In this month’s update:
- Our founder Gail Tully announces two unique workshops she is teaching this May in Minneapolis!
- Expert tips from Gail on how to engage baby in the pelvis.
- Upcoming events including our World Confluence – Extended Early Bird pricing ends Mar 15!
A Note from Gail Tully
I’m happy to be writing from sunny Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz has a unique history in the return of midwifery to US culture. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, women began helping each other during births in their homes here along the hills and beaches. Capable women, like Kate Boland, were asked to attend births again and again by local pregnant women. These pioneers were influential in the childbirth movement. A healthy value for physiological birth encouraged support for low-risk hospital birth as well as out-of-hospital birth. In the 1980s, a low-risk maternity service began in the community at Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center. Last Week, Terri Block and Janet Windt welcomed us to bring two days of Spinning Babies® Workshops for Sutter staff.
The week before, I had taught San Jose nurses from two hospitals, hosted by Blossom Birth & Family and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. My own midwife’s daughter, now an L&D nurse, attended one class, and what a joy and full circle that was! The nurses are embracing Spinning Babies®, and a number of our Approved Trainers and I are presenting at meetings for the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. We discussed birth positions and tried the pushing position of knees together and heels pointing out on the new Hillrom bed in the exhibit hall.
An exciting two-day workshop is happening this May 19-20 in Minneapolis, where Liz Koch and I offer a Spinning Babies® and Core Awareness™ for birth workers with added focus on psoas muscles. This is ideal for pregnancy bodyworkers. Public registration opens April 1! Jennifer Walker, Approved Trainer from Amsterdam, and I will be teaching a 2-Day Spinning Babies® Workshop May 7-8. This workshop is ideal for bodyworkers who work with pregnant parents and current childbirth educators planning to enter Spinning Babies® programs and listings. We hope you can join us!
Engaging Baby in the Pelvis
For this month’s birth tip, let’s discuss how we can help baby engage in the pelvis. After 38 weeks’ gestation, some first babies are dropping into the brim, or the top, of the pelvis. Engagement is the first move toward getting born. But it’s not labor yet. Labor can be a couple weeks off yet! So many labors begin beautifully at 41 weeks and a few days.
Engagement may happen during labor. It’s important to help baby engage when contractions become regular if engagement isn’t happening easily. Early labor can hurt more if baby isn’t engaged. And, of course, baby has to get into the pelvis before baby can slip through the pelvis.
Let’s talk about circles of your pelvis you can do while standing and dancing.
I see a lot of what might be called “hip circles”. These are when you stand and sway your hips together in a wide circle. There’s not really any significant knee action. The legs are fairly straight during the entire circle, and the hips move through circles in unison. These will rock your baby to sleep. I notice the top of the pelvis (pelvic inlet) in this move remains static.
Pelvic circles tilt the pelvis while circling
“Pelvic circles” are three-dimensional movements of the pelvis, says Neon, a belly dance teacher on YouTube. The pelvis moves through four points, fluidly connecting them into a circular swinging movement. Right side–front–left side–back: four points. There are side-slides and pelvic tilts in this move. The pelvic inlet is tilting, tucking, and alive with angles to help baby engage.
Pelvic circles may help a baby engage when other changes are happening in your body in preparation for birth, like changes to your hormones and joints in your pelvis. Contractions in actual labor are also likely to enhance the ability of pelvic circles to engage baby into the brim of the pelvis.
Pelvic Circle Instructions
Here’s how to do a pelvic circle, according to my understanding of Neon’s great instructions.
- Slide your hip up. Let’s describe your right hip first. Keep the right leg straight. Bend the left knee. Contract your glute muscle (buttock) on the right while bending the left knee and dropping the left hip. Now swing the front of the pelvis forward.
- Pelvic tilt to the front by flattening the lower back and placing your pubic bone (symphysis pubis) forward. This is a posterior pelvic tilt. There seems to be a clench to both buttocks and also a tuck to your tailbone. With this move, by the way, you’re opening the brim or top of the bony pelvis.
