I already talked about how I practiced Taijiquan and Qi Gong during my pregnancies. You might want to read that post first, because it will help you to understand my Qi Gong birth story: My story about practicing Qi Gong and Taijiquan during pregnancy.
First of all, I would like to tell you that my Qi Gong birth story is a natural birth story. And both my kids were born in a hospital. I will not go into bloddy details about the pain and everything, I will just share how I benefited from my Taijiquan and Qi Gong experience during those two natural births.
The thing is, during my pregnancies I practiced a lot of circling my pelvis. I also did some other Qi Gong exercises, but circling was definitely the most important Qi Gong move for me. And guess what I did during labor: I circled! It just felt naturally to me.
Actually, I remember that after I gave birth to my first child, the doctor said to me something like:
You have a very good feeling for your body!
And I think, that is really what Taijiquan and Qi Gong is about: to get to know our body. To feel it, its needs, and being able to letting go. Because in these times, what our bodies need is relaxing and letting go. Especially during labor and delivery, but not only then.
Even though it was the first time I gave birth, I had some kind of inner knowledge how to move. How to breathe. I did learn something about breathing during childbirth classes and I know some Qi Gong breathing exercises. However, my breathing came mostly naturally during labor. Only during delivery, the midwife gave me some tips on how to breathe and move.
Additionally, there was this special moment during my second natural birth. I was alone in the delivery room and did the circling again. The midwife came in and did some paperstuff or something (I actually don’t know what she did, I was busy with myself). Then she looked at me and said something like:
You seem to know what to do. I’ll just let you do your thing!
And even though I was in big pain during that moment (I mean, labor!), it felt great to know that I could trust my body. All the circling exercises while I was pregnant. The thinking about letting go. All the knowledge I had about “relaxing” from my Taijiquan and Qi Gong practice. I used all that while giving birth to my babies.
Of course, it was not only the 9 months pregnancy, but the years of experience paid off. And that knowledge and feeling during labor, I see it as proof that Qi Gong benefits and Taijiquan benefits are real. That it works even in those extreme circumstances.
Thus no matter if you are pregnant now or if you want to be pregnant sometime soon, I really encourage you to get into a Tai Chi for beginner class or learn some Qi Gong techniques. I truly love these Chinese arts, but there are also many other ways to get to know and work with your body in a relaxed way. Become one with your body. Being pregnant is actually a really good time to learn that because everything is so intense and somewhat strange.
And PLEASE do not read any horror labor and delivery stories online. Spend your time wisely on relaxing, resting, sleeping and having a good time! Move in a way that feels best for you!
Thank you for sharing your birth story! I am pregnant with my first child, at 35 weeks. I am very interested in the potential for qi gong / tai chi to ease labour but also to experience and explore the movement of qi during the birth process. Do you have any observations about this? I’d love to hear from you about your experiences in more depth. E mail me if you’d like to share this with me!
I wish you all the best for your pregnancy! It is an exciting time. I shared my experiences on the blog, actually I do not have to add much. Just relax! Not only during labour, also, when the baby is born and the first year starts.