Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth Review
There are some things in life that comfort you – they give you a feeling of coming home, of being cared for, and of being safe. Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth by the late Jeannine Parvati Baker has been and continues to be that comfort for me during pregnancy.
It carries me through most days of my pregnancy, empowering and strengthening my body while helping me ground myself emotionally. Out of all the childbirth exercise programs I've tried during my five pregnancies, I have come back to this time and time again.
The book is not new. The pictures within are black and white and have a “dated” look. The pages aren't glossy. But the routine is sound. It's designed specifically for you and your baby, through and through. You can tell that this book was written by someone who was passionate about her art and sharing it with other mothers.
I love the poses Jeannine has chosen in the book. Words and pictures walk you through each pose, explaining what movements you should make and how to use your breath during and between each pose. Though there is no DVD to accompany the book, I have never found it hard to follow. The clear explanations help you even as you transition from one pose to another.
Jeannine did not ignore the baby, or your powerful connection to your baby, in the routine. There is continual mention of how each pose empowers you as a mother, and strengthens the connection of mother and child (or children). There are times during the routine where you can sit quietly, simply focusing on your breathing and your baby. Jeannine suggests meditative breathing at some points – I have personally used this time to pray specifically for my baby and my upcoming birth. I love how this time of quiet is integrated into my prenatal exercise routine – since I do the routine most days, I am able to have this focused time most days. It's a time devoted just to me and my baby, a time of precious preparation.
Since Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth is a book, it's easy to go at the pace you want to go at. You can remove poses that don't work well for you and you're free to add things you'd like to. I found that during my current pregnancy I need to start very slowly. I used just the beginning of the routine for several days before gradually adding a pose or two. I was able to build up to the whole routine, and doing so felt like coming home. My body moved into the familiar routine and it felt wonderful!
Even now I sometimes choose to leave out a pose or two due to a shorter time to exercise that day. Most days I move through the whole routine. At the end, when I am done, I take the time to do some belly dance to a song or two, which provides a wonderful close to my routine. I like that I am free to organize my routine however I wish.
I began using the book during my first pregnancy, and found that it was cumbersome at first to go through the book. But within just a few days I had most of the routine memorized and could move through it at my pace.
The book also contains Jeannine's birth stories, suggestions, and her own thoughts. It is an empowering treasure, one that every woman planning to give birth should read. Jeannine was a midwife often called “The Birth Keeper” for her respect for the process of birth and of the mother and child to come through birth in their own way. This is apparent throughout the yoga routine and in the stories and thoughts she shares.
Pick up a copy of Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth today – review and use the yoga routine, and be uplifted, inspired, and empowered by the stories and information also held in this timeless volume.