Clinical Approaches to Supporting Birth

One of my biggest delights is working with energy medicine to support the entrance of a baby into this world.
I have worked with several births as an apprentice midwife, a doula and as an Energy Medicine Practitioner, some have been very straight forward and others have been intense and complicated; Energy Medicine is wonderful in both situations.
There are a few priorities for a positive birth (for parents and baby)
  1. Both parents are relaxed and feel empowered
  2. The support team are skilled and supportive of the parents.
  3. The baby is in the correct position
  4. The Mum’s body is able to work within its own rhythms
  5. The baby is ready for birth
As an EM practitioner, there are of course, a myriad of techniques that you have in your toolkit in order to work with supporting the parents and the baby. In this article, I want to share some of the ones that have been most useful in the majority of births.  (They aren’t necessarily in order of priority as this will depend on the situation).
  1. Neurovasculars.  In order for the physiological birth process to progress, stress hormones must be at their lowest possible level; we can’t produce oxytocin and prolactin, in the amounts needed when adrenaline is coursing through the body. Our natural ability to counterbalance pain by producing endorphins relies on the absence of adrenaline. This is why techniques such as breathing, hypnotheraphy, and hydrotherapy work so effectively, because they bring relaxation into the system allowing the birthing chemicals to be at their most effective.  Gentle holding the neurovasculars during birth can keep the Mum relaxed, empowered and in her strength. It can also help remove any fear that she is experiencing concerning how she will cope with the pain. Birthing is a momentus process! It is perfectly natural to have fear about it, especially with the institutionalisation of birth, when often the doctor/midwife/nurses are unknown to the parents. As a practitioner, work can be done with NVs prior to the birth to help alleviate any fears around the birth or parenting.
  2. Brazilian Toe Technique. This is a beautiful way to support the process of dropping energy down into the floor. When a woman is ready for birth, her entire energy system drops to the root chakra and below. That is why it is so important for the support team to allow the mum to birth the baby and not have to be answering unnecessary questions that force her to come out of the birthing energy and into the logical/rational. I feel the primary job of a support partner/doula etc is to handle all the practicalities of the situation so that the mum can be deep in her birthing energy. The more primal place she can go to, the easier the birth. The BTT helps keep the energy dropped into the lower chakras and the earth. It is an amazing experience as a practitioner, giving a BTT to a birthing woman, it will feel more electric and charged than at any other time in your practice, as you connect into the thick, primal energy of birth.
     
Be aware that sometimes, in a birthing situation, a woman will not want to be touched at all, in which case the NV and BTT are not an option at that time. If she is in her primal place she will simply move her head or feet away from you, without language. Be attentive to these cues, and have spoken before hand to ensure she knows you are very comfortable with the non-verbal. If a woman has to come out of the birthing place to say, ‘I’m really sorry, but could you stop holding my head’, or worse still, say nothing because she doesn’t want to offend you, then at that point you are interrupting the flow of the birthing energy and bringing discomfort to the woman. It is simple to plan something before hand, ‘If you don’t want me to touch your head, just move your head away from me, there is no need to say anything, I’m here to help you in whatever way you need and I know your needs are going to be changing with every moment’. It may be that holding NVs or BTT really helps when she is working with a contraction, it may be that she needs no contact at that time time, or for you to shift into a different position/technique.
 
