Labor Progress Tips with the Three Principles of Spinning Babies©
Find what to do when in this list of labor activities for each phase and stage of labor.
Note: If labor is progressing on its own, don’t try and make it progress more. It is distracting and leads you away from your natural process. If, on the other hand,
- Labor seems not to start well (start and stop or just doesn't pick up),
- Pauses in the middle, or
- Contractions are strong without bringing dilation
you may benefit from some of the following suggestions.
Pre-Labor or Early Labor when contractions are irregular
Length 20-40 seconds but not consistent
When baby isn't fitting well, these contractions can be 60-120 seconds with no dilation...don't make an assumption, please. Its hard to tell this situation from transition without a vaginal exam. But one thing that usually goes together, the labor pattern is often irratic... There's a lot of details that are hard to explain in print. See Comparing OA an OP Labor Patterns for more details.
Relax the abdomen with Rebozo “sifting” (Manteado), Laughter, Love, Warm Chamomile tea,
Acupressure, Acupuncture, Chiropractic Adjustment, Abdominal and sacral releases.
Try and go about your day as normally as you can. Take a nap.
Is the abdominal wall loose? Does your uterus hang forward and make a crease underneath it at your panty line in front? Then use a pregnancy belt or a Rebozo to lift your uterus and allow the baby to come down on your cervix. Wear it until the baby is out to prevent a stall in labor after the head is born
Aim your belly button down while you rest.
Gravity will help you with Rest Smart positions.
Sit smart, too.
Sit up with your back straight or a little forward to help the baby settle in the front of your abdomen.
Contractions help Gravity improve your baby's position, and
Gravity helps Contractions improve your baby's position!
When there is pain or discomfort in pregnancy use the inversion. See the article on inversion in this web site. Move with Pelvic rocking on hands and knees, walking, circles on the ball.
Check in w providers if special needs present.
Early Labor when contractions are regular
Frequency 4-10 minutes apart
Length 20-45 seconds
Bloody show possible
Relax the abdomen with the same things listed in Pre-Labor. Wait on the tub.
Regular daily routine (special considerations if water broke) Eat every two hours and drink water, electrolyte drinks, a little grape juice or hibiscus tea (for examples) each hour.
Rest Smart when tired, walk or slow dance, lean forward, by say, washing the floor on your hands and knees.
Use Gravity with the Abdominal Lift.
Hands and knees or kneeling over the back of a couch or hospital bed.
Or, kneeling on pillows and resting your arms in a comfy chair.
Move: Lively hula-hoop circles on the Birth Ball for 20 minutes.
Stand and lean forward in the Shower if sitting is painful, do pelvic circles while standing.
Check in w providers to let them know potential for labor to bring you to the hospital (or them to you, if having a home birth). Call the Doula, doula supported labors are statistically shorter than labors without a doula.
Active Labor – beginning about 4 cm
Frequency 3-6 minutes apart, from start to start
Length 60-75 seconds from start to finish of the majority of contractions
May need quiet, dark, privacy
Continue to Rest Smart when tired and use the relaxation methods in Pre-labor. Massage between contractions.
Rebozo sifting for serious relaxation.
Movement: Walking can help contractions continue to come, be sure to eat, too. Slow Dancing is more for relaxation and not that dramatic for progress Circles on the Birth Ball, perhaps while in the Shower, Lunge for one sided pain, asynclitic head after 4 cm, or just progress when slow.
An inversion of one type or another, your preference, may help
followed by the Trochanter Roll (Walcher's Maneuver) if the baby isn't in the brim before that. See the article for details on how to do it.
Confined to bed?
Some providers persuade or direct all their moms to stay in bed during labor. Sometimes a woman’s health is such that she has to stay in bed. Keep rotating the pelvis. Lay on your left side with a pillow between your knees or lift your right knee high up on a stack of pillows and shift your left hip back behind you, so to speak, so your belly aims in the mattress. Use pillows to support what needs supportin’
Then switch to your right side and try each of the variations. If you can kneel and lean over a birthing ball or the raised head of the bed, do so for 30 minutes between sides. Each thirty minutes change positions.
If your labor starts progressing rapidly, don’t worry too much about position changes for the purpose of labor progress. On the other hand, if labor doesn’t continue to progress, try and keep your back straight, not curled!
Active Labor – 5 cm (or 4-6) “Five Centimeter Slump”
Frequency 3-5 minutes apart Length 60-85 seconds If you cope thru 5cm, likely to have a natural birth
Relax your involuntary muscles as described before. Or, if you have a loose, pendulous womb, wear the pregnancy belt all during labor. Rest Smart when tired.
