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Whether you are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant, or already have a child, there are benefits to therapy related to this particular aspect of life. I was pregnant with my daughter during my yoga teacher training, and I did a prenatal yoga apprenticeship as well, so there's a special place in my heart when it comes to using yoga in therapy for pregnancy-related issues. I welcome the opportunity to support women through the incredible journey of motherhood every step of the way. I also work in collaboration with a wonderful friend and colleague who is a doula and founder of Maryland State Doulas. I highly recommend supporting yourself and your pregnancy experience with the help of a doula. Find out more here
When it comes to fertility struggles, therapy can be very helpful in several ways. Trying to become pregnant for a long period of time can lead to feelings of helplessness, anger, disappointment and stress, all of which tax the body and decrease the chances of pregnancy. It's easy to get caught in a "stress cycle" and sometimes very hard to get out of it without some help. Additionally, if you have had a miscarriage or abortion in the past, old feelings often surface when you are actively trying to get pregnant. It's important to process your feelings about the past as well as the present during this time of mixed emotions. Guided imagery, specific breathing exercises, and various yoga postures can help facilitate both the release of emotions from the past as well as lower stress in the present. These non-invasive methods work well in conjunction with any fertility treatments or medications you may decide to try.
Whether this is your first time being pregnant or not, each pregnancy is different. This is an exciting time and also a stressful time! When a pregnant woman is under a lot of stress, the fetus receives all of the stress hormones as well (Cortisol and Adrenaline, both of which wreak havoc on every major bodily system including the brain). Additionally, research now supports the notion that mother-baby bonding starts in utero, and that there are things you can do to improve this bond during pregnancy. I can provide simple and effective tools that will help both lower stress and promote mother-baby bonding. The end result is a calmer baby with better attachment to its mother, both of which are gifts that last a lifetime.
Many of the stress management techniques I use to decrease anxiety can also be used during labor to decrease pain. Women's bodies know what to do, and our minds can either get in the way or they can help facilitate nature's incredible design. A relaxed body and calm mind can work wonders! Therapy can help give you the tools you need for a positive birth experience, thus increasing your self-confidence and sense of preparedness. On a physical level, there are specific yoga postures that help to gently open the hips and strengthen the muscles used for pushing. It's simple physics: open hips make for a much easier labor! Additionally, therapy provides a safe space to discuss any fears about giving birth or unprocessed emotions related to past experiences such as miscarriage, a prior birth, abortion, or loss of a child. The more positive you feel about giving birth, the better able you will be to stay present and feel empowered.
Your body has just gone through a nine-month whirlwind of hormonal and physical changes, not to mention the roller coaster of emotions. While having a baby is indeed wondrous, it's also exhausting and life-altering, so inevitably it can be very challenging. You may be getting very little sleep in the beginning weeks or months, and feel depleted. Additionally, it can take quite a while for your body to find hormonal balance again especially if you are breast feeding. One of the best things you can do for yourself after having a baby is to practice good self-care. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of your baby. Self-care may include restorative yoga poses, specific breathing techniques, guided meditation, getting a massage, or taking a nap. If you can find a way to carve out time for a weekly therapy session, you will nourish yourself mentally and physically. I can offer you a quiet space where you just get to focus on YOU and whatever you need that day, whether it's talking or doing more experiential methods. A happy and healthy mom is a much more patient and resilient mom, and that goes a long way when it comes to raising a child!
If you think you are currently experiencing postpartum depression, I can refer you to a functional medicine doctor who can assist with this issue using natural methods. Postpartum depression is a serious condition and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.