There is no greater time to be following the energy than during birth, but the good news is that the energy is so thick, palpable and present that it is very easy to be following!
  1. Chakra clearing over the 2nd and 1st chakras. This is especially powerful if there are times when the labour is really slowing, or if the baby is stuck. There are very few immediate emergencies in birth. It is a myth purported by television shows and the media in general, but nearly all situations in birth have plenty of time. There are of course, exceptions to this, but really, they are very rare. Most midwives will tell you that once they start feeling something isn’t quite progressing then there is plenty of time to be observing and supporting the birth before any need for intervention or action. During this time, it can be very powerful to do a chakra clearing over the bottom two chakras. And usually I find that I do one clearing over the two chakras together, as during the birth process they really are operating as one energetic entity. During one birth I was supporting, the Mum was 4 centimetres dilated and despite strong and regular contractions, was not dilating any more. Her first child had been born by caesarean section and the nurses were nodding that this one probably was going to have to be too. The mum was beginning to lose faith that she was able to birth her baby as she wanted. I began clearing the 2nd chakra, sitting on the bed beside her. Sometimes talking, mostly silent. I could feel the energy in that 2nd chakra thick and resistant, as I gently moved my hand in an anticlockwise direction.  It took 20 minutes, at which point the mum suddenly cried out as a pain moved quickly through the area, the energy in the 2nd chakra erupted like a fountain of colour and within 30 minutes she was fully dilated and ready to begin to push her beautiful little girl into the world.
  2. Hook up. Always a central piece in every situation. The more that the governing and central meridians are connected, the more strength, stability, power and connectivity the mum is going to feel. Also be attentive to the Dad/support partner and ensure that his/her hook up stays strong (yours too!).
  3. Sedating the Circulation Sex meridian. This is a wonderful thing to do in the weeks leading up to birth and during the birth as well. it is so important that the energy in and around the pelvis is able to move in it optimum way. With CS governing the Gluteus muscles then keeping CS balanced keeps the pelvis flexible, aids the ability of the cervix to dilate, and allows the uterus to do its phenomenal job of pushing the baby down the birth canal.
  4. Smoothing the energy off the body. This is such a simple technique but so very powerful. Because the Mum’s energy needs to drop down into a primal birthing place then it is very important that her energy isn’t get stuck anywhere else. Simply smoothing the energy down towards the floor can bring relaxation and transformation. This can be done on the body or in the field, depending on her preference.  And it is also something that the Dad/birth partner can easily and lovingly do. Note that the Penetrating Flow really activates during this smoothing down of the energy, and a strong Penetrating Flow is essential to an easy birth.
  5. Gently raking fingernails over the arms and /or back of the mum. This is deeply relaxing, activating all of the radiant circuits  and relaxing the nervous system.
  6. Vortex revival. This is a really powerful technique to do during the last few weeks of pregnancy, to really keep the yin energies strong in the Mum’s system. During birth, I use this technique if a mum is getting really tired. Sometimes with long births, the energy of the body begins to become depleted (especially when some hospitals still don’t allow the Mums to eat during birth).A vortex revival will bring increased energy so that she can continue the work. Massaging Stomach 36 is also effective, but generally, if she is that tired then she doesn’t want the extra discomfort of deeply massaging Stomach 36.
  7. Gentle pressure downwards on the sacrum. Much as when doing a sacral rock, it can be incredibly supportive for a birthing woman to have someone holding and pressing down on the sacrum. Usually this is when she is standing, kneeling or on all fours. It activates the Penetrating Flow, helps the opening and movement of the pelvic area, keeps Mum grounded and so provides comfort and stability.
  8. Holding the feet or the ankles/heels of Mum when she is standing. Again, this is to drop the energy really deeply. Just to have your hands over the tops of her feet as she is standing, or to have your hands wrapped around the back of the heel (over the Achilles tendon area). This stabilises grounding, brings safety, helps the root chakra open and activates the radiant circuits.
  9. Figure 8s. I do a lot of figure 8s during the birth. Although not so much on the mum! Figure 8s into the room, between the mum and the dad, around the dad, between the nurses/doctors and the parents. I will do figure 8s directly on the mum if she is feeling frustrated with the baby. Sometimes during the birth, as the hormones and pain begin to get really intense, I have seen it when the mums energy and the babys energy separate. The mum is usually moving into stress at this time and out of the primal birthing energy. This is a great time to hold the second and 4th chakras together for a few minutes and then to begin to figure 8 between these two chakras. Usually it is enough to rebalance the Mum. This is another excellent time for the BTT…Dad can do the BTT while you do the chakra work. Or have mum hold her own chakras as you do the BTT.
     
And aside from these technique, follow the birthing energy and your intuition to do whatever is called for to best support the mum, baby and partner. I hope that you have the joyful experience of supporting a birth, and that you will feel empowered to do so.
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