#4: The practice of TRE while pregnant

I would like women/men/midwives and doctors to recognise that if tremors occur spontaneously before/during/after birth that they can safely allow and encourage them as long as the woman is not feeling overwhelmed at all. However if you would like to learn to use TRE deliberately before, during or after birth it requires for you to see a TRE practitioner who can then ensure that the process is working well and safely for you and/or your client. Currently isn’t any official evidence base in western research (yet) but traditional cultures including Swahili midwives deliberately use these tremors during and after birth, and even in Holland midwives report tremoring to be a natural and healthy response. 

I could continue to teach TRE up to my 34th week of pregnancy, but I did notice some of the exercises needed adjustments.

For example the exercises where we bend forward, I noticed with a big belly, are not very comfortable. Lucie van Leeuwen suggested to following change to the forward bend with one leg up: one foot has support of the wall while bending down and backwards with the hips. When bending forward in , I would reach my arms further away from the body to create more space for the belly.

As the body prepares to make it possible for the baby to eventually find its way through the birth channel, the hormone relaxin works to loosen up joints of the body. This hormone helps to prepare the pelvis to widen while giving birth, but it can also lead to joint laxity and maybe even permanent damage if postpartum joint health is ignored.

Lying on my back while letting tremors come up into my body felt painful in my SI-joint. Thus to allow TRE to flow through my body, I needed to change from lying on my back to try different positions.
What helped me was to:

  • Sit against a pillow or on a couch putting my feet together or to lie on my side / in bed on a softer mattress.
  • Make more use of the support of pillows in my back/under my hips.

To make it an enjoyable experience for both me and my baby, I took more breaks and kept the duration of the shaking only 2 – 8 minutes. Especially when the tremors came up and into my belly, I would pause more often.

This video is to show you the adjustments in my TRE practice and to demonstrate tremoring while pregnant.

Around 35 weeks, I did not feel like practicing TRE anymore, but now, entering week 40 of my pregnancy, I will start again to see if I can support the birth process in a more calm and relaxed state.