BIRTH AS A MOTOR SKILL. part 3.

THE CONCEPT

Labor and birth are intense physical challenges that require endurance and stamina over an extended period of time, the ability to cope with high intensity intervals and quick recovery, strength, mobility, emotional support, and the ability to enter a parasympathetic or alpha brain wave driven state. These factors point to a physical preparation based on evidence of exercise principles that produce progress in these areas.

These well-established principles in exercise physiology – listed below – help us meet these needs. Note these are physiological principles, not methods. Some validated methods of achieving outcomes derived from applying these principles are given as examples in the discussion that follows.

  • Training Specificity (covered in post 1)
  • Overload and Progression (covered in post 2)
  • Muscle Bonding (discussed in this post)
  • Flow (or The Zone)

MUSCLE BONDING

“Synchronized motion triggers a sublimation of selfish drives and needs in order to function as a single organism” – Left, Right, Left, Right, Muscular Bonding and the Hive Trigger http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread840994/pg1

The evolving concept of muscle bonding through synchronized motion emerged primarily in two fields of study, military behavior and ritual practices in the arts, sports and celebrations. These discussions center on the development of group cohesiveness and support that evolve over time via intense synchronized motion [16,17]. Raising the pain threshold has also been noted in exercise science due to the release of endorphins in response to the stress of intense exercise [18,19]. Recently, the effects of elevated pain threshold and bonding have been demonstrated independent of each other in synchronized dancing[20].

Figure 5: The presenting affect of the hive trigger is joy.

Muscle bonding and its hive trigger are useful for labor preparation. Cooperation needs practice. Lowering one’s pain threshold requires practice. In labor, continuous support of the mother is critical. Working as a team includes the mother accepting support. Hence, fairly intense synchronized group movement can serve as a method of enhancing these skills and helps explain why [group] aerobic activities contribute greatly to reduced needs for interventions[4,5,10].

Figure 6: Note the same joyful expression on the face of a new mom who prepared to “dance” with her birth team .

The cooperative – or “hive” – effect is independent of another outcome: alteration of the pain threshold through release of endorphins due to intense movement. Both effects are helpful in labor and birth.  Note the joyful look on the faces of active moms-to-be, moving together.

In recovery, this type of activity might also be examined as a means to reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders.

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References for Post #3:

  1. Owe KM et al. Exercise during pregnancy and risk of cesarean delivery in nulliparous women: a large population-based cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Dec;215(6):791.e1-791.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.08.014. Epub 2016 Aug 23.
  2. Barakat R et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2018 224:33–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2018.03.009
  1. Newton EF, May L. Adaptation of Maternal-Fetal Physiology to Exercise in Pregnancy: The Basis of Guidelines for Physical Activity in Pregnancy. Clin Med Insights: Women’s Health. 2017; 10: 1179562X17693224. Published online 2017 Feb 23. doi: 10.1177/1179562X17693224.
  1. Wray H. All together now: The universal appeal of moving in unison. Scientific American Mind. April 1, 2009. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/were-only-human-all-together-now/
  2. Wiltermuth SS, Heath C. Synchrony and cooperation. Psychol Sci.2009 Jan;20(1):1-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02253.x.
  3. Cohen EEA Ejsmond-Frey R, Knight N, Dunbar RIM. 2009. Biology Letters, 6, 106-108. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0670)
  4. Dishman RK, O’Connor, PJ. 2009. Lessons in exercise neurobiology: The case of endorphins. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 2: 4-9. (doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2009.01.002)
  5. Tarr B, Launay J, Cohen E, Dunbar R. 2015 Synchrony and exertion during dance independently raise pain threshold and encourage social bonding. Biology Letters11:20150767.http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0767

 

BIRTH AS A MOTOR SKILL. part 2

THE CONCEPT

Labor and birth are intense physical challenges that require endurance and stamina over an extended period of time, the ability to cope with high intensity intervals and quick recovery, strength, mobility, emotional support, and the ability to enter a parasympathetic or alpha brain wave driven state. These factors point to a physical preparation based on evidence of exercise principles that produce progress in these areas.

These well-established principles in exercise physiology – listed below – help us meet these needs. Note these are physiological principles, not methods. Some validated methods of achieving outcomes derived from applying these principles are given as examples in the discussion that follows.

