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Prenatal Yoga and HypnoBirthing: How They Work Together

by Danielle Whaley of Metro-Detroit HypnoBirthing

Hi there, mommas! My name is Danielle Whaley and I am a local HypnoBirthing® instructor and the owner of Metro-Detroit HypnoBirthing. I have been instructing hundreds of couples in the Metro-Detroit area for five years. Besides working closely with expectant couples to prepare for a peaceful and empowered birth, I personally utilized Elise's prenatal yoga class.

I was expecting my VBAC baby (vaginal birth after cesarean) last summer. The extra emotions that came with my previous birth experience made me want to utilize every tool at my disposal. Prenatal yoga with Elise gave me some of the physicality's that got me through a long and very active labor. 

Yoga has always been this incredible practice I can come back to, no matter how much time has passed, and still feel welcomed to the mat. My schedule and family don't exactly allow a consistent yoga class attendance. But the funny thing about pregnancy is your priorities change, and you make time for the extra little things.

The extra emotions that came from my previous birth experience made me want to utilize every tool at my disposal. When I was in my second pregnancy and took prenatal yoga - it was the perfect accompaniment to my HypnoBirthing practice. I love my work because it gives mothers a way to find their inner peace during pregnancy and labor, however birth transpires for each woman.

Prenatal Yoga and HypnoBirthing: How They Work Together - Sweet Momma Yoga - Southeast Michigan Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga - Whaley_PartnerPose_July2019

Some labor requires the feeling of safety and allowing mom time while others need to incorporate a lot more movement to help the precious baby down and out. This was me. My second daughter required a lot of physical movement and positions to help her make the full rotations before crowning.

Prenatal yoga gave me the ability to tap into the relaxation practice of HypnoBirthing while moving with each surge. One intense instance in particular during my daughter’s birth last summer was remembering Elise's words "anyone can do this for a minute."

Prenatal Yoga and HypnoBirthing: How They Work Together - Sweet Momma Yoga - Southeast Michigan Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga - Whaley_FwdLean_July2019

I actually giggled to myself at one point because I was so happy to be in the middle of a surge instead of doing the arm circles we did in Elise's class! Learning to relax and focus on my breathe in multiple different positions paid off, because many of these moves were necessary to birth my little girl!

As a HypnoBirthing instructor I get asked what other methods could be incorporated into their relaxation practice after our 5 week class together and the answer is always: yoga.

Elise's classes offer exercises that incorporate the same breath work as HypnoBirthing while also showing the safest way to do these movements. The toning of body and mind that happens during prenatal yoga is truly refreshing and well deserved to all expectant mommas.

My classes help moms understand the childbirth education side of birth. It gives you tool to know what will help keep you calm during labor. By taking the exercises we learn together in class you can incorporate them into your practice on the mat. Prenatal yoga acts as a way to expand upon your HypnoBirthing work, find your flow, and truly enjoy your practice. 

I also have a few students that struggle with sitting still during relaxation and meditation. Yoga is a great way to help those personalities that are always on the go. Moving and breathing through the affirmations solidifies the belief in our body’s capability. It's a beautiful thing to see my students who are also working with Elise. There tends to be an extra sense of peace that they are on the right path to the birth of their dreams. 

Thank you, Danielle, for sharing your personal and professional experiences of Prenatal Yoga. (This content has been voluntarily shared by Danielle Whaley. Local businesses supporting one other.)

Images used with permission from Danielle Whaley.

I am a prenatal chiropractor and have worked closely with Elise and many of her prenatal yoga students in the past 2 years. I consistently find that the women under my care that are also attending regular prenatal yoga classes with Elise experience less discomfort in their pregnancy, report stronger emotional connections to their bodies, and they consistently state they feel better prepared for labor and delivery. If you are looking for a way to safely exercise but also want a beautiful way to connect with your body prior to delivery seek out classes with Sweet Momma Yoga. Lastly, Elise goes above and beyond to create a sense of community for her students. She has created a thriving group of moms that support one another outside of the classes and virtually. - Kelsi McClure, DC, Lone Tree CO
I’ve participated in Sweet Momma Yoga during both of my pregnancies and have benefited each time. Even on days when I feel tired and just wanted to put my feet up, I always felt better after class knowing that I am taking the best care of myself and my baby. Elise does an amazing job of making all of the moms feel welcome and comfortable no matter what previous yoga experience they’ve had. I got more out of Sweet Momma Yoga than I ever expected, benefiting both my pregnancy and birthing experiences. I would recommend to any expecting momma! - Deidre L., Livonia MI