Katy Says: Spinning Babies! , a blog post with humor

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How babies rotate

The way a baby moves through the pelvis is called the cardinal movements.

Typically, these cardinal movements are discussed in 7 key, or cardinal, steps.

Find out How babies rotate

Maternal Positioning

Maternal Positioning is a term used for talking about the posture and positions women use in pregnancy and in labor for comfort and labor progress. The 2nd Principle of Spinning Babies is Gravity. Maternal positioning uses the 2nd Principle of Spinning Babies: Gravity.

Read more: Maternal Positioning

Optimal Fetal Positioning

Childbirth educator Pauline Scott coined the phrase Optimal Fetal Positioning to describe the work of Midwife Jean Sutton.  These two women published Understanding and Teaching Optimal Fetal Positioning in 1996.  Two facts will help you to understand why fetal position is important:

  1. Baby's rotate through the pelvis to emerge from the womb.
  2. Fetal position effects the relative ease of fetal rotation and descent. 

Spinning Babies extends the concepts of Optimal Fetal Positioning (OFP) a break-through concept in childbirth. 

My belief is that maternal positioning will support optimal fetal positioning when we have balance in the pelvis (including ligaments, fascia and muscles). Balance first.


Why don't randomized control studies support Optimal Fetal Positioning when midwives and doulas do?
We may see more benefit in labor progress with baby's position when we take into engagement, a balanced pelvic floor, flexion of the fetal head, and freedom of maternal movement (not restricted to bed in labor including the second stage of pushing) supported by maternity care practices.  Birth is revealed with the whole being of MotherBaby, not a single part.

Ready To Make a Difference?

Spinning Babies is an approach to childbirth preparation like no other.

Mom's job is to dilate, but baby' s job is to rotate. When baby's job is easier, labor is easier for mother as well.

"I have had wonderful births thanks to what I learned from you !! You are one of the most influential people I have ever worked with." --Michele Sayball, Naturopathic Doctor. Vermont, USA

Gail - 

I wanted to update you! We welcomed our spinning babies baby this week. I had two hours of active labor - which I certainly believe happened because all of my muscles and ligaments were able to work together flawlessly! 

He was born at a local birthing center, assisted by wonderful midwives but caught by me! He quite literally "spun" out into the jacuzzi! 

Reduce the fear-pain cycle, shorten labor time, empower birthing families - and providers! Spinning Babies offers a low tech way to reduce birth complications due to fetal malposition. 

Spinning Babies is the active part of patience. 

As a midwife, I'm patient with the process of childbirth. But I also want to be alert to those times when a baby might be trying hard to descend, be stuck, or when cervical dilation in labor seems to stall or stop. Gentle techniques may help labor resume. 


"I caught three babies in 24 hours and saved TWO from C/S with Spinning Babies techniques." -- Aszani Stoddard, CNM


Spinning Babies begins with Balancing the mother's own body. Aligning the pelvis or aligning with gravity, and releasing super tight muscles or ligaments works wonders.

Balance helps the baby aim into the pelvis more easily. A woman's own activities can restore her balance. Or, she can find the help of specific body workers skilled in pregnancy.


"Thank you for all that you're doing to spread the word that babies can and do spin into more optimal positions for birth with a little well guided support!!  You've positively changed the outcomes of many, many births and are a blessing in the lives of the families involved!"

Angel Phillips, CST, Blessing Way Bodywork, Craniosacral Therapy for Mother and Child


Spinning Babies also maintains the trust of birth through traditional midwifery skills for the long labor. This skills are being lost quickly around the world, but not here!

Medical help is sometimes necessary, helpful, and occasionally life saving.

I'm all for the cooperative, appropriate use of medical interventions. Our challenge, Granolas and Techies alike, is to know when intervention is appropriate. I expect that everyone is doing the best they can for the mother and child - especially the mother and child!


Spinning Babies? -Doesn't sound very nice. Sounds, kind of, like juggling kittens. --  Andrea Millage, Minnesota.


Spinning Babies approach uses no force or manipulation.  Gentle techniques that match the level of the pelvis where baby is stuck can and do improve birth outcomes. Many of these techniques involve postures and activities a thoughtful pregnant woman will feel comfortable doing at home.

This is the website where we talk about fetal positioning. That means baby's position in the womb. A large minority of posterior and breech babies (but 100% of babies lying sideways in the womb in a Transverse Lie) may need surgery to get born.

Pregnant women will enjoy figuring out their baby's position over the course of a few evenings. There are pages here that can help you. If you're ready for more detail, you can purchase my Belly Mapping Workbook. Its a packed 48 pages with over 100 illustrations and photos showing you exactly how to tell your baby's position.

Tips on flipping a breech or coping with a posterior labor. Most pregnant women will be able to Belly Map by their 7th month. Find it in the "Store."


"You are a treasure, Gail. I use your website at so many births (I seem to attract these malpositioned babies). I've sent you a paypal donation before and will again. Who knows how many labors were shortened by hours because of the information on Spinning Babies."

H B, doula, Chicago





Tips for easier birth
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Labor Spectrum

How do you know whether your labor will be hard or easy?

Birth offers a spectrum of possibilities. The unusual variations are on either end of a bell-shaped statistical curve. For instance, its unusual to have a super-easy posterior or to truly need a cesarean for a posterior baby.

Most posterior babies rotate in labor (Lieberman, Gardberg). Yet, too many women are given cesareans for a posterior baby because no one there knew what to do to help the baby rotate. 

Spinning Babies has a plan for moving women towards the easier side of the bell curve. Spinning Babies may just be the rainbow in the storm of confusing labor challenges. Let's look at the spectrum and where you might find yourself on it.

Read more: Labor Spectrum


Did Spinning Babies help your birth journey?

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