These exercises increase the mobility of the pelvic joints and the function of the pelvic and abdominal muscles. Because of the changes in the muscles and joints resulting from exercise techniques during pregnancy, there is no doubt that women become supple in their body movements. In addition, the tonality of their muscles improved.
The two definite benefits resulting from these exercises include a better posture and the ability to achieve muscular relaxation – even during labor. Both of these benefits are not only experienced during pregnancy but can also last for the rest of the woman’s life.
Expectant mothers should enroll in a childbirth preparation class as early as the first trimester of pregnancy. The obstetrician may recommend a class given by Childbirth Educator or by trained midwives and nurses who give prenatal classes. The exercises given are simple and not tiresome. They have been approved by doctors. During these classes not only exercises are taught to prepare the muscle for the birthing experience but also the relaxation techniques that will help lessen if not eliminate the muscular and psychological trauma that most mothers, especially first timers expect from childbirth.
We cannot deny the fact that there is pain with childbirth –either during or after, whether naturally delivered or cesarean. Attending childbirth preparation classes does not abolish all pain and discomfort. Preparedness is what is being taught. An athlete preparing for a great contest trains and prepares his body for the challenges ahead. With the proper use of the muscles, discomfort is greatly lessened. When a mother is aware of how her body works during pregnancy and childbirth and is normally healthy, this lessens the possibility that she will need drugs to induce labor and sedatives to knock her unconscious during her baby’s birth.
In general the advantages of preferring natural childbirth methods over the drug-induced one can be summed up briefly:
1. It is safer for both mothers and babies.
2. The length of may be shortened, with less complications, and convalescence is improved.
3. Women who deliver babies in the natural way have a feeling of satisfaction in accomplishment which benefits them physically and psychologically.
I come from a country where there are still many mothers who are uneducated, regardless of social status and educational background, in the aspect of natural childbirth. The society’s outlook of a cesarean childbirth as a fashionable trend and a status symbol merely aggravates the situation, making hospitals milk money from ignorant mothers telling them that a C-section is needed even if she is perfectly normal. Scare tactics are common.
If only expectant mothers would prepare and educate themselves for childbirth, then perhaps unnecessary sedations and operations in the delivery rooms will be lessened. Childbirth is a wonderful experience. It doesn’t always have to sound like a horror story.