My premise here at Spinning Babies is that the position a baby starts labor in is determined mostly by uterine balance which then leads to availability of space in the lower uterine segment. Uterine shape is part genetics and partly due to the degree of balance of the womb. You can read more about this in The Three Principles.
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.
The wide part of baby’s head dips below the pelvic brim. Typically, for the first time mother, this occurs before labor, often at 38 weeks.
Baby’s chin touches the chest for full flexion.
The baby lowers, or comes down. Descent is actually happening inbetween every other cardinal movement repeatedly. In other words, the baby must descend to engage. Then the baby descends a bit more to flex. The baby descends again before extension and then again during extension before restitution. Finally, descent is the action of expulsion.
4. Internal rotation
The baby’s head rotates inside the pelvis. From whatever position the head was in when engagement occurred at the brim, the head next rotates on the pelvic floor to fit the midpelvis and after more descent rotates to the front and back diameter to fit out of the outlet.
After navigating the opening through the pelvic floor, the baby’s back extends pushing the head further through the outlet. Many books simply state that the head extends and misses the fact that the baby’s spine is the origin of extension.
6. Restitution (or external rotation)
The baby’s head is out, usually in the OA position while the baby’s chest is rotating in the pelvic floor. The baby’s head is then seen to rotate to follow the chest rotation. Some babies first rotate externally1/8th of the circle, and then another 1/8th, or seen to rotate ¼ of the circle to face the mother’s thigh.
The baby’s anterior shoulder presses on the firm tissue just under the pubis. A tiny bit of pale flesh of the anterior shoulder is seen in the front. The pressure of the anterior shoulder pivots the posterior shoulder down, allowing the posterior shoulder to swing out the arc of the sacrum. The posterior shoulder is then born first. This is assuming no one has grasped the baby and forced the anterior shoulder out first, a common habit.
The baby will continue to spiral out, and the hips may need to be lined up in the Anterior-posterior diameter with the opening of the pelvic floor for the large baby’s legs to emerge. But this is rarely noticeable.
Continue on to the Membership Section of SpinningBabies.com if you would like to examine the cardinal movements, including engagement variations amongst the four pelvic types. The Membership Section explores the Spinning Babies perspective in detail and offers more childbirth education resources. Visit the Membership Description page for more information.
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A co-venture video experience with Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga! Coming Soon!
Spinning Babies; Daily Essentials For Pregnancy Video.
Together Sarah Longacre, international prenatal yoga instructor and birth doula, and Gail Tully, yours truly, created a unique instructional video for flexibility and comfort in pregnancy and to support better fetal positioning in time for birth.
Here are daily activities for stretching and balancing a pregnant body. Start early in pregnancy to prepare to make the most space for baby's best birth position and the most ease for mother's opening during the birth process.
We begin the program for women of average flexibility (or just plain stiff to start with) and beginner tips. But soon, you'll be ready to move freely! That's when Sarah brings the stretches all together into her easy to follow, playful, sensual, and flowing "Blooma Style" daily routine.
Sarah's "dance of opening," moves joints and ligaments to come alive under the delightful melody and percussions of Carin Vagle. This isn't about core strength; its about freedom of movement and creating space in the body.
Sarah plays along with Gail's little game of "Flashlight" to show pregnant women how to evaluate their own posture and positions. Smart Maternal Positioning helps baby snuggle their backs into the front of the womb for Optimal Fetal Positioning.
The Daily Essentials For Pregnancy includes tips for using Maternal Positioning around the house. Actual scenes in the bedroom, living room -and even the bathroom- gives practical instruction like no other video. You will be sleeping more comfortably immediately when using these tips. Within a week or two many pregnancy discomforts of the pelvis and lower back may be reduced when all these nurturing techniques are integrated into your daily lifestyle. Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga-- a natural collaborative!
Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class.
Soon pregnant parents around the world can take a Spinning Babies class from their own monitor! Join six couples as they learn the reason why Spinning Babies works and how it can enhance your labor and birth.
See techniques to do daily or weekly. Actual, real consultations with two couples right at our class location, one with a breech baby (head up) and one with a baby in a transverse lie (lying sideways).
Couples do the techniques together and show you how to do these at home.
Used alone or with the Daily Essentials, Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class goes beyond the basics. Simple props show complex concepts sweetly. Little-known anatomy is linked to childbirth and the role of fetal positioning.
The section on labor discusses two labor patterns- the one "promised" in other books and the unexpected one associated with the posterior labor. Learn the common causes of long labor and techniques to help baby through the pelvis.
Be empowered; be prepared. After using this video throughout your pregnancy, while we can't promise, of course, you may not need the tips for labor progress. You can use that knowledge to help your neighbor. This video is all Spinning Babies.
Blooma Yoga Prenatal Yoga for AM and PM.
Warm up in the morning and cool down in the evening in two 30-minute sequences. Sarah Longacre shares her own blossoming pregnancy, Blooma style, to the exquisite music of Carin Vagle. Sarah's affirmations will carry you through labor with emotional strength and encouragement. Play this video when the others become too basic and you just want to dance and have fun. Wait, dance? Isn't this yoga? With Blooma and Carin Vagle, your spirit won't know the difference. Soar to greater freedom of movement. Bring your hormones into harmony with the day. Begin your day with serious play. Cool down at night with a sleep enhancing stretch before bed. This video is all Blooma!
Sarah's video is ready for you now! Get Blooma's AM/PM Yoga here
All three videos are professionally produced by Melissa Koch of Grey Duck Productions, with stills by Tanya Villano Photography, each of these three videos are dynamic on their own. Together they will enhance your pregnancy and labor experience with fun and empowerment in the most practical manner. Feel hope for your birth abilities, this is support for your journey. Gain the confidence and flexibility to fully bloom. I believe these videos carry the potential to bring your best birth dreams into the gentle reality.
Compassionately priced. Estimated Due Date for Daily Essentials March 2014; for Spinning Babies Parent Class, Fall 2014.