3 Principles in labor
If labor doesn't start or progress as you expect, read this article. The first thing to do in labor is to help your pelvis into better balance. Particularly, attend to the ligaments, muscles and fascia supporting your womb. This will help labor to progress.
The surges of the womb, commonly called contractions, will help position the baby in labor by rotating and flexing baby's head without our aid-- if the muscles and ligaments don't stop them by some tightness (or looseness).
Active labor movements help and will be enough for most women. Some women will need more help for a natural labor.
Start in early labor with this series of activities:
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.
If you know that the baby is facing forward (posterior presentation) or you have back labor in any case, there is a simple technique that works wonders: The Abdominal Lift.
When you can anticipate a contraction coming (contractions have to be somewhat regular) begin an Abdominal Lift, also called a Belly Lift, and hold it during the contraction. Let go of your belly in between contractions. Do a Belly Lift up to ten times if your labor has the pattern described on the Abdominal Lift description on this website.
Then, during several contractions after that, stand and lean forward. Have your knees be soft. Locked legs tighten your mind as well. Letting there be a little movement in your knees, a little bend, just enough not to be locked straight, will help you be more intuitive and fluid in your labor. It lets your pelvis move a bit. Leaning forward helps babies rotate and labor progress.
If a poorly positioned baby is too low in a tight pelvis, we can try to soften the muscles and ligaments supporting the pelvis to give baby more room in their current position. Perhaps the baby will fit even when posterior or asynclitic (tipped). Perhaps giving more room will help them rotate lower down the pelvis. Balance can help in that way, also!
The second thing to do in labor is to keep working with Gravity.
You can rest, 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.
When you do feel the need to move, get up. Move around. Be vertical. Its surprising how often women find being up and moving more manageable than lying on their hips or their back in bed. Need to rest again? 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 or more. That way you can keep swelling to a minimum in your tender places.
When you are up, standing with knees soft (not locked) and leaning over a friend, a counter-top, etc.
The third thing to do is movement.
You've release 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.
Follow up a period of activity with a rest in a Rest Smart position.
If it doesn't work, begin again with the balancing activities. See the article on long labors in the Labor section to see how to overcome a stall in labor. Better yet, possibly prevent a long labor using the resources in Professional Help.
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.