Pregnancy is a time of great and exciting changes, not least in one's body shape and centre of gravity. The principles of Alexander Technique can be an invaluable tool to help:
Cope with the weight of your growing baby
Manage pregnancy complaints such as backache, breathlessness and tiredness
Learn movements and positions to facilitate natural labour
Recover fitness and well-being faster after birth
Cope with the increased postural demands of lifting, carrying, breast feeding and caring for your baby
Unless you have already had Alexander Technique lessons, it is advisable to begin either 1 to 1 or in a small group in the 2nd trimester from about week 12 onwards. This allows plenty of time to learn the basic principles of the technique and apply them to your changing body. It is not necessary to end up with the typical sway back and exagerated pushing forwards because of the changes in your centre of gravity. With gently hands-on guidence, I teach you to become aware of your habits so you can sense, stop and prevent these tendencies. Pregnancy is a time of great change, physically and emotionally, and Alexander Technique has a significant role to play in keeping you more balanced and in control of these changes.
As the pregnancy progresses, we work together on positions that encourage optimal fetal positioning. They could include work on a gym ball, constructive resting positions, resting over a chair and more. We apply the technique together to squatting, crawling, rocking, walking, the 'pear' movement which is so useful during birth and other guided activities. These encourage freedom of movement and fewer aches and pains for you, and space and less compression for your growing baby.
As you get closer to giving birth, the focus of the sessions changes to include positions and movements that you can use during labour, and many can also involve either your partner or doula (or both!). Examples are supported squats with your partner in many different variations, lunging movements, rocking with one leg on a chair, side to side movements with your partner, positions for resting between contractions, and positions over the gym ball. All procedures are applied using Alexander Technique principles.
These movements and positions help you and your baby progress well through the first and second stages and provide strategies if labour stalls or your baby is not in the optimal position, as well as helping you to conserve your energy between contractions.
You can either learn these procedures during your one to one sessions or as part of a small antenatal group. In either case I would encourage you to bring your partner to at least one session to work together on the procedures.
.There are many challenges post-natally. These include carrying your baby, bending down, breastfeeding, changing nappies, pushing the pram, being at floor level and getting any rest! Alexander Technique principles can be applied to all these activities and we discuss and practise these situations during the pregnancy Alexander Technique classes. Sometimes if the mother can make it, we do a session or two post-natally to look practically at how you are coping with these activities with your baby,