3 Principles in labor
Read this article if you are hoping for a smooth, progressing labor.
Or, if labor doesn't start or progress as you expect.
You will find why and how the 1st Principle of Spinning Babies; Balance should be followed first, before random attempts at labor progress.
The surges of the womb, commonly called contractions, help position the baby by rotating and flexing baby's head -- if the muscles and ligaments don't interfere by some tightness (or looseness).
Continue your pregnancy activities right into early labor with this series of Balance activities:
The 3 Sisters of Balance:
Sifting with the woven Rebozo (Mexican scarf) between contractions
Do a Forward leaning inversion during 1-3 contractions (3 if you are in a long labor pattern, 1 if you have given birth before or aren't sure you need help to progress, but just want to do something.)
Do a Sidelying release (pelvic floor release) on both sides.
Another balance technique for birthing woman who are lying down is to do a diaphragmatic release (abdominal release). This is a myofascial technique that a birth partner can do for a woman.
Seem too ethereal for your situation? Can you calm the situation so the subtle mood for the standing sacral release calms the entire room? That fluid, intuitive space is lovely for birth.
Another technique for balance is Dip the Hip.
When a poorly positioned baby is too low in a tight pelvis to rotate to a better position, we can soften the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis to give the pelvis more flexibilty. This may allow baby to come down.
2nd Principle: Gravity
"Gravity, its not just a good idea, its the law."
Gravity and Movement does help and will be enough for some women. Other women will need help to overcome a tight muscle or short ligament to achieve a natural labor.
You can rest using gravity, too, you don't have to stand all the time!
Read Rest Smart to find how to rest in ways that actually help labor to continue and not stall out.
How about sitting on a birthing ball or a birth stool?
Don't have a birth stool? Oh, yes! Every home and hospital room has a porcelain birthing stool. Sit for three contractions and then stand for one. This keeps swelling in your tender places to a minimum .
When you are up, standing with knees soft (not locked) and leaning over a friend, a counter-top, etc.
3rd Principle Movement
Movement helps reduce pain and can help baby go lower.
When you do feel the need to move, get up! Move around. Be vertical. Its surprising how often women find being up and moving makes labor more manageable than lying on their hips or their back in bed.
You've released some constriction by bringing your body into better balance. You are being mindful about gravity friendly positions. Now you may need to move your pelvis to help your baby move down.
Circles on the ball.
Put some music on. Put some meaning into those circles.
Grab your doula and dance the hula!
Belly Dancer moves are birthy.
If movement doesn't work, see if baby is truly engaged. Do those techniques.
Then, return to balancing activities. See the article on long labors in the Labor section on how to overcome a stall in labor. Better yet, possibly prevent a long labor using the resources in Professional Help.