Last night was a lot more about relaxation, we practiced our breathing techniques and learned a little bit about soft touch massage. I really liked having Ryan do the massage on my back and arms while I practiced the calm breath. If you want to do the calm breath I find that it is really nice while driving but during Claire's birth I am supposed to use it during early labor and for in between surges. CALM BREATH - To a count of four, mentally recite “In-2-3-4″ on the intake. Feel your stomach rise as you draw the breath up and into the back of your throat. As you exhale, mentally recite “Out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8″. Exhale through your nose, direct the energy of the breath down and inward toward the back of your throat, allowing your shoulders to droop into the frame of your body. Release all tension and let go. To determine if you are doing this exercise correctly, place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on the lower part of your chest. As you inhale, you should feel your left hand rising as though your stomach were inflating like a balloon. As you exhale, you will feel your hands fold into each other, as your chest and stomach create a crevice.
The breath that I am struggling with and will definitely need to start practicing now that we are getting so close is the surge breath, I read somewhere that because I am usually so low on iron that that could be a reason why this one is a toughie for me. I have done this one at home while watching tv but they suggest I practice it during kicks, pre-labor warm ups [Braxton Hicks], and any time I am feeling any type of discomfort. I haven't actually felt any pre-labor warm ups so once I do we will see how this helps me out. If you wanted to try this breath it can help to think of it as balloon breathing. SURGE BREATH - While resting your back against pillows or lying in a lateral position, place your hands across the top of your abdomen so that your fingers barely meet. Exhale briefly to clear your lungs and nasal passages. Slowly and gradually draw in your breath to a rapid count from 1 to 20 as though you were inflating your belly. Exhale in the same slow manner.
While breathing in visualize filling a balloon inside your abdomen as you draw in. Slowly exhale to the same count breathing downward and outward. Visualize the balloon slowly drifting off into space. Give your breath to your baby, gently and slowly exhaling down.
Making time for more practice is my goal for the week. I think that if I listen to the affirmations once each time I get into the car [it is about 16 mins long], do the breaths while driving/watching tv and take time to bond with Ryan/Claire in the evenings while doing soft touch massage and having Ryan read the Rainbow Relaxation Script. I am really looking forward to this I think it will really be a big help.
Baby Center does a good job of explaining but in short: "Kegels are exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles – the muscles that support your urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum. The exercises are named after Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist who recommended them back in the 1940s to help women with urinary incontinence, or diminished bladder control, which can happen after childbirth.
If you're not already doing Kegel exercises, start them now. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles may help prevent or treat urinary stress incontinence, a problem that affects up to 70 percent of women during or after pregnancy."
If you are pregnant right now then you totally understand that these could help you out, especially while laughing and/or sneezing and please God don't do those at the same time if you haven't been practicing ;)
I like things to be pretty simple so instead of trying to remember to do this at every stop light or even have to think about it I decided to purchase Lelo Luna Beads and have them do all the work, the biggest thing that I have to do is remember them - this can be hard enough with the baby brain I have got going on. Feel free to ask me any questions but I think that is as much as I plan on sharing via this blog.
Now go enjoy your day and try not to concentrate on your pelvic floor too much.