Midwives log thousands and thousands of miles behind the wheel every year. Sitting. We sit at
prenatals. We labor-sit. We sit at the computer. We sit and we sit some more. Unless we don’t.
Midwives have to get creative and thoughtful about finding ways to exchange stagnation for
flow. We have to practice what we preach.
Often times when we think of movement, we think “exercise, tone up, lose weight”, which we
translate to mean that we must find extra, focused time in our days. Make it hurt and burn for an
hour or two 3-5 times per week. We kind of like structure, recipes, and rules. If we can’t stick to
that, then maybe we just give up. But what if we completely shifted that thinking and began to
understand how important it is to bring movement into our daily routines, the things that we are
already doing. What if our paradigm was altered to consider not how hard we could work the
body and make it conform, but what if were to think of movement as language, a conversation
we’re having with our body. Nutrients that we’re supplying it with. What if we tended it from a
loving place within ourselves? What if we got really present, on a visceral level, and listened to
the feedback from our bodies, and the quality and frequency of our movements mattered more
to us than how far we can push the body to perform. How can we chunk it down into bite size
portions, integrate into our everyday, and why is this even really all that important? Here are just
a few of the reasons why it matters:
Nervous system: The Central Nervous System governs the body. Movement is like food and
information for your CNS. Our bodies and minds are intimately connected. Messages between
the two run on a two-way street.
Joints: Sensory receptors in joints send signals to the brain. Movement also keeps the joints
healthy and mobile.
Cells: Cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs, and organs make up organ systems.
They are our fundamental units of life. They are our building blocks. Cells are surrounded by
extracellular fluid. Our bodies, at a cellular level, require a healthy exchange of oxygen and
nutrients from this fluid to keep of these systems interacting with one another. Every single
system in our body works together. We can not parse the body out into separately functioning
Movement lifts our mood, clears our minds, moves blood and lymph, and creates more neural
connections. These are just a handful of reasons to move our bodies well and often.
As midwives, we constantly get to see the beauty and magic of the human body and how the
physical body, the spirit, and the mind function together so perfectly. We also get to witness how
small, even subtle, changes in daily habits benefit the pregnant, birthing, and postpartum body.
This is a reminder to all of us that our bodies are much more than “well-oiled machines”. We are
dynamic, interconnected works of art. Movement is one, very important, way that we NOURISH
our bodies. So, walk, run, climb, jump, dance, crawl, stretch, reach, carry, and squat. If you
come into prenatals and the music is on, your midwives might just be working out that car ride.
This article was written by Amber LaBancz.