by Ellyn Hutton, RN, BSN, Certified Yoga Instructor
Om is the universal sound of creation, the vibration of the cosmos, the sound of ultimate, transcendent peace. Women and babies show the world how miraculous the bond of mom and baby can be, keenly exemplifying the ever-present pulse of life.
What happens when a woman finds out she is pregnant? More often than not, she is bombarded with “shoulds” and “don’ts” instead of soothed by the supreme wisdom and grace innately present as the womb prepares a home for the next nine months. Information overload is very prevalent as every pregnancy related article, website, and story is read from all around the globe.
Surprisingly but almost guaranteed, perfect strangers give themselves permission to walk up to the pregnant woman in the grocery store to enthusiastically recite their tales of their own birth experience, most not too pretty. Women I meet through my work in massage and yoga are often very anxious and hyper vigilant about movement, food, and most everything. Sure, it’s important to be knowledgeable about healthy choices, but walking around in a state of anxiety is not beneficial for neither mom nor baby.
Stress levels seem to heighten at a time when mom is most connected to her innate intelligence, which is often ignored during this sensory overload. Moreover, studies report that mom’s chronic strain transfers to babies leaving babies born to higher stressed moms with greater reactions to stress, beginning with the first heel stick.
My own history of chronic anxiety may be linked to my mom’s fear and anxiety during her pregnancy with me, her 3rd pregnancy within three years. Most people see me as calm and cool, but I feel (or felt) that I am very similar to ducks in the water that look cool and calm as they wade through the water but are paddling frantically underneath the surface. Fortunately, I have gained much solace from the practice of massage, meditation, and yoga. I now pass on this information in my pregnancy yoga classes.
I teach traditional yoga poses for balance and strengthening, as in most yoga classes. But my primary intent is to encourage breath, meditation, and deep relaxation to calm the nervous system. Adopting tools to calm the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) helps moms throughout pregnancy, soothes them during labor, and sets the tone for healthy and loving family dynamics and childrearing. It’s priceless and far reaching.
OMMMM – we all share in this vibration of life, connection, and love. Take time daily to envision the power within as you create your own internal network (internet) of calm, ease, and joy. Your gift of peace will offer you your best life and benefit future generations, which is undeniably the biggest gift to the world.
Plan to join me at the Birth Center, a place of calm and nurturing, on Mondays in June, where I began my teaching 20 years ago. I am so honored to be back!
For information about prenatal yoga, click here!
Ellyn Hutton BSN, RN has been working with pregnant women for over 20 years. She is a nurse, yoga teacher, massage therapist and mind/body skills facilitator.