Alexander Technique and Pregnancy.

Essay by mkeaneUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2003

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Pregnancy and the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique can be useful throughout not only the pregnancy and delivery of the child, but also after the baby is born. The mother is experiencing drastic changes in her body. Her center of gravity is shifted as the baby grows larger; her body is called upon to work harder than it ever has before during delivery, and caring for a rapidly growing child all pose many risks to a woman's body.

The Alexander Technique allows one to unlearn bad habits and misuse of our bodies. Through the technique, one learns how to move without excess tension in the body in a mechanically advantageous way.

The average woman gains twenty-five to thirty-five pounds during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman's uterus shifts and her pelvis and other bones expand to create room for the growing baby. This drastically throws off the mother's center of gravity.

To counteract this feeling, many women lean backwards. This puts enormous pressure on the lower back, often leading to low back pain. Paying attention to the relationship of the head, neck and back will help the mother to find her new center of gravity, which leads to balanced standing.

In natural labor, a woman releases oxytocin hormones in the brain, which causes the uterus to contract. Endorphin hormones are also released, which are natural painkillers and they also give a sense of well-being. It is important for the mother and baby to not be given any hormones or drugs so that the natural release of these hormones can take place. The 'fight or flight' response a mother experiences during delivery produces adrenaline, which inhibits this hormone. Through using Alexander's directions, the mother can release excess tension in her body and focus on the labor.

Alexander does not advocate certain breathing...