The Abdominal Release is also called the Diaphragmatic Release.
The Diaphragmatic Release helps the broad ligament relax giving baby more room to get into position for labor.
This is a simple myofascial technique that can be learned by the partner or friend. I learned it from Carol Phillips, DC.
The Diaphragmatic Release helps "untwist" and "untighten" possible snags in the abdominal fascia or the muscle fibers of the broad ligament. The release is a subtle physical technique using the lightest pressure possible. The upper hand does not rest on the abdomen, that would be too much pressure for the fascial response we want. Actually, an electrical circuit forms from the contact of the helpers two hands.
Some people say it is "energy" work, and though all matter is energy, I disagree with labeling this technique as an energy technique simply because the pressure is light. We need the light touch for the fascia to respond. If we press, we'll be going to the level of the muscles and the fascia will be "pinned" down by the force of even moderate pressure, the pressure of a hug, for instance.
Practice holding a balloon between your palms so lightly that if you held it with any less pressure and it would fall towards the floor. That's the lightness of being I'm talking about using in this technique. Now set the balloon down and hold your hands near it, focusing energy at the balloon to move the balloon. See what I mean, light touch is still touch!
This is how I interpret the technique. Professionals in the area of myofascial work will be more articulate.
A successful series of abdominal releases improves fetal positioning as well as the woman's comfort in late pregnancy and labor. Consider doing this at least monthly during pregnancy, or weekly on a regular basis.
Any time in pregnancy or labor. It takes about 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the individual. 10 minutes is common.
How to do the Diaphragmatic (or Abdominal) Release:
The mother can lay on her back or side. If on her back, she can be slightly propped up by pillows. Her weight should settle through her back though, not her bottom. Loose clothing may seem to help success.
I learned this with the mother on her back. When a woman can't lay on her back, she can stand and use the Standing Release instead.
Her helper sits beside her, facing her, in a comfortable way.
The helper uses the palms of each hand to 'hold" the woman but applies no pressure.
The top hand touches the lower abdomen. Use the hand that will end up having the thumb "point" in the direction of the woman's upper body, or navel. The light pressure means the helper can't rest the hand on the woman's abdomen-that's too much pressure.
Gail, in the photo above, shows the doulas of the UK in North London how to place their hands below and above the woman's pelvis.
The bottom hand is horizontal across the sacrum and soft or passive. The mother lays on the bottom hand. Her weight as she relaxes "opens" her back over the wedge shaped palm of the helper. In the photo just below, Gail get's her hand positioned under Bridget's sacrum.
Now, the mother breathes as if she is relaxed and falling asleep. She can sleep, rest or have a pleasant and soothing conversation with the helper.
Within moments, and the time varies with the woman, the helper will feel subtle movements traveling slowly (usually) between his or her hands. There is a delay between the hands of a few seconds.
The movement may feel like flutters or like waves. A fluid motion might be noticed, or something like tapping or little pops. The woman can usually feel them, too. They are light enough to be missed unless the helper is quiet in her perceptions.
The two of them continue to "do" the abdominal release until the motions stop. Here, Midwife Shawn Walker does an abdominal release with our Spinning Babies volunteer in Norwich, England.
Above, hand placement on the plastic pelvis: the hand underneath cradles the sacrum; the hand above lightly contacts the lower abdomen with chin upward.
How to do a diaphragmatic release from an article in Midwifery Today.
The abdominal release can be done weekly, or once only, in pregnancy and/or in early labor. I suggest it when ever there is a fetal malposition, heartburn that repeats, or the pregnant woman feels uncomfortable or even in pain when the baby kicks.
This can be done before or after rebozo sifting, the forward-leaning inversion and other 1st Principle activities to help Balance.
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.