Especially the invention of artificial Pitocin birth providers have increasingly seen labor progress as a result of an opening cervix. After all, if we have a hammer, every thing looks like a nail. If we have a long labor, everything seems to be about the cervix not opening fast enough.
The focus of labor progress has been on the combination of three birth factors. The 1.) power of contractions moving 2.) the baby through 3.) a woman’s pelvis.
These factors are known as the “3 Ps:”
Powers, Passage, Passenger.
So the question has become, Can increased power of contractions force baby through this particular pelvis? How far can we push this before the baby gets exhausted. How much Pitocin/Cytotec can we put in this woman without bursting her uterus or breaking her baby.
And the pod, the group-think, becomes less focused on listening to the birth and sensing the movements of the mother’s muscles (or not) or listening to her sounds for clues to what she might need in a labor that isn’t progressing. When a baby isn’t fitting well, especially when labor isn’t able to progress, the mother May not get the hormonal signals to guide her movements and instincts. The baby isn’t on the cervix releasing a bunch of hormonal clues for her deep inner knowing.
You can see why this can be a frustrating experience when the helpers are waiting (patiently) for something to happen and the mother first thinks this is how labor goes and after a day or two thinks why don’t these people DO SOMETHING!
Spinning Babies looks at labor progress a little differently. I don’t deny the 3 Ps, I just look at them a little more specifically.
The first thing in a labor stall is to honor the diameters of mother and baby and how they are lined up at the time of a labor stall or stop. (The first thing before a labor stall is to honor the mother, but not just her expectations but also to honor her body balance so her expectations can come true more easily.
Reading the signs in pregnancy helps direct the midwife/doula/ even doctor to nurture the needs of the whole woman and support in her what modern culture, especially sitting and driving positions, suppresses in her innate birthing ability by way of tensions and shortness in trunk and pelvic muscles.)
Spinning Babies approach to childbirth is to “balance” the passage, so to speak, by releasing what is super tight or lengthening muscles or ligaments that are shortened (tight); Opening the diameters at the level of the pelvis where baby is stuck (in your case “0” station); and a myriad of other factors supported by physiologic means.
Spinning Babies approach is to notice the baby’s head diameter on the level of the pelvis the baby is at and see if a rotation or added flexion may help the progress. If progress is happening, then we hold the sacred space and do not give advice or distract the birthing woman! If the baby is actually stuck or the mother is frightened by pain or teetering close to suffering, we would also act even if labor was gradually progressing.
The perception of the attendant is key to knowing when to act and when to be patient. Some signs are clear (to me and others who’ve learned to look for clues like I describe here) and should be heeded.
Rest is a valid and appropriate response to finally having the baby engaged after having been contracting for a day or two. This is not failure to progress. A cesarean now would be due to A failure to Perceive. The uterus will rest and then resume the labor because now the baby is engaged.
In Spinning Babies I talk about what to do when we find the baby at each level of the pelvis in a labor stall. This is crucial information and best learned at a Spinning Babies Workshop or on the Spinning Babies Parent Class download or DVD.
|Three levels of the pelvis; brim, midpelvis, outlet|
By addressing needs at each of the levels of the pelvis and for any angles of baby’s head (which way baby faces and how much is the chin tucked) that are not matching the room in the pelvis, we can actually encourage the mother’s contractions to come on strong and finish the birth!
Spinning Babies offers a very different approach to how things are now “managed” in a typical birth practice. I am confident we can resolve many stuck labors with little to no technology and reduce suffering, damage, and even death from obstructed childbirth.
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