Updated: May 16
I started pregnancy yoga with Tessa when I was around 16 weeks pregnant, on zoom, as we were on lockdown number 3!
A few of my friends highly recommended it and told me how their midwives knew they’d done yoga based on their breathing. Having not done any kind of yoga before I was quite sceptical, but after the first session I was hooked.
I loved how it gave me some much needed ‘me time’ as well as a special time to connect with my baby.
Each week we went through birth positions and I knew how I wanted to give birth based on what felt right and comfortable - ideally in water too!
At my 36 week growth scan, I was told that baby hadn’t grown as would be expected, and if the same still stood at 38 weeks, I would be induced. I really didn’t want this, and was told if I was to say no to induction then I’d be looking at a c-section.
Alongside yoga, I also did Hypnobirthing and both had taught me that I have choices, I had a right to question things and discuss options. So, with my husband ready to support me, we attended the 38 week scan, and all was fine! Back to plan A.
At 40+1 I had a sweep, and throughout the rest of the day had very mild contractions every 10minutes. I didn’t think much of them as I knew this was normal and that they could stop at anytime. I even went to pregnancy yoga that evening!
At 9 o’clock that night, the contractions felt a little stronger so I used my up breathing, visualising a sunrise through each one. As much as I tried I couldn’t get to sleep, and at half past 1 in the morning decided to take 2 paracetamols and time my contractions for a while. I also did some of the yoga moves on my birthing ball, my favourite being ‘dancing the baby out!’ The contractions were every 5minutes. Having had a previous c-section, I had been told to ring Burnley birth suite when my contractions were regular, rather than wait until they were 3 minutes apart.
Off to the birth suite me and Tony went, where they monitored me. They confirmed I was having contractions, but due to the timing of them, to go home and ring again when they were more frequent. The midwife commented that throughout each contraction, surprisingly my blood pressure was going down rather than up because of my breathing. This is 100 percent down to both yoga and Hypnobirthing.
At half past 6 in the morning and still no sleep, my contractions were feeling much stronger, so I decided to time them again. Still 5 minutes! So I asked Tony to run me a bath. Looking back, this is definitely when my contractions did speed up, but I wasn’t timing them now, I was concentrating on my breathing!
When I got out the bath I just knew we needed to get to hospital. Things felt like they had definitely progressed, so Tony called my mum to come and look after our little boy and then rang Burnley Birth Suite. Little did we know our birth plan wasn’t going to happen how we thought! I needed to push and Tony was told to ring an ambulance. So, the dispatcher talked me and Tony through the delivery, and in the bathroom of our home, our little boy Felix was born, delivered by Tony at 8:05am weighing 7lb.
Looking back, I honestly can’t believe it. What a very special memory for us as a family. I’m honestly amazed at my body and genuinely believe yoga helped me to focus on my breathing. I was also very aware of what position I would be giving birth in - I wanted to be up and forwards - just like Tessa had taught.
Although my birth was not what I imagined, I am grateful it happened the way it did. I am also so grateful for pregancy yoga - it prepared me for birth in a very positive way.
“Tessa Clemson Yoga - your yoga studio in Great Harwood, serving Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley & Burnley”