Pregnant woman with her husband helping her do a sidelying release. She will repeat it on both sides!

Praise for Side-lying Pelvic Floor Release

Its just too fun to receive these stories and not share them with you. Here are some:

Read how to do a Sidelying release here. 

First story, 2012, Sent by a CNM who, long ago, took a birth doula training workshop with me.


Yesterday--Mom in labor with 4th baby. All have been about 8 1/2 lbs and came at about 39 weeks, first two long with epidurals, third fast. Now she is 41 weeks and baby has been posterior for some time -- I sent her home with things to do but I'm not sure if they happened or not.
Anyway, strong labor, back and hip pain not resolving, 7 cm for 2 hrs in various positions in the tub. Got out of tub, did sidelying release x several contractions on each side, several contractions on hands and knees, sudden change in mom's vocalizations and baby is on perinuem, rotated to ROA! Smooth birth with no tears, 9#7oz. Poor sweet face bruised from coming down so fast after rotation but all are doing well. I hadn't had much chance to practice the sidelying release to this point and I am so grateful.




Hi Gail!

I just wanted to tell you how big an impact your website and techniques have made with my doula work and pregnant moms. Just last week I had a mom who had an incredible birth and I credit info from your site, as I still use it as a resource all the time even though I've done over 400 births and worked with thousands of pregnant women in my yoga classes. 
This woman was complaining at 7 months when I started working with her that she had pain on her left side low in her pelvis and she felt like the baby's head was all on that side. A vaginal exam by her midwife had uncovered that the head was probably a bit asynclitic and she had been uncomfortable getting up after sitting and just moving around in general. This was her second baby so I wasn't surprised at the increased sensation but the other symptoms made me think a pelvic floor release might really help her. I came over and showed her and her husband how to do it, did it with them, and gave her a couple of yoga stretches as well and by the time I left she was out of pain for the first time in months! 
At her birth her labor began to slow down at 3.5 cm and we did another pelvic floor release and her labor picked up substantially right after and she delivered 2 hours later after 8 minutes of pushing.  
I wanted to write to you because your information is so valuable and I recommend it to every doula I teach and every pregnant mom. I actually often Facebook and Twitter your info to all of my followers. I am currently training Prenatal Yoga Instructors in the US and abroad (I'll be teaching in Peru and China in the next 2 months) ... I already have your site as a resource on my website and tell all of my students that they have to visit it but I would also like to require that people in my doula trainings buy your Belly Mapping [Workbook]. 
Thank you for your amazing contribution to the world of birthing moms.
Jennifer Wolfe
RYT-500, CHT, CD
Jennifer Wolfe Yoga
Dolphin Doula



Read how to do a sidelying release here. 

Another story of a birth that was helped along less dramatically by a side-lying release (2009)

Yesterday, we were at a home birth with a first time mother. Her baby was tilted to the mother’s right. The baby’s sutures showed a moderately flexed (his chin was lifted up a bit, not tucked) oblique posterior baby with the right parietal bone presenting. In easier words, the baby was facing up, chin up and head tilted a little bit as if listening with his right ear (posterior and asynclitic).  Her water had broken spontaneously at 3 am and started labor.

At 9 am her midwife (one of my partners, Clare) estimated from her behavior and contraction pattern that she was about 9 cm dilated. Emme (our other partner) and I headed over. We usually are there earlier in labor, but with two other moms warming up to imminent labor, Clare let us sleep in before calling.

Labor didn’t sound like it was progressing so Clare did the first vaginal exam at 10:30 am. The baby was asynclitic as shown by there being room to the left of the baby’s head and the head pressed to the right above the ishial spine. Cervix was swollen on the front and couldn’t be felt in the back (9 ½ cm).

We tried lunges and the lunge with the mother’s right leg up on a chair seemed to help as shown by stronger contractions during the lunge with the right leg up. The cervix was complete (10 cm) at 2 pm.


Pushing in a variety of positions wasn’t progressing labor well  –there was no significant descent.

