literal physical pain in the body. In nervous system terms, we might call this a fight, flight, freeze or fit-in state. A great way to regulate your nervous system is to have access to reliable information and compassionate expertise. A birth doula or a birth coach can help you access information and choose a local birth team that is low on fear and high on evidence. They can help you access your own intuition, values, needs and preferences when it comes to being a medical consumer. Think of our SuNu birth professionals as your personal, local birth Google, taking the deluge of information and fear out of your pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience.

4- Reiki

Sometimes we need something different than what a neck or back massage can provide (though we LOVE those things too!). Reiki enables us to energetically release what is stagnant or unhelpful and embrace the positive. It is based upon the idea that we are alive because there is a universal life force flowing through us and if our life force is blocked or weakened, we become vulnerable to stress and illness.

Reiki is used in many hospitals, hospice and birth care settings as a way to enhance and complement medical or Western-leaning practices. Though Reiki is a spiritual practice, it is not religious, and you do not need to believe in it in order to respond to its effects. You also don’t need to be able to NAME what you need, in order for that thing to be cared for during this ancient and dynamic practice. 

Contact SuNu Wellness to schedule for any of these amazing services! If you would like more education on how the nervous system, anatomy and sphincters factor into your pregnancy and birth experience, please contact our Birth Coach, Sarah Auna.

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