Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Four Reasons to Say the Long Obligatory Prayer While Pregnant

While making efforts to integrate the Long Obligatory Prayer into my day recently, I've notices a few benefits to saying it specifically while pregnant.

  1. It helps with optimal fetal positioning - One of the unique aspects of the Long Obligatory Prayer is how it integrates movement along with the words. The Medium Obligatory Prayer also does some of this but not nearly to the same extent. The benefit to pregnant women is that most of these movements involve bending forward and kneeling on the ground. Because many of us live in an environment that is becoming more materially comfortable we are spending more and more of our day sitting and reclining, which is quite different than what our ancestors did through most of human history. Women used to spend a lot of time in activities - scrubbing floors, tending fires, weeding gardens - that worked with gravity to get unborn babies into ideal positions for birth. The kinds of movement that go with this prayer are the kinds of movements that many of us are missing in our daily lives and allow for gravity to help the baby into a more optimal position. If your baby is breach or posterior this alone is probably not enough to get it to turn, but would be very complimentary to programs like Spinning Babies or Dancing For Birth.
  2. It's good for your back - I've found that the same movements that help with fetal positioning can also help relieve the lower back strain that comes with later pregnancy. Prostrating on the floor brings me so much relief that it's tempting to draw out those sections of the prayer just to linger there a bit longer.
  3. It can be said anytime of day (good if you're getting forgetful) - I don't know about anyone else, but I have never been as forgetful as I have been since I got pregnant. I didn't even know it was possible. I'd heard of pregnancy brain but always thought it was over-hyped. I was wrong. When you're losing track of time, going with the prayer that doesn't need to be said at a specific time of day can be a real bonus.
  4. You might not have the chance after the baby arrives - The first weeks with a new baby can be demanding. Depending on individual circumstances, prayer might become something that is more likely to happen in short bursts in between other things. Many parenting websites advocate some kind of pampering with pedicures and spa treatments before the birth, but why not give your spirit some extra care while you have the chance?


Lucki said...

Wow, I never tho't of that. What a wonderful connection. I'm way past any pregnancies now. OTOH, while I also aged out of Obligatory Prayer & the Fast if I wanted to (not that I did), I always found that using the long prayer during the Fast is especially helpful, too. Not sure why. Just is.

Larissa said...

Thanks Lucki. I have talked to others who said the same thing about the long prayer during the fast. You aren't alone on that one.