In this month’s update:
- Our founder Gail Tully explains why support for pregnancy 🤰 is inside and out.
- Techniques that helped a baby turn head-down during pregnancy and get into an optimal position during labor.
- Discover clues 🔍 that may give the birthing person insights into labor plus what to use when there is a question of labor progress.
- Upcoming events including our Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training in Boston, MA – Early Bird pricing ends March 1. Get your ticket today to save your seat (and some money)!
Welcome to the New Year. Welcome to a new paradigm. Why new?
Spinning Babies® Physiology First℠ offers a new view to birth workers. To move away from the habit of force, we stop focusing on cervical dilation and contraction frequency and invite a new question: “Where’s Baby?”
The baby is inside the uterus, obviously, but also within a moving and supportive network of connective tissues, including ligaments and muscles, which align the uterus and pelvis. The whole pregnant body supports the uterine home of the baby.
Physiology is just as important for providers’ bodies, too. When provider’s bodies are in balance, self-awareness comes easier. Perhaps we can even be more compassionate for ourselves. This, in turn, helps the provider be in community with colleagues and clients. We recognize bodywork is valuable, sometimes vital, in pregnancy and in the maternity care community of practitioners. Therefore, let’s increase body balancing support for both provider and pregnant persons to create a responsive and supportive network of community.
Midwifery, medical, and maternal care organizations; activist, doula, and childbirth education organizations; and others make up the wider community. We are unified in purpose to support pregnant and birthing families. After all, that’s where the wisdom for care lives—in the hearts and hands of caregivers.
Be part of the next big thing
As the end of one decade turns into another, unfinished business begs for its own resolution. And I sure have some unfinished business! Do you ever find yourself with long overdue promises? The last week of the year is a great big Marie Kondo karma cleanup!
Our website was expected to be done last autumn, but our professional website team was surprised to find our 200-plus pages so well linked in our community and decided to edit rather than eliminate dozens of pages. So now, our new website’s release is expected in spring 2020.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have crisper photos on SpinningBabies.com? Can you help us by sending photographs of pregnancy and birth? We want the unique photos that mean something to you! We may still need some stock photos, but we want to reflect our community first.
If you have a professional-grade photo you’d like to have placed on our website, please send it our way. It may be of you doing a technique in labor, but it can also be a photo of pregnancy, laboring, welcoming a new baby, or literally anything related. You may even want to send your Spinning Babies® inspired birth story with photos or video. Please send your pic and signed permission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 promises to be the year of creating structure for the dreams that came before it. Let’s create—and realize—the dream of better birth together.
This month’s incredible birth story comes from Cloe, Doula in Budapest, who used Gail Tully’s recommended Spinning Babies® techniques to help her baby turn head-down during pregnancy and get into an optimal position during labor. Here is Cloe’s message to Gail:
“I became a doula, and I was in the Spinning Babies® Workshop in Budapest with Jennifer Walker yesterday. It touched me much to see from closer the amazing work you’ve been doing. I was so happy that the room was full of curious and passionate people! […] It makes my heart full of hope!
This is the third time in my life I write to you. The first was sometime after my daughter was born. I had planned a home birth, but it ended up in a traumatic cesarean justified by a failure in progress at full dilatation. Later, I found your website and the description of a posterior baby and back labor. I was sure that it described my situation, but I had never been told that I should pay attention to those clues from my body. Unfortunately, at that time I had nobody with the knowledge (midwives) or will (hospital) to do otherwise.
With my son, born one and a half years later, I followed the prenatal exercises on your website and surrounded myself with a very good team committed to VBAC. It happens that my son was asynclitic, coming with his ear first, and he was born at home after nine hours of pushing. I am thankful to my midwife, who had faith in us and the power of nature, but gosh, it was hard work! Meanwhile, my doula had attained several Spinning Babies® Workshops, so I was confident this third birth would be my first easy birth. Here’s my story:
Around the 6th month of pregnancy, Anna, my doula, showed me the daily routine of Spinning Babies. It was much easier to understand from her than from the descriptions in the website, and she also had to correct some movements I was doing wrong. It was summer, and I was physically very active, doing yoga and camping in nature. I have to say that I was not doing the Spinning Babies exercises every day, but when the 32-week ultrasound showed the baby to be breech, I started to be more serious about it. I even convinced my husband to help with the Rebozo sifting […]
I wasn’t too stressed about the baby being breech, because I had gotten The Belly Mapping® Workbook, and even if I could not figure for sure her position, I could feel she was very mobile, changing positions all the time. Many Forward-leaning Inversions and one visit to the chiropractor later, she was head-down in the 36th week. Without Spinning Babies®, it would have been really hard to find a care provider supporting breech birth.
Please be safe. We remind our readers to move into Forward-leaning Inversion slowly with hands-on support from an attentive adult.
From then on, most of the time, I could feel her back on my right side. She was ROA, but again, she was spinning a lot. On Monday of the due week, she was definitely ROA. On the day before she was born, Anna was with me and we did a series of exercises to position her optimally. At noon, when my midwife arrived, I was 7 cm dilated and the baby was OP. We kept active.
