The Abdominal Lift and Tuck

Belly liftThe Abdominal Lift is of the most effective early labor techniques for engaging baby in the pelvis. The Abdominal Lift was popularized by Janie McKoy King, a Texas Engineer who wrote Back Labor No More. I learned it from Penny Simkin at her Birth Doula Training.

I added the words "and tuck" to remind the user to tuck their pelvis. By this I mean do a standing Posterior Pelvic Tilt. By this I mean flatten the lower back. 


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The Lunge

The Lunge opens the midpelvis. It is a good technique to be used in labor, during a contraction, for:

•    Helping an occiput posterior baby rotate or descend
•    Helping an asynclitic baby descend
•    Overcome a stall in active labor

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Walcher's to "engage" baby

This is an "engagement" technique  for labor to use only after 10 contractions with Abdominal Lift and Tuck. Walcher's Position will allow contractions to engage a baby that is high, not really in the pelvis yet. The baby may be stuck at the brim or inlet of the pelvis. Use this position through and between three contractions in a row to lower baby into a normal pelvic brim. Contractions make it work. 

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This is an alternative for Hands and Knees positionA series of poses for labor when progress is slow. Contractions help this technique to work effectively.  Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta call it the Roll-over and it is featured in their Labor Progress Handbook

At Spinning Babies, I've said, when you want to move the baby, move the mother. This technique literally rotates the mother to help the baby rotate! We've used variations of this technique for many years. The mom shown here is in a variation of the Hands and Knees position, the start of the "Roll-over."

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Open-knee chest

Does baby seem stuck at the top of the pelvis? Would you like to start over? The Open-knee chest helps back the baby out of the pelvic brim and start again in a better position.

  • Open-knee chestIn pregnancy? Only for breech babies! 
  • In Labor? Only for jammed babies in labor, not for babies still floating!

(Photo: Penny Simkin, PT, teaches us Open-Knee Chest)

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The Dangle

In Labor: When contractions are strong and the baby needs more room to come down, the dangle can make all the difference.

Penny Simkin (shown here) calls this the "Baby, come out!" position.


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Standing Release

A simple, highly recommended techinque done with a very light touch to release the fascia around the pelvis and the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms. Its surprising results can improve fetal positioning, pelvic alignment, even reduce heartburn and snoring.

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Breech Tilt

Breech tilt drawingThe Breech Tilt is a widely known inversion technique to help a breech baby flip to a head-down position. 

Use this technique 1-3 times a day if you are told your baby is breech. You can start as early as 30-32 weeks and continue through to the time that you know that your baby is head down. Some doctors suggest starting later because most babies flip on their own. The Breech Tilt is not invasive. Ask your doctor if there is any medical reason not to do a Breech Tilt for your breech baby starting after 30 weeks. Alternatively, the Forward-leaning Inversion is recommended at any weeks gestation for any fetal position.

For more understanding, read the Inversion article in this section and Flip a Breech under Baby Positions. 

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Side-lying Release

This is not just lying on one's side and leaning your leg over!

Weekly in pregnancy and once in early labor to ease and shorten labor. Stall in labor? Annoying hip pain? Contractions with no progress?  Asynclitic or posterior baby? This technique is a star in the universe of maternal positioning for labor comfort and progress.

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Professional Help

The need for techniques varies among women. Like the bell curve, some women - on one end - will not need any techniques. Most will benefit from a few, whether in pregnancy and/or during labor. And a few women in every group will not receive the benefits of techniques until they visit with one or even more professionals for specific body work techniques. This article lists the professionals who offer body work to pregnant (and sometimes, laboring) women and then gives a brief description of their service. 

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Psoas Resolution

Please let me refer you off my site to with Liz Koch. I'm really excited about her work and she can tell you the best.

The tone of the large psoas pair can have an effect on the descent of the baby and even fetal position.

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