Perinatal yoga in Greece - our experience
As an Obstetrician, my job is to follow up women through their pregnancies, to provide useful information in order for them to be aware, to prevent or treat any complication that might appear and finally, to help them give birth safely.
By joining the Birthlight yoga training course in Athens, conducted by Rosanna, an inspirational tutor, I found excellent assistance to do my work in a simple, holistic and agreeable way. After adding Birthlight yoga, in my practice, I can now, proudly, watch my girls gain awareness and confidence, be able to control their bodies and minds and to confront efficiently the physical, mental and emotional changes to come with a high level of self-discipline.
I train my future moms in collaboration with Nancy, a charismatic yoga instructor and Birthlight yoga accredited trainer, who through safe teaching has the most positive impact on moms-to-be. Nancy and I, have noticed the following changes, attributed to Birthlight yoga, regarding the physical and mental status of women and the outcome of their pregnancies:
Our women are confident and strong, with an optimistic attitude, throughout the pregnancy and during labor. We enjoy more smiling faces and less stressed cases. It is totally true that awareness is the antidote of fear and Birthlight yoga is here to prove it
Practicing Birthlight yoga breathing techniques is a way for them to overcome successfully various situations of their everyday life, such as cases of anxiety, sleepiness or fatigue
Our moms-to-be are more physically active, they get less weight gain and exercise seem to be their preferable way of life. Through maintaining the correct posture, getting stronger and understanding the principles of transition movements, severe back or pelvic pains are rare, which minimizes the need of pharmaceutical prescriptions
During labor the contractions pain is better manageable, so when epidural is an option, its duration is shorter than it used to be and all these, because of breathing techniques, special movements and asanas women learned in the classes. The leaning forwards position, in contrast to lying back, turns out to be a great promoter of natural outcome. So, the percentage of vaginal deliveries raised and forceps’ lowered. A certain time of exhale pushing just before instinctive pushing, after full dilatation, is less tiring and energy saving for the woman, but it also gives the chance to the baby to smoothly turn its head and to gain the correct position for exit
Episiotomy, when this is the case, is much shorter, and vaginal tears are uncommon
But even when the caesarean section is the only option, women feel OK with it, because they are completely aware that they have done everything possible right and by relaxation techniques they can manage any preoperative stress
Skin to skin contact is encouraged immediately after delivery and babies, like their moms, seem to be so very aware of what their role in the play is, so they breastfeed immediately and effectively after delivery
During the postpartum period new moms, having strong shoulders and back due to muscle toning yoga exercises and awareness of the correct posture, they breastfeed, lift , cuddle and take care of their baby with ease
They enjoy the chance to exercise immediately after vaginally delivery or even caesarean section, by practicing reverse yoga and they feel great watching their body reshape to its previous style, much quicker.
Our girls in the end recognize that Birthlight yoga helped them immensely. This is Nancy’s and mine reward!!!
Ourania-Karolina Koliopoulou MD/PhD