The living room felt like a mixture between a fitness room and a girls’ party. When Anna asked me to do a Forward-leaning Inversion during a contraction, I sat on the couch looking down like I was going to do a big acrobatic circus trick. The contraction came and I jumped like I was in a flying trapeze. Surprisingly, it felt so good, so soft, so much the right position to be!
Dip the Hip was more intense, like contraction pains without contractions (or it was making contractions start). It made me make funny noises and faces, but I felt it had to be done, it was doing something. My baby did the whole loop, positioned herself LOP, and before 4 p.m., I was holding my perfect little princess in my arms. Thanks, Spinning Babies!”
Dip the Hip
Last month, I promised you some self-care tips for January. Let’s celebrate the New Year with movement. Whether swinging my feet at my grandmother’s kitchen table or not quite ever sitting at my school desk, I was always a wiggler. I thought it was odd the Shaker’s built a religion around shaking but now I’m all in. We find relaxation is irresistible in jiggling a baby’s bottom while gently rocking them to sleep on your shoulder or Shaking the Apple Tree during a stalled labor. Here’s a way to get your jiggle on:
While brushing teeth, wiggle and jiggle your whole body— but not so vigorously you can’t safely and comfortably brush your teeth! Brushing and wiggling for 2.5–-3 minutes serves your fascia and your smile! (And by the way, let that first- or second-grader get their wiggles on during circle time. It’s joy-inducing and helps focus for a bit afterward.) Try it. Be the source you want to cite!
Styles of breathing are so popular today because science around the vagal nerve complex (Porges) shows a long slow exhale will create a calmer social willingness. This can be singing lullabies, blowing a wind instrument, or chanting. The heart connection is activated.
How little did I know that this useful little “breathing tool” called Four-Square Breathing would help a friend in need. I’ve certainly used this breathing technique to jump-start calm…. (Can one jump to calm?) It must happen during the exhale! This past month, a dear, dear friend was in the hospital with high fevers and severe headache. The strain was great, as medication couldn’t reduce the headaches enough for REM sleep or eating. Sitting quietly beside her, we inhaled together while I counted slowly up to four, then held our breath in for another count to four. Then we exhaled to four and held our breath out to four. After a few rounds a calmness replaced the strain. She told me later that she returned to this breathing to help her cope with her acute illness.
Clues from a birthing body
What clues may give the birthing person insights into labor? Labor patterns and pain patterns give more insight than most birth workers realize. Parents can use the patterns as inspiration to act. Add balance whenever you notice:
- Early labor doesn’t seem to advance into active labor
- Early labor has been called “false labor” or keeps you awake without dilating the cervix
- Contractions start and stop
- Contractions feel more painful in the back or legs than in the lower belly
- Back labor
- Pain on the symphysis bone when baby turns their head (feels like grinding)
- Baby can’t come down into the pelvis (engage) even with hours of strong contractions
- Baby won’t come down
We suggest the Three Sisters of Balance℠ whenever there’s a question of labor progress or a desire for more ease and less pain in labor. We realize other techniques may be more appropriate for some symptoms and have more techniques listed on our website.
Begin with Balance by doing the Three Sisters of Balance℠ before labor, in early labor, or whenever one of the above situations lasts long enough to signal you that your body is waiting for your loving attention.
Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training in Boston
Join Spinning Babies® Approved Trainers Jennifer Walker and Lorenza Holt in Boston, MA for a 4-day exclusive training that will equip you with new tools and knowledge to empower parents throughout their pregnancy and birthing experience. Teaching the Spinning Babies® Parent Class will help expectant parents will better understand how their baby can find optimal positions for labor, and make birth less painful— even pleasurable! Boston Early Bird registration ends March 1 – save $100 by registering today!
All Upcoming Events
13 – Duluth, MN – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Nikki Zerfas – SOLD OUT
18 – Reno, NV – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Nikki Zerfas – SOLD OUT
18 – Washington DC – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Rhea Williams – SOLD OUT
20 – Toledo, OH – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Rhea Williams – SOLD OUT
21 – Davis, CA – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Nikki Zerfas – SOLD OUT
23 – Las Vegas, NV – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Nikki Zerfas – SOLD OUT
24 – Las Vegas, NV – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Nikki Zerfas – SOLD OUT
24 – Jackson, MS – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Tammy Ryan – SOLD OUT
25-26 – Recife, PE/Brazil – Oficina Spinning Babies® 2 dias com Maíra Libertad – SOLD OUT
5 – Rockford, IL – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Tammy Ryan – SOLD OUT
8 – Eustis, FL – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Tammy Ryan – SOLD OUT
14 – Liberty, OH – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Rhea Williams – SOLD OUT
29 Feb-01 Mar – Porto Alegre, RS/Brazil – Oficina Spinning Babies® 2 dias com Maíra Libertad – SOLD OUT
10 – Westerville, OH – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Tammy Ryan – SOLD OUT
See all upcoming events on our calendar here.