Spinning Babies eases birth by helping baby rotate more easily through the pelvis. Less pain and intervention is readily possible. As the Spinning Babies Lady (that’s me on the left). I began a personal mission to make birth easier for mothers, babies, AND their doctors, nurses, midwives and doulas. I observed birthing women, combined information from sources outside of the birth world, and developed further some of the brilliant insights of those who’ve walked before me.
Observing birth, I noticed what most stuck or stalled labors had in common: where in the pelvis the baby waited and the angle of baby’s head in relation to that part of the pelvis. In fact, my midwife friends said I could “see inside.” By that seeming talent, I’ve developed an “assess and match the technique” approach that apparently has not been considered so fully before.
Now it is true that the position of the baby is well shown in medical and midwifery studies to be a leading cause of long labor and even cesarean. Every birth attendant knows that. But knowing how a baby can be helped out of a difficult “fetal position” is less understood. Force is too often the chosen solution – pump in the drugs to strengthen the uterine contractions or manually turn the baby by hand. Though both approaches have some risk, they are sometimes necessary and often effective.
A common, more gentle approach is to wait, and some providers get the mother moving. This approach is often successful but not if baby is stuck. So far, then, help has been random and so are the results. Meanwhile, too many women suffer hoping someone will finally know what to do.
Women are too often told, “the baby is too big” when the angle of the head that is the real issue. A better angle of the head (called flexion) lets even a large baby fit the pelvis of most all women.
For years, the emphasis on “The 3 P’s of Labor: Passenger, Passage, and Pressures” has been the excuse for pouring Pitocin (Syntocin) into a woman’s veins and even using life-threatening Cytotec (unapproved by the FDA for use in birth) to pressure a woman’s cervix into opening with too little regard for the passenger or passage.
I’ve offered the world a new approach of Balance, Gravity, and Movement, the “3 Principles of Spinning Babies. Showing women how to “balance” muscles and ligaments so they aren’t too tight or too loose. The pelvis becomes more mobile and the support structures to the womb lengthen, soften and “make room for the baby.” Balance allows the baby drops into the pelvis with a tucked chin and helps labor to begin –and continue– on its own. And if labor has stalled or stopped progressing, I offer a new perspective on assessment and matching solutions.
I teach providers to ask, “Where is the baby?” Then we choose a technique for that place in the pelvis. Is baby engaged? Which way does baby? And, how far down has baby descended? Asking where gives the clue to match the right technique and allow labor to finish as nature intended. And it doesn’t matter much to the success of the technique if the mother has pain drugs or goes completely natural. That’s the mother’s choice.
Being in balance may add comfort to pregnancy, ease the birth, and lessen the pain so women can cope with confidence. Then a woman’s desire for natural birth has a better chance of blossoming into the birth she wants for her child.
My website, SpinningBabies.com has given free and comprehensive information for 14 years.
Track record: I‘ve already offered the world a Belly Mapping Workbook and a couple of videos, professional workshops and 6 trainers to give Spinning Babies day-long workshops. I have an amazing Director of Optimism working 30-40 hours a week and a Director of Practicality working only 5 hours a month, new part time office support, an accountant, and myself. This would be enough if I were not hoping to reduce suffering in birth around the world. Those that I’ve helped say I have already changed the world of birth. But honestly, Spinning Babies has not accomplished her full potential. My heart is breaking right now because so I could offer so much more. I need a professional support structure for my 5-year plan to ease the way the world addresses stuck birth.
But isn’t this what midwives already do, you might ask? There are many smart and gentle midwives. These are the very professionals at my workshops telling me, “I wish I had known this 30 years ago when I started,” and “I could have used this knowledge yesterday, we would have avoided that cesarean.”
I need you to help me make a significant contribution to babies and mother, providers, and birth practice that lasts into the future. Doctors could turn force into “balance” when a long labor requires their expertise.
Please help me and all Spinning Babies enthusiasts to get past the hump.
Though Spinning Babies isn’t a non-profit, the model IS to serve foremost. You see, I was a small time midwife with a breakthrough idea, not a person planning to start an international business. The little engine that could is not just going over the mountain to the children on the other side. Help build the track to run with this message. Spinning Babies is going global and that’s a lot of children! I need HHhelppp!!!
What will your donation do on a tangible basis?
· A Spinning Babies Book for parents in several languages
· A provider reference book to look up what to do when
· A Trainer Training expert hired to head up the training for my 6 eager trainers and train the next group to expand Spinning Babies message around the world (I’ve found her, if I can hire her!)
· An Office Manager will manage my time for creative efforts like a book and an app (hiring October 2015, shall I call him the Time Lord, since he’ll be scheduling my every project? oh, I so want this chance to succeed!)
· An app to help solve common labor stall issues
· If we exceed expectations, we may be able to fund some research!
True Quote: “I have been practicing Spinning Babies for the past 2 years to the best of my knowledge, and with using the Side lying release and Abdominal lift, I believe I have saved at least 50 people from having a cesarean section! This is so empowering to women and myself as a labor nurse.” Jennifer Crews, RN, California
That’s one nurse, two years, 50 major surgeries averted. That may be 25 less infections, could be 30-50 more babies handed straight to their mothers, perhaps a month less postpartum pain for each woman, and several women without the struggle wondering why their “body didn’t work.”
Kate Lawrence, CNM, in Ohio said in the months following a Spinning Babies Workshop for nurses the head of the department noted the drop in cesareans and asked what had been the impetous.
Lorenza Holt says, the stalled labor is less often a “failure to progress” than it is our “failure to assist.” She is now teaching midwives in Mexico the Spinning Babies approach to include with their traditional knowledge about natural birth.
