Saturday, January 10, 2015

After the External Cepahlic Version

After a breech is turned head down by the doctor in a manual,  external cephalic version some babies end up with limbs over their head or similar mix up. Here's a suggestion, 
To help resolve a compound presentation or twist, it is up to the mother if she wants to do the balancing work.

An external cephalic version is  a technique by a doctor or midwife to turn the baby head down manually by pushing the baby via the abdomen. ECV has a set of risks of its own, including a difficult birth afterwards. ECV works about 50% of the time, with a few midwives and doctors having better rates. No technique is without risk, no life is without risk.

Baby's heart beat should be listened to carefully before and during and after the ECV.  Pausing when baby's heart rate drops, stopping if the baby doesnt respond well to the next attempt to turn the baby more, and doing an emergency cesarean if the heart rate doesn't come right back up are 3 ways to protect baby and reduce the small but present chance of death. Please don't push the baby around at the Chiropractor, massage therapist's office or your girl friend's house. It can be done gently, but baby needs to be listened to.

Want to find other ways to flip a baby? http://spinningbabies.com/baby-positions/breech-bottoms-up/what-to-do-about-breech These are gentle, mother-led, baby-responded to techniques that have good results and can be tried before the ECV to work or to make the ECV work more easily without force. NO technique is without risk. Check with your midwife or doctor before setting out on a series of activities to flip your baby. Bring information with you as they may not understand why you would get upside down in pregnancy. Its all about the ligaments!


After the ECV, women can do things to make the upcoming head down birth easier. Actually, if the ECV doesn't work and the mother goes for a vaginal birth (with a skilled breech care provider, I hope!) these will help the mother's muscles be more balanced for birthing.

Some women will begin with a gentle but persistent rebozo with her on hands and knees, not knee chest and not vigorous! -  just gentle for as long as the helper can do it, 3-6 minutes? 10 minutes?. Rebozo the tummy then buns.

She may benefit by doing 5 forward leaning inversions in one day for only 30 seconds each. These may be key. Not with high blood pressure or risk of stroke. Avoid doing with heart burn.

Then do Sidelying release and Standing sacral release. How to do these are on Parent Class, which you can download now.


When labor begins in earnest, she may benefit from 10 abdominal lift and tucks (posterior pelvic tilt) during the contractions.

Here's a sample issues that SOMETIMEs occurs,
ECV worked!  They decided to stay and get induced.  Baby tanked during version and I think they were nervous and wanted to be in hospital...[Baby recovered well and induction was attempted.] 
Now it's 3 days later and many doses of cervidil and cytotec later her cervix still thick and closed. Baby is high [above pelvis] and not engaged.  I sent her the page from Spinning Babies about ways to engage baby but so far she hasn't had much change...  I wonder if there is something else going on??   
Her and baby both healthy, baby doing well, waters intact etc.  I don't know if she just needs to have more time until she's ready or if baby is trying to tell us something...

What baby is trying to say, is head down is not enough. We must resolve the twist that may be there and that had caused the breech position in this case. Balance first. Check out The 3 Principles of Spinning Babies to see more on Balance.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Birth Detective: Why didn't my OP baby come down? Part 1 of 3

Posterior presentation alone will not predict the course of labor.  Posterior presenting babies can come within 3, 5, 24-hours, though some posterior labors take 36 hours or longer labors. 
Add tight or short muscles, or a small pelvic outlet, and delays and interventions increase.

Spinning Babies take on the 3 Ps (Power, Passage, and Passenger) was discussed in the previous blog post. 

Here's Jessica's story of her first labor and birth. Emailing back and forth together, we sought a likely reason her labor went to cesarean that may differ from what she was told.  

I've cut out some redundancy (especially my own), edited my wordiness, and made the points easier for you to track the flow of conversation. Parenthesis shows verbatim content.



