This is an interview with Mommy Baby Spot‘s Darlene Watson. A birth educator and mother of two, she is also a member of Fit2B Studio!
Bethany: Welcome Darlene! You are very passionate about helping moms have healthy, fit births. Can you tell us little about your own births?
Darlene: My own births are what made me decide to be a childbirth educator. My first son was born in 2009 and I labored for 9 hours, pushing for an hour. I had a wonderful midwife and she was incredibly supportive, but my son put up a fight and was born with his hand up at his ear. I didn’t even know that was possible! I had attended childbirth class, but it didn’t really prepare me the way I wanted it to because it was a quick, 6-hour long weekend class that I just couldn’t absorb.
After giving birth, I was fascinated with childbirth and breastfeeding, but it was a general fascination, and I didn’t really know how I wanted to be involved. I got pregnant again and gave birth in November, 2011. That birth experience decided me on being a childbirth educator. I had not gone to classes this time (which I recommend you at least take a refresher course for each birth) and wish I had, but the only thing available was the hospital class which I knew I didn’t want.
During the labor and delivery, my wonderful boyfriend supported me the best he could but my doctor ended up strong-arming us, and I gave birth on my back, feeling very helpless and furious that I was in that vulnerable un-helpful position! Once I recovered my wits about me, I told myself that no woman ever needed to go through that type of birth and that I would educate as many as would let me. Since then I started the process to get my International Childbirth Education Certification, my Breastfeeding Counselor certification, and started teaching Courage to Birth childbirth classes… Oh, and I graduated college about a month after giving birth the second time.
Bethany asked: How do you think that proper posture and core strength affect pregnancy and birth?
Darlene: I can see the difference when a woman has good posture and core strength and is pregnant! She doesn’t have a lot of the pain and discomfort because her body is able to handle the weight of her baby and she is able to properly stand and support that weight with the proper muscles. Hooray for a good pelvic floor and core! Her belly isn’t hanging down with the weight of that baby–like mine was with my second pregnancy! Instead it’s supported and standing out proudly.
During birth, she knows how to stand to make the most out of the opening in her pelvis and her stomach muscles are in shape to help push that baby out! Birth is the most rigorous thing most women will ever do and having that core strength can make the difference. I also need to mention, if she’s been doing proper core exercises (i.e. NO crunches), and her core was in great shape before pregnancy, and she has been standing properly, she’s going to bounce back from that pregnancy and birth much faster than a woman who is suffering from diastasis, prolapse, incontinence, and other problems that occur when there isn’t that strong core and pelvic floor holding up what it was supposed to hold up.
Thanks, Darlene! We hope our readers go check out Mommy Baby Spot, because you’re doing some great things! I know that we are learning more every day about how posture and core health affect stress incontinence, lower back pain, digestion, and more because of how our alignment changes pressures inside our bodies. Keep up your hard work, friend!
Please comment if you have thoughts to share! And be sure to look into Darlene’s classes if you’re in the MD area since she’s part of the diastasis awareness movement!