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  • Writer's pictureLisa Thompson

Treading lightly and paying attention to our bodies.

I took Beans the dog for a walk up into the woods behind my house. It was still very hot and if we go to the park he goes bonkers for his ball - I didn't want him to overheat, so we went to the woods where it's cooler and he can pootle about in the undergrowth.

In the woods we can stick to the cycle path, which is flattish and smooth. Or we can go up one of the tracks - stonier, uneven, sometimes steep. Today I hadn't dressed for real off road walking, I just had a summer skirt and canvas plimsolls on but the weather has been dry and the particular track we were going to use isn't very difficult so off we went.

Of course the stony path soon reminded me to take care where I put my feet, especially as my ancient plimsolls have very thin soles. So I had to slow down from my normal walking pace, think about my balance and place my feet carefully for my own comfort. I was paying much more attention to the sensations of comfort and discomfort than when I'm wearing walking boots that separate my feet from the path.

It got me thinking about labour. About how trying to go fast isn't always the best way, about how we can separate ourselves from our body's sensations with medications or we can slow down, pay attention to the sensations our body is communicating and adjust our movements to maximise comfort.

By slowing down in the woods I disturbed the wildlife less, I was able to observe the birds and the butterflies around me. They weren't startled by my passing. In labour, if we tune in and allow our bodies to guide us, we are more likely to move in ways that allow the baby to find comfortable positions too. Positions that make navigating the birth canal less troublesome.

Physiological birth is a beautiful dance between two (or more) active participants and the subtle interplay requires a relaxed connection with the normal physical sensations of the body. Sometimes the dance takes longer than usual, sometimes it's over more quickly, but the the length of the dance isn't the most important feature... the wellbeing of the participants is. Wellbeing that is both enhanced and measured by comfort, by being in tune, able to adjust posture and movement.

Of course sometimes extra help is needed and difficulties can't all be resolved with simple measures like movement, but being able to recognise the difference is another benefit of being in tune with physical sensations, of being alert to what our bodies are telling us and having the confidence to speak up when needed.

Would you like to find out how KG Hypnobirthing can help you release fear in pregnancy, feel confident and calm about birth and help you navigate the maternity systems so you get the right birth for you?

KGH taster session 4th June at 19.00 in Rudry Parish Hall. £10 ticket gives a £25 discount against any full course. Tickets via Eventbrite or contact Lisa.

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