We did the pelvic floor / sidelying release about 3:30 pm. The mother chose to start the pelvic floor release on her right side. We didn’t hear a difference in her birthing sounds during the three contractions she went through while letting her left leg hang in the air.

Then she got on her left side. The first contraction on her left side with her right leg hanging forward was dramatic. It sounded like the strongest contraction of her whole labor. The next contraction was mild and the third contraction of the pelvic floor release was quite strong, almost like the first in this position.

The mom got up from the pelvic floor release and stood through a couple contractions on her way to the kitchen counter where her husband helped her do The Dangle. This seemed to help progress a little.

The strange thing about asynclitic babies is that occasionally laying on the back and pushing with knees open and apart seems to give good progress. This position limits the sacrum, but it also flattens the sacrum. For whatever reason, on her back was the position that helped the most. This mom was willing to do everything it took and a couple things that were thrown in as best guesses to give birth to her baby.

The baby was born alert at 7 pm and beginning to breath before the body was born. Apgars 8-9. He was over 8 pounds. His molding and caput were not extreme at all. The mother had taken homeopathic arnica about every 30 minutes throughout her 5 hours of pushing.




Balancing the pelvic floor resolves a long labor (2012)

Recently, my own midwife (with my son born in 1989) and her partner called and asked if I had availability to come to the home of a woman in her second day of labor.

A third-time mom was about 7 cm and labor had been slow over 2 days and 2 nights. After having had some very strong contractions, now the mother was almost dozing and contractions were still coming, uncomfortable, but clearly not moving labor along. The midwives had used their bag of tricks and were considering going in to the hospital for Pitocin to augment labor (make it stronger) to finish the birth. They were nearby and I hurried over.

Since the mom was resting when I arrived I took the time to review her labor notes and her previous labor notes. She had already had two home births so I knew we could help her quickly. I slipped into the bedroom and sat with her and her husband and watched her through a contraction or two.

She had already known her midwife had invited me and was very open to trying some techniques. I asked her if she would be willing to go through a series of techniques to address the ligaments and muscles supporting the uterus and her pelvis to help make room for her baby. I said these were unusual positions that she would be in during contractions but we could start with the lovely one first. She asked what I meant. And I said, I always start with the Rebozo sifting because mothers like it so much that when I suggest the more challenging positions after that they are already in a good mood. She and her husband laughed. 

We did the rebozo manteado, or sifting, between contractions, holding her belly in the hammock of the rebozo scarf during contractions, waiting 10 seconds and sifting again. Sifting for about 2-3 minutes inbetween contractions and repeating about 5 times. She was now very relaxed.

She did the forward-leaning inversion off of her high bed with her husband supporting her shoulders and stayed in that position between and through 3 contractions. She can do this without ending up with a breech baby because she was in active labor and because her body was rather tight around the baby (which is what was holding things up).

She lay on her right side for the sidelying release, with her left leg handing over her right, through and between 3 contractions and switched sides of the bed and repeated on her left side for her right leg to hang and stretch the muscles. 

Now her contractions were effective and further apart - a great result for both mom and midwife!  She wanted to sit on the toilet with her back straight - the porcelain birthing stool. Soon she had the urge to push. The pushing urge remained mild and after some time it became questionable whether the baby was coming down or not. (I was out in the hall while her midwives and family were with her, but I wasn't "hearing" descent. The midwives were patient and perhaps felt that an exam didn't seem worth the interruption at the time.) 

She left the bathroom and got into the birthing tub. ....  This story is finished half way down the page on


Read how to do a Sidelying Release here.

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Hi Gail, 

I want to say thank you! A first time mother's posterior birth went well [with] a short labor. Membranes ruptured about 8am. Her labor started about 6pm: 3cm dilated; LOP station -1; cervix soft and effaced. 

We did rebozo sifting, sidelying release, abdominal lift and tuck, standing sacral release, Dip the hip, circling on the birth ball, lunge and she birthed at 9.58pm in sidelying position with hands around the husband's neck.

Baby's head showed more molding on the right side. What you taught in the workshop and website made a difference!

Chiew Gin, Doula, Singapore