- Slide your other hip up. Tighten your left buttock as you slide the hip up and bend your right knee to drop your right hip. Now swing your bottom back.
- Bend your knees together and raise your buttocks in the back. This is an anterior pelvic tilt with knees gently together (not squeezing together). You’re opening the bottom of the pelvis and closing the top of the pelvis as you go through this move.
- Repeat a few times.
- Switch direction.
If you are practicing in pregnancy, enjoy this dance move with growing confidence.
If you are hoping to engage baby in the pelvis, the hormones of late pregnancy will help a little, and adding body balancing (see our list of techniques on the website) will help more. I wouldn’t worry about the close of the top of the pelvis with the anterior pelvic tilt portion of the pelvic circles in general, but if you are in a long labor with pain around the top or hips, then pause for the contraction while in a posterior pelvic tilt and then continue the dance as long as you like.
Uterine contractions will be a big help in labor. You’ll want to do the posterior pelvic tilt with the contraction. Tuck the tailbone and push your lower back (no, not the shoulders but down at the bottom of your back). See a complementary technique called the Abdominal Lift and Tuck for helping baby into the pelvis.
2020 World Confluence
Our Founder Gail Tully invites you to join us for our 2020 World Confluence where birth and bodywork come together. You will never see birth the same again!
There is still time to take advantage of Early Bird pricing before it ends on March 15! Save even more when you bundle events – get 10-15% off Early Bird prices if you register for 2 or more events. Register today!
Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training
Become certified to teach Spinning Babies® to parents and give yourself an advantage with your childbirth education offerings. Our four-day exclusive training will deepen your understanding of Spinning Babies and teach you how to pass this information to your students. Here’s what participants have said about the training:
- “This training gave me the knowledge and confidence to be able to help and empower parents through their pregnancy and birthing experience.”
- “The access to resources, updates, and the support of the Spinning Babies® birth community is something I know I will greatly value going forward. This has been a very worthwhile investment of time and personal resources for me and I will do my best to multiply it into the lives of others going forward.”
- “This training exceeded my expectations!”
We invite you to join us for a 2020 training:
Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner Workshop
We are so happy to announce another offering of the Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner Workshop in San Diego, California. This workshop will be held on July 20-23 at Marina Village. Join us for 4 full days of hands-on practice that will teach you advanced skills to promote body balance for fetal positioning and pregnancy comfort, and breech body balancing. Embody our paradigm for fetal positioning in this clinical course for professionals. Take this advanced course being offered this year in San Diego, CA or Caloundra, Australia. Register today!
CANCELLED – Traralgon, Victoria, Australia – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan – April 30, 2020
CANCELLED – Wagga Wagga area – Tumut, NSW, Australia – 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – May 4-5, 2020
CANCELLED – Sydney, NSW, Australia – 2 Days Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 8-9 May, 2020
CANCELLED – Newcastle, NSW, Australia – 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 11-12 May, 2020
CANCELLED – Brisbane, QLD, Australia – 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 28-29 May, 2020
CANCELLED – Northern Rivers Area, NSW, Australia – 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 30-31 May, 2020
CANCELLED – Cairns, QLD, Australia – 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 3-4 June, 2020
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul/Brasil – Oficina Spinning Babies® 2 dias com Maíra Libertad – 27-28 Jun, 2020
São José dos Campos, SP/Brazil – Oficina Spinning Babies® 2 dias com Maíra Libertad – 11-12 Set, 2020
There are no upcoming events at this time.
CANCELLED – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia- 2 Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Fiona Hallinan & Jenny Blyth – 18-19 Jun, 2020
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Firenze, Italia – 3 giorni Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Anna Maria Rossetti – 29 Giugno – 1 Luglio, 2020
CANCELLED – Minneapolis, MN – 2-Day Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Gail Tully and Jennifer Walker – May 7-8, 2020
Austin, Texas, United States – Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training – May 13 – 16, 2020
CANCELLED – Minneapolis, MN – 2-Day Spinning Babies® and Core Awareness™ w/ Gail Tully and Liz Koch – May 19-20, 2020
See all upcoming events on our calendar here.