Labor=Endurance Sport?

January 12, 2012

Can a woman actually train for a natural labor & delivery as if she were training for a sporting event or race?

Think about it: Competitors train months in advance, planning out their pace, strategy and nutrition for each segment of the race. Most hit a proverbial “wall” somewhere in the second half of the race where their bodies begin to break down and the desire to quit overcomes them. But somehow, adrenaline kicks in and soon the finish line is in sight. The racer digs deep within herself to push through those last few strides, even as she feels as if everything is about to give out.

Like any race, labor begins slowly. The first few hours are exciting and full of happy anticipation: it’s finally time! As the intensity of the contractions increases, her focus turns inward, forcing her to draw upon reserves of determination to finish strong, sometimes 40 hours after the first contraction began. That’s longer than a marathon, century ride and triathlon combined!

So, my answer to the above question? Absolutely. And she should begin training long before she even conceives.

Attaining a strong pelvic floor, stable core, back and legs prior to conception and throughout her pregnancy will prepare a woman’s body to withstand the extra 25-35 pounds she will soon be carrying around every day, and may even keep her away from bedrest, gestational diabetes and other pregnancy-related ails. More often than not, physical strength translates to mental toughness and she’ll sure need it for the journey that lies ahead. The sport of motherhood lasts a lifetime.

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One Response to “Labor=Endurance Sport?”

  1. The Doula Says:

    I love this!! It came up on my feed because I used a similar example of a marathon. Check it out! I’m looking for other doulas to submit their musings. If you are interested, email me from the blog.
    http://www.doulaseyeview.com


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