  "My name is Jessica and I'm about 6 weeks postpartum. This was my first birth and we have a healthy baby boy. He was malpositioned and I ended up delivering via C Section due to extreme exhaustion and fever after 23 hours of labor.
  I had a question for you about my delivery and was curious if you would be able to help me and provide some feedback for the type of labor that I had? (I did not know he was OP until the latter part of my labor).
   I was 41 and 4 days or 11 days late. Original due date was 11/2 and I went into labor naturally (after a few days of stops and starts) on the night of 11/12
My concern is that my OB said that if I would have listened to him and been induced, I could have had a vaginal delivery. 
"I was a low risk pregnancy and his heart rate showed no sign of decel throughout my labor.
After my water broke (around 7cm), I asked for the epidural due to the intolerable back pain.
  I ended up getting to 9.5++ in about 5 more hours after that and got stuck there for 2.5 hours.
I developed a fever of 101 and my white blood cell count was super low and felt like I had NO energy left to give. I just wanted him to be out and begged for the C section.
His head would not come down and was very long coned at delivery from trying to fit!

  "At an rate- I was made to feel like I did the wrong thing by not letting him induce me a day earlier and thus ended up in a C section.

"What is your experience with OP labors and induction? He was very stubborn and barely moved in my belly (aside from his feet and hands). I'm not so sure he would have turned  if I was induced."


Gail's Reply:

"Dear Jessica,
   I am so sorry for the distress that statement of blame has put into your birth memory. Your labor was hard enough.
   You labored fantastically well with a posterior baby! You got to 9.5++ - And what a gift to your baby to have spontaneous labor, this shows he started labor with good hormones and readiness.

Personally, I do not believe that 24 hours would make a difference in your labor pattern.

I am not aware that induction has been shown to be that effective in rotation. Pitocin can be, but induction as the path to an easier birth does not have sufficient proof.

"The statement that an induction 24-hours before would have prevented this cesarean is very upsetting to me.

"Time can be a factor in birth outcome, but not the key factor once baby is term, and 24-hours is too short a time. Most often, labor ease is not about time, progress is about head-to-pelvis angles and "room" for the baby, which are made by making room in the pelvis through muscular and ligament techniques. [In labor,] maternal positioning [may] open the diameters of space at the level of the pelvis where baby is waiting for help.

"Your answers to these questions will help me to understand if my own assumptions are warranted.
1. Do you have a photo of you baby's molding? That will help me understand his position over the last hours of your labor. Flexed or extended (chin down or up) or posterior or did he rotate?
From Oxorn and Foote, Molding shapes tell us how baby came into pelvis

[For the blog, I'm going to add why I asked this question. Seeing the immediate molding will help me identify the angle of baby's head. This indicated which head diameter was coming through the pelvis. Molding will give clues to whether baby was at the brim or deeper in the pelvis. Flexion (chin tucked to chest) gives a smaller diameter to the head and extension (chin up) makes the head seem larger because more of the head is trying to come through at once.] 

2. Did you have Pitocin in this labor? Were you offered it?

3. How low in your pelvis, if at all, did your baby get?

4. Did you push at all? Whether your body's own urge or directed by the nurse/doctor?

5. What size head did your baby have?

6. What positions were you in over the last 2.5 hours of labor [while at 9.5++ cm dilation]?

"Ok, here are more questions of my heart, doula-motivated questions, that may not have as much to do with the outcome directly, but may have directed the course of your decision making. 

Did you feel adequately supported? 
Did you feel stressed at the end and pressured for time? 
Did you sleep during the epidural? 
Were you helped to change position during the epidural? 
Did anyone tell you that you were too tired, or were tiring?

"Please know that I ask all of these questions with compassion to you. You really were in an "extreme sports" situation and it sounds like you were there without the kind of support one would hope for in such an exerting physical experience.

Please hold your sweet baby and forgive both of yourselves, for you both did the best you could in the limited knowledge given to you for this birth. You showed your strength and your maternal fire, Jessica! I so wish I could give you a big HUG!
Bless your heart!"


Jessica's response and more from Gail in Part 2 and 3 of this blog post dialogue


Please help more people find and use Spinning Babies Website when facing a labor like Jessica's. Let's get a link out to your sites, blogs, and social network pages to reach more 
birthing and pregnant women and their helpers.
Post on your page to link to Spinning Babies


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Three P's in a pod

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. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 5 Steps to Birth Happiness

We all get emails promising the 5 steps to financial wellbeing or life's little happiness habits.
Let's try finding 5 steps to birth happiness and see how we do.

