His philosophy is that if a pregnant woman does physical labour as hard as her ancestors did one hundred years ago, eats a healthy well balanced diet, believes in nature, almost all babies can be born smoothly. At his clinic expectant mothers are urged to do hard physical exercise, walking at least three hours and do three hundred squats every day!
He has a point. Physical exercise can free your mind and your body, can improve your immune system and increases the circulation of the blood, helping to release hormones, relieve stress and strengthen bones and muscles. Physical exercise can also soften muscles and joints, making childbirth much easier.
He writes that physical exercise also has a positive effect on the fetus too. If the mother is a couch potatoe and eats unhealthy snacks all the time, the baby also grows lazy in the absence of stimuli. When a big stimulus like a contraction begins, the baby gets exhausted easily. But if the mother is physically active, the baby is jolted and stimulated all the time. It seems logical that appropriate levels of maternal stress can help the baby increase its vitality.
Physical exercise also boosts the vitality of the uterus. The uterus is responsible for nurturing, protecting and developing a baby as well as helping to expel the baby out of the mother's body. If the vitality of the uterus increases, pregnancy and birth are easier.
"Lazing about, eating unhealthily and worrying are the enemies of good childbirth."
We live in an information-oriented society and many women crave statistics and data. Pregnant women are bombarded by a lot of unnecessary information that can make them scared or anxious about what could go wrong and unintentionally place themselves in defence mode and on high alert. As a result, birth becomes harder. When a woman is relaxed and has no fear of childbirth and needs no medical attention, she is more likely to have a good birthing experience. When her body is tense, her birth canal remains tight and causes great stress to the baby.
There is an old Japanese house next to his clinic. Here, expectant mothers carry out traditional tasks like chopping firewood, hauling water up out of a well, or kneeling down and cleaning the floor with a wet rag. At noon, they eat rice cooked on the old stove and enjoy chatting. Women say this gathering provided them with precious moral support during their pregnancy,a period in which women tend to become isolated. Chatting with friends, they forget their anxiety about childbirth and relax.
I would put this high on the list of great books to read whilst pregnant.
Joyous Childbirth Changes The World
Dr Tadashi Yoshimura