Widely recommended and used in France by doctors and midwives to support expectant women during this new stage in life, Sophrology is now growing in popularity throughout the UK.
Expectant mums choose to practice Sophrology during their pregnancy for various reasons:
- they are prone to stress and tension and worry this might impact baby on some level and affect their birthing experience
- they wish to take an active part during labour by using techniques that they have learnt to remain calm and relaxed throughout the contractions and labour.
- they are scared of birth and experiencing pain during labour
Why use Sophrology during your pregnancy and to prepare for birth?
Through experiencing various exercises including breathing, relaxation, body movements and visualisations, Sophrology equips the mother-to-be with techniques to reduce stress and tension during her pregnancy, manage contractions and reduce fear and pain during labour.
The Sophrologist guides the mother-to-be with her voice and help her explore different body postures that will make her pregnancy and birth experience more comfortable.
Practising Sophrology enables the future mum to acquire the ability to relax her body quickly and efficiently. It increases the awareness of her body as well as her thoughts and emotions. She learns to welcome this new stage in life without judging herself or her experience.
By widening her state of consciousness with Sophrology, she is better able to accept discomfort and changes brought about by pregnancy and call upon her inner ability to feel calm and relaxed. Sophrology develops acceptation of all possible birth scenarios and her ability to approach the event with less tension, worry and stress which could complicate birthing.
The aim of Sophrology applied to birth preparation is not to promote or guarantee natural birthing. Sophrology works with the wishes of the mother-to-be, her fears and her specific situation to help her experience birth in a calm, relaxed and positive state of body and mind whatever type of birth she will be having, caesarian, epidural, water birth, etc.
A regular practice of Sophrology enables the future mum to develop her ability to adapt to situations and activate positive thoughts to support her through labour and and in the first few weeks of motherhood after baby is born.
What type of techniques does the mother-to-be learn?
Sophrology offers a variety of techniques which are tailored to the client’s situation. As an example, here are a few techniques, she will be able to learn during her sessions with a practitioner:
A scan of the body to induce relaxation, improve awareness of each body parts and increase the state of concentration necessary during contractions.
“I feel good in my body, I can relax in the process, remain centered and confident throughout my contractions.”
Learn to synchronise a word, a sentence or a colour symbolising a feeling of choice, for example calm, success, joy or confidence on the in-breath and out-breath. This helps bring the mind and body back into a state of focus and calmness.
“I breathe in ‘calm’ into my body, I breathe out, let it diffuse throughout my body”
Sophro Negative Displacement
A technique used during labour and throughout pregnancy to free the body and mind from unnecessary tension or negativity. “As I breathe out, I let go of any tension, negativity or discomfort that does not serve me in this moment”
Sophro Positive Presence
Reconnect with positive feelings and emotions in between contractions. “I focus on positive feelings that I can sense in my body even though there might be discomfort in places and I diffuse this positivity to all part of my body”
Sophro Progressive Acceptation
A visualisation of a situation post birth, with mother and baby, to stimulate motivation and positive thoughts.
There are dozens of other Sophrology exercises for pregnancy and birth preparation: mobilising energy during labour, reducing discomfort through breathing, growing capacities of adaptation and self-confidence, etc.