The house is quiet; the rhythm of your baby's sucking lulls you into a reflective mood.  (Finally, after 8 weeks you can feed your first baby without focusing on every detail of the feeding.)  With your baby in your arms, your thoughts return to the birth...

1. Choose Experience Over Technology or Degree.
You've given birth with the most prestigious doctor or hospital in your area. Or, you've chosen the most popular midwife.
   How was your experience as a birthing woman?
I'm not talking about the "Consumer Experience" of having chosen the "Right Brand" of doctor or midwife or unassisted birth philosophy.
   Was your transformation into motherhood celebrated and supported well?
   Were you heard and your questions and desires taken into account?
   Were you able to focus on internal or external sources of strength?
   Was there a comforting voice and, if wanted, a guiding touch of someone who respected you?
   Do the people you are seeking support from hold you in high regard?

Tip: 9 months and 8 weeks ago, when you first met with a provider for your pregnancy and birth care, there were some instincts to heed. Make your choices on what will make you satisfied when you look back at your birth:
   Whether you used their services for gynecology or not, feel your body's reaction when you ask them,
   How do you support women with my birth plan, women who want _____?
   How do you support my first moments with my child?
   How does your birth team (nurses, partners, apprentices, etc.) fit in with decision making when you aren't there? Have they experienced births with women who have my desires or situations?
   Would you give birth yourself this way? What would you feel is the best way to give birth?
   Do you allow my baby to have their blood back after birth or do you clamp the cord in less than two minutes?
 
There are more questions than these, of course. Make up your own questions according to your values. Be realistic. Don't assume that all nice birth providers share your values. You can share a smile and even a laugh without them knowing how to support your birth choices. They can have the best credentials and know a lot, but if they aren't interested in knowing you, you might not have a particularly personal experience. You can choose someone with a good credential, but pick a good person with a good credential. :D

Which brings us to #2.
2.) The second step to birth happiness is to match your expectations with reality.
You left your first, second, third, or ninth prenatal with a confidence and glow. You really felt supported and heard. How did this feeling play out in your birth experience?

Sure, there are going to be some challenges in birth. Birth is a demanding physical activity.

I just went on a Boonie Stomp in Guam with a group of island hiking enthusiasts. I only had thin canvas shoes, $17.00 at K-mart on the island.
   Fortunately, the thin shoes were perfect because they let my feet mold to the rocks and had a good tread for our path.
   Unfortunately, they didn't have levitation powers to keep my left foot from going right through the false floor of dried palm leaves down a break in the heavily foliaged cliffside above the waterfall.  
   Fortunately, I happened to be holding a young and sturdy tree trunk at the moment.
   Unfortunately, the walk my son's neighbor's remembered as easy wasn't so easy as we climbed down rocky (not quite slippery) and steep hillsides (not quite cliffsides).
   Fortunately, the noble young men on the tour held my hand for dangerous crossings (Should I say embarrassing? Oh, no, I graciously accepted their nobility they offered the elder and, ahem, most inexperienced in the group! Stepping off the cliff wouldn't be a point against competency, would it??)

Cooling off in the falls was delicious.  The sights and sounds of rainforest all around us with only our shoe prints to reveal the date from any date in history.

And though the hike back up the rocky slope (with ropes) and then further up through the high, grass covered hills was gorgeous but hotter than the ocean breeze would make it seem. The nausea of tropical heat almost ruined the memory of the walk. I peed behind a knoll, drank more water, and rested in the speckled shade under a single tree. What more could I do but walk? So I turned my face to the breeze and felt the joy. I choose to ignore a small physical discomfort I could do no more about. I felt instead, the satisfaction of having the hike completed well, even though I wasn't done walking yet. I felt the state of mind I desired and let it come on early. Suddenly the rest of the walk was easier.

-- Point? There will be unexpected happenings when your body interacts with nature and when your nature interacts with other people.
   Fortunately, a bit of graciousness and communication can bring many diversions back on track for a positive memory. A bit of acceptance for the heat and humor for the hole in the trail keeps the beauty of the island and the joy of fulfilling a task by physical exertion. The dream of seeing a waterfall didn't fade under the realities of the hike to get there because I kept fluid and open to the immediate situations and didn't judge them or try to exert my ego about whether my dignity or even my life was endanger.
   I was grateful for serendipity (or divine protection!) as I was for the first offer of unsolicited help that I have received for being an elder in the eyes of a young man. By staying in a gentle state of bliss even while facing the realities of the climb, the memory emerges as a positive experience treasured far into the future.

