If you're a jaw clencher you are DEFINITELY going to want to read this!
Ina May Gaskin calls this jaw/pelvis connection "sphincter law". Knowing the jaw/pelvis connection has helped thousands of women stay loose where it matters during labor.
Let's break it down simply.
An article by the Natural Dental Associates puts it down this way: The cranium (head) and sacrum (back of the pelvis) are connected through the dura mater, which is the outer layer of connective tissue that covers and protects the brain and spinal cord. Tension or imbalance on either end can have an effect on the other.
Fascia is connective tissue that supports and connects every muscle, organ, bone, and blood vessel. The Deep Frontal Line is a fascial line that connects the muscles in the pelvis to the muscles in the jaws and neck. A mobility issue or tension anywhere along this connection can adversely affect both the jaw and pelvic floor.
This viral video shows how using an aggressive gua sha technique opens this Olympic athlete's pelvis and drastically improves his hip mobility by massaging out tension in the jaw.
So what can this mean for your labor and delivery?
The more room your pelvis has to expand as baby travels down the birth canal, the easier your delivery will be. A tight and closed pelvis will result in tension and muscles that are fighting against your delivery, not for it. The more relaxed your downstairs muscles are, the easier it will be when it comes time to deliver.
Because the pelvis and jaw can be used as a sort of window into what the other is doing, practice breath work with a slack jaw. Your mouth may open slightly as this jaw muscles release. Feel how your pelvis responds to that total relaxation of the jaw - crazy right? There is a slight heaviness to your buttocks from the tension releasing.
THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO BE MONEY IN LABOR
Relax the jaw.
Relax the pelvis.
Leading up to labor some great things you can do to prepare your pelvis are squats! Squatting has been the preferred position for labors in varying countries for centuries. Squatting has the unique affect of opening the pelvis (thanks gravity!). Another nugget of wisdom from Ina May Gaskin, "Squat 300 times a day and you will give birth faster."
Think about the squatty potty. It's the same concept. In the squatting position your pelvis opens to an optimal position for delivery.
Check out this visual from Pediatric & Perinatal Chiropractic Center:
Now imagine squatting in labor with a relaxed jaw and pelvis! You're superwoman. So if you carry stress in your jaw and/or grind or clench your teeth, start actively trying to reduce tension in your jaw NOW.
The THREE Takeaways!
Squat a lot leading up to labor.
Massage your jaw/jaw tendons (maybe not as aggressive as the video)
Practice relaxing your jaw.
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