  • Training Specificity (covered in prior post)
  • Overload and Progression (discussed in this post)
  • Muscle Bonding
  • Flow (or The Zone)

OVERLOAD and PROGRESSION

“Overload and progression are two basic training principles. Overload refers to the amount of load or resistance, providing a greater stress, or load, on the body than it is normally accustomed to in order to increase fitness. Progression is the way in which an individual should increase the load.”

http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/subjects/pe/curriculum/fittprinciple.pdf accessed 5/27/18.

That pregnant women are capable of increasing physical fitness in the same way as non-pregnant persons was established in an early Cochrane review of exercise in pregnancy [9].

Figure 3: Typical resistance exercise that uses overload and progression to increase strength

While loads, repetitions and time frames for increasing loads and repetitions generally depend on the goals of an activity, even a small increase in load will establish a measureable improvement within an 8-week period, if consistent practice is followed. Figure 3 illustrates a typical strength exercise that  progresses load by shortening the length of the resistance band.

Discussion of the evolution of pregnancy exercise studies, and current understanding about the volume of exercise, as well as the conditions under which exercise is safe and effective in pregnancy, is available in a 2017 review [10], 2002 topic textbook [11] and Varney’s Midwifery, editions 3 and 4.

In the absence of an underlying contra-indication (e.g., chronic heart disease; history of incompetent cervix), beginning exercise in pregnancy is safe. If a woman is sedentary or has had little physical activity leading up to pregnancy, the guidance of a well-trained pre/postnatal fitness specialist is indicated. Understanding what activities, what modifications, how much activity and how often an individual can be active, requires knowledge and experience. In addition, the progression an individual makes must be balanced with her individual biomechanical risks and any medical issuesthat might appear along the way.

Figure 4 Tactile aid to strengthen TrA. Pressing up against the trainer’s hand requires activating TrA.

For example,diastasis recti abdominus (DRA)is often diagnosed postpartum. However, it is possible to recognize it in pregnancy, and progressively train to prevent or attenuate the condition. Figure 4 illustrates how tactile aid helps a mom-to-be engage her transverse abdominals (TrA) during a modified plank by pressing up against the trainer’s hand, activating TrA. Strong TrA mitigates against DRA in pregnancy and helps prevent or reduce its severity during second stage, especially if the valsalva maneuver is employed.

When is it best to begin exercise for pregnancy? It is likely most beneficial to enter pregnancy already aerobically fit due to reduced risk for uterine endothelial dysfunction and/or immune related problems that arise during implantation.There is evidence to suggest a pre-pregnancy dose-related (more fit, less risk) reduction for preeclampsia (PE) [12,13]. As a start point, near the end of the first trimester or early second trimester permits adequate time for training effects, in general. There is some evidence cardiovascular conditioning during pregnancy might reverse endothelial dysfunction to an extent that PE risk is reduced or severity decreased [14].  A theory as to why women who are fit during pregnancy might be at reduced risk for preeclampsia has been outlined [15]. In any case, beginning at a safe level before or during pregnancy, and progressing with regular practice, contributes to a healthy pregnancy and birth.

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References for Post #2:

  1. Kramer MS, McDonald SW. Aerobic exercise for women during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD000180. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000180.pub2.
  2. Newton EF, May L. Adaptation of Maternal-Fetal Physiology to Exercise in Pregnancy: The Basis of Guidelines for Physical Activity in Pregnancy. Clin Med Insights: Women’s Health. 2017; 10: 1179562X17693224. Published online 2017 Feb 23. doi: 10.1177/1179562X17693224.
  3. Cowlin AF. 2002. Women’s Fitness Program Development. Human Kinetics.
  4. Rudra C, Williams MA, Lee IM, Miller RS, Sorensen TK. Perceived exertion during pre-pregnancy physical activity and preeclampsia risk, Med Sci Sports Exerc2005 Nov;37(11):1836-41.
  5. Rudra CB, Sorensen TK, Luthy DA, Williams MA. A prospective analysis of recreational physical activity and preeclampsia risk, Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Sep;40(9):1581-8.
  6. Cowlin AF, Brancato-Ozovek R, DeZinno P, Zelterman D, Mor G. The effect of community-based group prenatal physical activity on preeclampsia rate. 2008. Poster presentation, Society for Gynecologic Investigation 55thAnnual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
  7. Weissgerber TL, Wolfe LA, Davies GAL. The Role of Regular Physical Activity in Preeclampsia Prevention. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004. 36(12):2024-2031.

#Birth #PregnancyFitness #FitnessForBirth #DancingThruPregnancy #BirthOutcomes #BirthAsAMotorSkill