Using Movement to Help Recover from a Difficult Birth

There is a reason why people call birth a miracle. It’s because it is! But just calling it a miracle can take away from the natural wonder of it. Birth doesn’t happen because of a miracle; it occurs because the bodies of the mother and baby are working in concert. The miracle is literally what we are designed to do.

In the fourth module of the The Whole Person: Embodied Early Developmental Movement and Attachment Therapy, we’re going to be exploring how we can use movement to recover from a difficult birth experience, for both the mother and child. 

Something that isn’t often talked about the birthing process is the infant’s potency and their profound drive to come into life the way they want. Generally, babies enter into this world headfirst, but not necessarily all of them. In fact, some babies want to enter into this world backwards, feet first! There are many different kinds of birth, but every journey starts with the baby and the mother working through a cooperative relationship to initiate birth. There is a collective energy between them. This process is often subconscious on both parts, with neither baby or mother thinking, “Ok, it’s baby time!” (Of course, many mothers are praying for birth to begin after the previous nine months!)

Simultaneously, as the mother starts to respond to her body’s natural directives physically, the baby will begin to push against the mother with their body (Bet you thought that it was only the mother who is doing the pushing). The baby compresses inward and expands outward, pushing against the uterus with their feet, pushing themselves headfirst down towards the opening of the uterus and into the birth canal. If you pay attention, their movement is in the form of a spiral. It’s their head pushing against the opening of the uterus that softens the tissue so the baby can begin to come through. Can you imagine? The birthing process is quite a relational dance!

The movement of the baby is about more than just getting out of the uterus. The condensing and expansion is one of the ways that a baby’s lungs get stretched out to prepare for breathing. For their entire existence, they’ve been underwater animals, but that will change immediately after birth. By squeezing their lungs, compressing them, they are essentially creating a vacuum. Once they enter into the world, they relax that contraction, naturally pulling the air into their lungs, starting the breathing process.

In this module, we will be exploring what it’s like to be gently and rhythmically squeezed, allowing your fluids, lungs, and tissue to expand. This rhythm of condensing and expanding underlies so many of the physiological experiences that we carry with us throughout our lives. It’s our underlying rhythm for everything. Through this exploration, we will be talking about how to integrate this into our work helping children who had a difficult birth or missed this contraction and expansion through a C-section. We will be learning how to encourage a safe, supportive dance that allows them to recover these moves that can restore our potency in our lives. 

So, I invite you to come in and explore how the bodies of the mother and baby work together to facilitate birth! The Whole Person: The Embodied Early Developmental Movement & Attachment Therapy training course is specifically designed for psychologists and therapists, movement professionals, educators, and body workers. It is also a profound training program for parents (and in this case, brand-new parents!) This is how I started my journey in this work.

Over the next two years, this course will be introducing concepts that might completely change the way that you view yourself and the way that you work with your clients. This kind of personal growth can be remarkable, leading to changes in your life that you can’t even imagine right now. I invite you to join us on this journey in the fourth module of the The Whole Person: Embodied Early Developmental Movement & Attachment Therapy Intensive training course!