Gail Tully is the midwife from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA who conceived and developed Spinning Babies®. Spinning Babies® went online in 2001. Over 35 years with birth including 20 years as a homebirth midwife, Gail now consults and goes out on midnight runs to long labors or breech births to help the determined parents served by her midwifery and medical colleagues. Back in the day, Gail was kept busy organizing doula program development in hospitals and community non-profits in Minneapolis/St. Paul while training doulas with DONA International approval status. Spinning Babies®, Belly Mapping®, Resolving Shoulder Dystocia, and now Breech Basics are the unique offerings from Gail Tully.
More on Gail Tully
Born in 1959, the third child in a splitting family, Gail found peace in nature and drawing.
Gail’s mother, Jeanne Norman Tully, at first thought her third child had an extra chromosome. Later, Jeanne wanted Gail to become an artist, but Gail foolishly misjudged art’s ability to change the world and passed on an art scholarship to the Minneapolis Art Institute. Her first child was born in 1977 and Gail went into the College of Social Work at the University of Minnesota for a BS in Family Dynamics. It was a long, gradual college track. By the time she graduated, she was offering homebirth midwifery services and had her second baby. Her interests, if not development, in art and in the therapeutic process became folded into her prenatal preparations for parents.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that Gail finally got her Certified Professional Midwife certificate from North American Registry of Midwives. By that time, she’d started doula trainings (1998) and supporting nonprofits like the American Indian Center and United Way with their own doula programs. She got to lead 8 doulas through a pilot project conducted by Allina Health and saw the reduction of the cesarean rates by the doulas down to 3.9 percent. She got the Hennipen County Medical Center’s doula program up and running (8% cesarean rate with doulas) after a hospital employee showed the value of doula care. Gail continued supporting homebirth parents and finished her active midwifery after serving with Clare Welter, CNM, and Emme Corbeil, CPM, of Trillium Midwives during their start-up years.
Gail didn’t grow up with her father, William Tully, a NSA analyst. “Bill” became quite proud of Gail’s midwifery certificate and work with Spinning Babies before he passed in 2012. Bill, a soldier with a poet’s heart, wrote a poem for his daughter:
A child is born into Gail’s hands;
She snips the red ribbon of God’s Gift
(While Gail is unlikely to cut a cord at all, not to mention waiting until it is quite white, this recognition by her accomplished father was felt very powerfully.)
Gail took small but direct action in the grassroots efforts to regulate homebirth midwives. She wasn’t keen on regulation but saw the future and was instrumental in writing the description of normal birth for the law, pushing to make sure non-licensed midwives were not illegal in her state so that parents could pick who they wanted with them to give birth, and to keep the care of breech and twins within the definition of normal midwifery. She has then sought training in 7 countries by over 12 experts in breech to become proficient in solving breech obstruction during what would otherwise be a normal, healthy and supported vaginal breech birth. Breech Birth; Quick Guide complements Gail’s in person class for providers.
Gail is also interested in how head down babies occasionally may get stuck shoulders. She found the literature and suggested (mandatory) solutions for this emergency to be lacking. Her development of FlipFLOP memory tool helps midwives and doctors remember an effective solution for over 80% of stuck shoulders and has another suggested solution for the others. Speed, success, and gentleness are dependent on where in the pelvis the shoulder waits. Resolving Shoulder Dystocia is Gail’s video class.
Gail is married to Vic Froehlich, retired super computer programmer who can talk to the “zeros and one” of binary language. (No wonder he can also talk, “Gail.”) Together they enjoy 6 children in their lives (2 of whom Gail got to give birth to) and 7 grandchildren. Gail and Vic live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Gail welcomes those that support physiological birth and the questions that will get us there.
Gail demonstrating Shake the Apples
Gail’s related published works include:
- SpinningBabies.com (2002 to the present)
- “First Twin: Breech,” Midwifery Today, Issue Number 106 (Summer 2013), Breech Birth Issue
- “Identifying and Resolving Obstructed Breech Birth: When to Touch and When to Be Hands-Free,” Midwifery Today, Issue Number 106 (Summer 2013), Breech Birth Issue
- “Arm Behind the Back: A shoulder dystocia complication,” Midwifery Today, Autumn 2012 Issue 103. P18-19, 69. (2012)
- “FlipFLOP: Four Steps to Remember,” Midwifery Today, Autumn 2012 Issue 103. p. 9-11. (2012)
- “Opening the Pelvic Brim with the Trochanter Roll,” Midwifery Today, Issue 96 (Spring 2011)
- Belly Mapping, Midwifery Today, Issue 96. (Winter 2010/2011)
- Resolving Shoulder Dystocia DVD, Maternity House Publishing (2010);
- Belly Mapping Workbook, Maternity House Publishing (2009);
- Belly Mapping How Kicks and Wiggles Reveal Your Baby’s Position. International Doula Vol. 12. Issue 4 (Fall 2004);
- “Shoulder Dystocia; The basics” Midwifery Today (Summer 2003).
- “Daily Essentials: Activities for Pregnancy Comfort and Easier Birth” DVD, Maternity House Publishing (2014)
- “Spinning Babies Parent Class” DVD, Maternity House Publishing (2014)
- Spinning Babies; Quick Reference, booklet (2015)
- Breech Birth; Quick Guide, booklet (2016)
Her unpublished paper, Perspectives in Breech Birth (1994) helped to preserve breech options in Minnesota Traditional Midwifery law (1999).
Can I contact Gail?
Gail receives emails every day. She hopes to answer each one, but that’s not always possible. Gail suggests that before contacting her you try these things:
- Whether you’re in pregnancy or in labor, start with Start!
- Read the Blog
- Visit the Facebook page for Spinning Babies
- Check out the Techniques pages
Start with balance and the rest usually works itself out.
If you email, please note: By emailing Gail, you are agreeing that the content of your email may be used publicly on her site or social media. Names will not be posted unless you grant permission in your email.
Concise stories telling how using Spinning Babies resolved a stuck or long labor, or helped achieve an “easier” labor are needed to inspire thousands of expectant women and couples. Sharing your story, even while you’re pregnant and the story is in progress, is a way to have a nice conversation.
Gail does not answer questions quickly on the Spinning Babies blog or on the Facebook page. Your child may be in kindergarten before Gail finds your note. 😉
Gail does want to celebrate your journey and shares your desire for an emotionally nurturing birth.
Do share your stories that tell how using these techniques resolved helped achieve an “easier” labor. And if these techniques didn’t work, share which ones they were and how frequent you did them and at what gestational age. That’s helpful, too!
Gail Tully’s Spinning Babies® addresses and answers many questions regarding fetal malposition and malpresentation and slow or stalled labor. Her wisdom, knowledge of maternal fetal anatomy and original visual aids, will open your mind and enhance your skills in understanding, preventing and correcting many of these problems.
I incorporate the techniques learned at this workshop every day in my practice, and have seen amazing results! We have such an opportunity as body workers to make a difference in the comfort of women’s pregnancies and ease in their births. THAT is changing birth on earth!!
Cora Crain, SpBAP
Such important work Gail is sharing with birthworkers all over the globe and privileged to have learnt many new techniques to support my clients who experience a tricky labour. Thank you Gail for sharing your knowledge.
Melbourne, Australia, Participant
Thank you for the work you do for all these decades and still present with the vibe of humbleness to the process of birth as presented in a million ways.
Susan CPM, CDM