Expecting mums are turning to ancient yogic breathing and relaxation techniques to help birth painlessly and without drugs. YogaBellies, a yoga organization founded by a Glasgow mum, focuses on classes for mum and baby during the perinatal period. YogaBellies are now bringing these techniques to the modern mother to help her enjoy pregnancy and yes, even birth!
Yogic techniques have long been recognized in the fields of anxiety and stress management and building flexibility and strength and now these key benefits are being hailed as mother’s solution to everything she needs for a healthy pregnancy and quick and active birth.
YogaBellies approaches yoga in a modern and mummy friendly way, injecting good humour and fun into serious yogic practices, making the classes accessible to all. YogaBellies having been carrying out regular birth outcomes studies over the past 2 years with responses from over 200 mums already. 80% of the mums in their classes being first time mums and 75% having never set foot in a yoga class before, we find out why new mums are turning to YogaBellies unique style of antenatal care to help them during pregnancy and birth…
What kind of results are mums getting from attending YogaBellies classes?
• 65% of mums used no drugs whatsoever and cited breathing and relaxation techniques used in class, often along with other non-invasive comfort aids such as TENS machines and gas and air as their main choice of pain relief during labour and birth. YogaBellies mums were keen to try for natural birth where possible and felt informed and confident going forward.
• Another interesting outcome of the YogaBellies study is that 95% of YB mums attempted breastfeeding at birth with a national average of 45.4%.
• 62 % of YB mums still breastfeeding their babies after 6 months – that’s 11% higher than the national average for feeding at that age.
• 62% of our mums were in labour for less than 12 hours (UK average 14 hours for a first time mum.) Relaxation has proven to decrease stress and the release of cortisol during labour, allows the muscles of the cervix to relax and speeds up labour as a result.
• Only 10% of YogaBellies mums had an epidural compared to a national average of 25%, with only 13% of YB mums using drugs at all during labour. The rest cited breathing techniques learned in class, water, self hyposis, Tens and gas and air as methods used.
• The c-section rate for mums attending YB classes was 17% compared to 25.4% national average (NHS Information Centre for 2011) and 26.6% average for Scotland.
What have mums said about how YogaBellies classes made a difference to their pregnancy and birth?
“I would always talk about how yogabellies was amazing for me! After 3 miscarriages I was quite stressed during pregnancy and found the classes an amazing relaxation as well as a very sociable friendly place to go. I have been to lots of different baby things since Oscar was born & can honestly say none come even close to the relaxed friendly class of a yogabellies class. The mums I have met through your classes are the ones I am friendly with. No other class has let me relax or socialise the way yours do. I truly am a yogabellies fan – I think it is the main thing for keeping a new mum sane! Finally the fact you organise lunches / cinema trips etc has been such a personal touch again and such a brilliant help to new mums who have given up careers etc and find their life’s very different (for me better!!) but still very different.”
“We can not thank Cheryl enough for all her help and support throughout our pregnancy and during the early months of parenthood. Her hypno birthing techniques, yoga bellies classes and practical holistic advice helped prepare my mind, body and spirit for birth. And although we didn’t have the planned birth we had hoped for, due to our beautiful breech baby delivery, all her advice was hugely beneficial to my post operative healing from my c-section. We would highly recommend YogaBellies classes and and workshops to all prospective parents.”
“I love the whole yogabellies concept! Coming to these classes really helped me during labour … I think coming to these classes contributed to me going a bit early too which was great! I found these classes and Cheryl much more beneficial that the ante natal classes at the hospital ( only made half of them) so lucky I had been to the yogabellies classes! Love it! x”