This week we discuss the potential of a Dynamic Body Balancing technique in caring for a labor with a cervical lip.
“I am looking for advice on the upcoming birth of my 5th child. In my four past births, I have developed anterior cervical lips that were very painful. Birth 1 was hospital, the latter 3 were at home. In all of them, I changed positions frequently and the babies were LOA. The actual births, once past the lip, were easy. The last two were born in three contractions, me standing but not actively pushing. My last birth I was stuck with the lip for almost 5 hours and just wanted to die. I am so afraid of going through it again. My midwife has few techniques to offer other than holding them back–which is horrible pain x10. Any advice on preventing a lip in the first place would be very appreciated. Thank you!”
Could this be a description of a twist or spasm in cervical ligaments?
With a new view on Balance Before Force, considering the anatomy of the lip becomes the starting point. The lip is seen as a result, not a cause and then suddenly solutions expand to include anatomical structures otherwise “unseen” or ignored. In this story, the pain, the lip, and the length of time may all indicate cervical ligament issues.
Anterior Lip Solutions
Anterior lip solutions may be chosen according to the provider’s scope of practice:
Forward-Leaning Inversion may be a specific solution to the cervical ligaments even as it adds functionality to the pelvis by providing a general mobility to the pelvic fascia. If health allows (no hypertension or other medical reasons not to go upside down) then being in a steep inversion through 1-2 contractions and coming back up to a kneeling position for two breaths afterward can be satisfyingly effective.
Providers, please hold on to the laboring woman going down and coming up. And then, be ready to catch the baby! Because in this scenario there is often only the lip in the way. Coming up between contractions is fine, and how many are done should be carefully chosen according to the birthing person’s ability and personality as well as the particular characteristics of the labor. A smaller baby which is not wedged may not need more than one contraction to release the ligament, although repetition may be necessary if an accident, athleticism or trauma has left the pelvis very tight.
Keep your hands on the person as they go down and as they go up. Hold on! Be smart and practical. You can use the foot of the bed as a way to lower the laboring person down when an electric bed is available. The knees are in the middle of the bed and the elbows are resting on the foot of the bed when the foot of the bed is lowered.
Enjoy this post? You also might like:
- Where’s Baby? What Can Be Done?
- Uterus in a Twist
- Assessing Progress; The Art of Knowing When to Do Something for a Birthing Woman