Spinning Babies isn’t necessary for all birthing women. But it is necessary to counter the leading cause of unanticipated cesarean – the labor that doesn’t bring the baby. Whether it’s called “failure to progress,” or “baby is too big” or “malpositioned fetus,” Spinning Babies has immediate help and prevention throughout pregnancy that will help more women and babies than ever before. That gives a doctor, midwife, or nurse some real satisfaction.
Your donation gets you in on the wonder behind stories like these:
True Story: A man and woman have been in hard labor struggling to give birth to their child for 3 long days. No midwife lives on their Indonesian island. Something is holding up the birth but they don’t know what to do. The woman’s exhaustion is growing worse. Her husband takes her to the dock where the ferry will come and take them to the hospital sometime the next day but the father doesn’t know if his wife and child will still be alive when the sun comes up. He sends his neighbor by rowboat to get a midwife from another small island without a hospital. She’s got internet and (amazing to me) has read the Spinning Babies Website. She identifies the problem, does the technique and 15 minutes later the baby slips out–right into the sand!
Yes, you can save lives even where no cesarean is available.
True Need: World expert Obstetrician in Frankfurt, Germany invites me to bring a technique to study after seeing me present in Brazil. Forward-leaning Inversion to allow a baby stuck sideways in the womb to turn and line up with the pelvis. His university setting would allow before and after proof. How will I leave necessary office tasks to prepare and oversee research. Other doctors, nurses, and midwives ask for research options for their sites.
True Story: British midwives, some of the best-trained midwives in the world, wait with a mother on a gurney cart outside an operating room. They have tried all the tricks of their training and the baby seems too big to be born naturally. The OR is being cleaned, however, and they have to wait. “As long as we’re waiting,” they say to one another, “let’s try that technique from Spinning Babies.” In 15 minutes, they call into the Operating Room, “Never mind, we have a baby in the gurney!”
True Need: Korean physician with a 10-bed maternity clinic has an 8% cesarean rate. She feels that rate is too high and knows Spinning Babies will reduce the unnecessary surgeries in her practice. US rates of cesarean are over 32% and we know that 1/3 of all women are not unable to give birth if they were just supported to do so. She wants a protocol for when to do what.
True Story: A woman is induced at 40 weeks gestation and wants more than ever to have a vaginal birth of her 2nd child after a cesarean was done for her first. The midwives say her cervix is staying at 6 cm for 4 hours and she needs a cesarean. She asks for 1 more hour. Intense use of body balancing techniques including release of tight jaw muscles and then the sacrotuberous ligament changes the size of her pelvis and she dilates to 10 in 3 subsequent contractions. She pushes a long time but has her baby without any further intervention.
True Story: Midwife is about to give up after all her known techniques aren’t helping a mother in a stalled labor. She texts me and over the next 14 hours I guide her through steps including releasing the jaw muscles, connective tissue holding the nose, releasing adhesions in the leg sockets and muscles to the pelvis. Her pelvis opens, as proven by the sudden increase of the size of the rhomboid of Michaelus (how much of her sacrum is seen under her skin) and she dilates to 10 cm. The baby is born after much pushing. Not a one of these techniques is taught in midwifery school or medical training.
True Text: “I am stunned at the amount of learning that can happen at one birth even after nearly 20 years of going to births!”
This last comment is from my midwife friend Vicki who is both a CPM, the certification of the North American Registry of Midwives, and a CM, the certification of the American College of Nurse Midwives. Her excellent education didn’t provide the kind of answers to release the connective tissue spasm that pulled the mother’s tailbone into the path of her baby and stopping the birth at 6 cm. In fact, she had never read nor heard that body work that she herself could learn at a birth could change the size of a woman’s pelvis when the pelvis was only smaller due to something like a shortened ligament.
Some of the techniques are on the website and some have yet to be written down. Nurses and midwives need a “what to do when” reference. Where’s the App? is as common a question as Where’s the Book?
Many places in the world could use a picture book without much text to show midwives how to assess –without needing technology– when baby isn’t coming out and what to do about it –without needing technology– that the birth attendant just doesn’t have access to in remote locations, and parents can’t afford to pay for when it is available.
Some words from the book, A Path Appears, make me think to add some comments here. Some may assume making birth safer and less painful might make low resource areas even more populated. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn share that about 20 years after families stop losing some of their babies to the effects of poverty they self regulate to smaller families. Difficult birth not only harms babies but mothers, too. Long obstructed labors increase fistulas, hemorrhages (excessive blood loss), infection and incontence of the bladder and rectum. Easier birth is not just potentially enjoyable but improves health outcomes.
If Spinning Babies is going to contribute to massive improvements for birthing women, the office is going to need development and the book needs to be written!
It takes more than great ideas. Myriad steps include planning, legal advice, time management, design, production, coordination and love. It takes many of you to do a little and a few of you to do a lot.
Raising a child may take a village, but so will raising the understanding to help babies get born safely!
Would you or your family member have benefited from Spinning Babies information?
Did you or your family member benefit from SpinningBabies.com or something you learned from one of the workshops or products?
Would you have liked your birth to have been easier? And mothering more confident because of a joyful birth? Or even just a straightforward birth?
Would you like your birth practice to be more physiologic, have less interventions and more solutions?
Please donate to Spinning Babies and prove we can do this! Do it now, our time is short and our goal is big.
On the 6th day of labor in a birth center in Korea, a doula asked to try a technique she learned from Spinning Babies. The doctor agreed. “and to his surprise, mom was fully dilated and at +1/+2 and baby’s head was OA. …C-section averted! Thank you so much for teaching me this. I am thankful that I was there and that my client had such an easy birth that I could help. Now, two more doulas know this technique. I had talked to them about them before but I don’t think they believed until they saw for themselves.”
Watch the site for the pre-order option or donate to this effort.