At any time in active labor (through the next three described phases) you can
1.) Do a sacral release,
2.) Do the inversion through three contractions, then,
3.) Do a pelvic floor release.
Afterward, you will probably want to sink in a full tub or take a warm shower to mentally relax after those three techniques which can be challenging this for into labor, but amazingly effective.
Gravity: Abdominal Lift and Tuck as before, do for 10 contractions in a row, resting between. Lunge for 6 contractions on each side.
Showering is very useful, maybe while sitting on birth ball, or leaning forward.
Feeling dispair? Or, labor is just very intense?! Time for a tub bath.
Stand and hang on to your partner’s neck. Stand and hang on to a sheet thrown over the bathroom door-tie a knot in one end and throw the knot over the door, then shut the door with the knot on the other side. Now the sheet won’t slip off the door and you can hang on the sheet and bend your knees and move to the contraction.
Movement: Slow dancing or slow dancing in the shower with the wall, or grip bars, while partner sprays your back with a warm stream of water from the shower hose.
Active Labor – advanced 6-8 cm
Frequency 3-4 minutes apart,
Length 60-85 seconds
If not at birth site, now is a good time to go!
Balance: as before, plus, Relax the throat by “cooing,” deep, low tones are usually better than high pitched ones to relax the throat.
Gravity: Lots of moms like to be low to the ground...and they feel grounded with thier knees deeply bent. Kneeling on the floor while leaning forward, for instance, or crouching down like in this photo.
Need to speed things up? Sit on a toilet for three contractions, then stand for 3, and then sit for 3 contractions again. Shower or tub. Birth Balls are rarely desired this late in labor, but if so, go for it.
Movement: Lunge, if you haven’t before, or try again for 6 contractions on each side Walking can still be helpful, but may not be practical. You will know what you need.
Active Labor – Transition 8-10 cm
Frequency 2 1/2-4 minutes apart
Length 75-120 seconds
bloody show likely even if saw in early labor or before labor.
Balance as before: Inversions are a common success for the stall in a posterior labor. Use of Doula and face to face support is commonly appreciated. Loud moaning to a rhythm, cool cloth
Gravity: Standing and leaning forward, Rest Smart when in bed. Birthing sling. Stand and hang on to the Rebozo or give the squat bar a try through 3-6 contractions.
Movement: Lunge, Holding Rebozo or sheet and straightening back. Bending knees with contractions and moving freely. Baby still high? Trocanter Role with Walcher’s Maneuver. Pelvic floor release.
2nd Stage – Pushing or Releasing
Frequency 3-5 minutes
Length 45-75 seconds long
Balance: Be upright with your back long and extended. Don't curl your back. That's right, don't curl your back. When labor is not progressing readily, let your back be straight the way it naturally wants to lengthen. Sit up on a toilet (the porcelain birthing stool), lay on your side with your back arched instinctually, or stand and lift your arms to hang onto something sturdy above you.
Relax well in between contractions. Let the contraction get well started before pushing voluntarily. If you need to push, use exhale pushing to conserve strength or mental stamina. At the end of each contraction, take several deep cleansing breaths. Smile and feel the joy. Make deep vocalizations, vowel sounds or roaring as desired. Kiss your lover. Know that your baby is helping you by pressing that pain out of your body. Work as a team. Let the baby rock back and forth in your pelvis, this relaxes the tissues in the perineum.
Gravity: Vertical positions or side lying on bed to open the pelvis. “Towel pull” squat for 3-6 contractions, hot washcloth on perineum for privacy, cold wet washcloth on anus to prevent or sooth hemorrhoids.
Movement: Rock forward and back while kneeling and leaning over a ball or raised head of the bed. Lunge if baby is asynclitic.
For back pain at any point in the dilation phase: Start with the abdominal Lift and Tuck for 10 contractions in a row. This may solve the cause (extension of fetal head, posterior position or asynclitism) and the effect (the pain).
In any point in dilation phase and the pushing stage: Do the lunge for 3-6 contractions on each side.
1.) Do a sacral release,
2.) Do the inversion through three contractions, then,
3.) Do a pelvic floor release.
Afterward, you will probably want to sink in a full tub or take a warm shower to mentally relax after those three techniques which can be challenging this for into labor, but amazingly effective. See Comfort Measures for more ideas.
Fetal Rotation is one sign of progress. If the baby can’t rotate then relax the pelvic area and open the pelvis so the baby can come through as is.
Labor Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Comfort Measures with the Rebozo (video) by Guadalupe Trueba
Hands of Love (video) by Carol Phillips, DC
Web article with lots of blog entries describing and showing photos of maternal movement in labor at the Lamaze blog, http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=736
A blog with maternal positions for labor Birth Faith
Copyright© 2006 Maternity House Publishing
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.