Pushing in Labor with an Epidural
For over 20 years I worked with pregnant women preparing them for the marathon of labor. Pushing in labor is hard work. That is why I finally made the DVD called Tupler Technique®Perfect Pushing®!
Not only is it hard work, pushing incorrectly can cause many abdominal and pelvic floor problems. Learning how to push with your strengthened abdominals while relaxing the pelvic floor muscles that you have strengthened and stretched during pregnancy is a skill that must be learned and practiced so it is second nature during labor. You cannot learn a new skill when you are in pain! The key is to learn how to work the two muscle groups separately.
It is even more important if you have an epidural because then it is about “muscle memory. ” You must “visualize” bringing the abdominals back while you relax the pelvic floor muscles. The image is of visualizing your uterus like a tube of toothpaste and your transverse abdominal muscle like your hand. When your hand or abdominals go back, the baby like toothpaste, comes out the bottom!
In my last blog I talked about wearing a Diastasis Rehab Splint® while pregnant. One of my licensees, Lyndsey Halik, talked about her experience with the program and also about wearing a splint during pregnancy. Lyndsey just gave birth and I wanted to share her birth experience.
Lyndsey told me that she had an epidural so she relied on muscle memory and visualization.
She said, “I couldn’t feel any of the contractions so I was told by the nurse midwife when to push. I pushed three times every contraction while exhaling. I held my abdominal muscles together with my hands while I pushed. I could feel the muscles working! I was impressed with how strong they were! I used the visualization of the tube of toothpaste. That was very helpful. I pushed for a total of 25min during which time I had 13 contractions. I was able to control the pushing so that I didn’t tear. The nurses were telling me how intact my perineum was afterward. The doctor the next day told me I was barely swollen at all. I wasn’t even sore afterward. So far I have had a quick recovery with everything. I started wearing the splint and doing the exercises three days after delivery. I lost 3 inches in 3 days so far! My back is feeling good too!”