Which brings us to Birth Happiness #3.

3.) The third step to happiness in birth is to bring a nurturing, third party person with you when you talk to your midwife/doctor about your birth ideas/plan/choices. This is useful because nurturing hormones are already in action in the pregnant body. A pregnant woman can easily skip her own needs to keep her provider comfortable (read: and not having to face change or her personal request). In such a protective natural state, a woman sometimes (not all lionesses do) translates making the doctor or midwife's experience with them easy as equal to keeping their baby's birth safe. If only this were true.

  A respectful third party person who is there for you and your wishes can observe the conversation, the question and answer session, with an objective perspective.
   A mature, objective person can find and work with the positives and help both parties understand the words, needs, and intentions of the other. A few questions, like, "When you say you only do episiotomies when necessary, in what percentage of your patients do you find cutting the vaginal opening necessary?" There is a vast difference between 1% and 20% that reveals an underlying view of how a woman's body works (or doesn't) when she is too busy to advocate for herself.
  A mature, objective person is not out to "catch the provider at mischief." But rather will help you get a realistic idea of how a birth will be managed or be supported with this person or practice and in this birth place.

You may not be able, for some reason or another, to find or choose the best provider for your plan, but you can become aware of who you are working with and then choose the words and approach to bring in the support, tools, and information you need to navigate the course you are on.

Birth Satisfaction is greater with a doula (doo-la).

A doula is a person who is not a provider, student provider, apprentice, nurse, or family member, or even a girlfriend. A doula is objective and doesn't offer medical advice. The doula listens to you and helps you communicate your needs in a respectful way to the providers of your care. The trained doula is skilled in comfort measures for labor and knows about options without pushing a personal agenda on you or your birth. The doula respects your partner and loved-ones.

While I don't know of a study on happiness and having had a doula, I do know there are several studies showing that doula care reduces
  • postpartum depression
  • negative rations of/negative feelings about the birth experience

Statistics on many variable are remarkable for births supported by a doula. No harm was recorded by having a doula. Of course, pick a doula who fits Happiness step #1, an instinctually good match. Here is an excerpt from the DONAInternational.org website on doula benefits:

DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth
  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support can:
  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse
 From http://www.dona.org/mothers/why_use_a_doula.php

Tip: Find a doula group where you can meet several doulas at a monthly or weekly public meeting. Or meet with 3 or more doulas personally if time allows and public gatherings aren't available or available yet, in your area. Doula organizations like DONA or any number of local or national groups can help you find a doula to match your personality, needs, and location.
You may pay for a doula. Quality is not measured by expense. Follow your instincts.


4.) Breathe into Happiness.
The door to happiness is in your chest. You open it by breathing fully and stretching the muscles around the lungs and ribs. You open it by replacing old stale blood. Breath in deeply and fully so all your organs, including your brain, get a blast of fresh air.

Side thought:  Why do room fresheners sell? Perhaps because we want to breath fully. Artificial gel inside a plastic mushroom discourages me from deep breathing as I typically try to hold my breath and leave the room or car as fast as I can. For that matter, I notice smokers light up to take a deep breath through the cigarette. What's around their neck?

The amazing discovering of transferring an oxytocin high through the sense of smell, or the organ of smell, tells us that bliss is contagious and brought in on the breath.

Tip: Let's get some happy scents in the room with an open window or with flowers, herb sachets, essential oils or cooking healthy foods)  Or, go smell a happy person...



And 5.) The fifth step towards Happiness in Birth is to be grateful to others.

By moving the expression of your heart in the direction of others, you transcend the loneliness of a "me-centered" experience. The grateful one is filled with the grace of many. It's not just appreciation for what another person has given you, its even gratitude to all the people in the roles they played in while serving you in your birthing.

Each person has two points of giving, the contribution, imbued with the mood they were in while they did their action, and the point between you two as the combined energy of both your states, moods, and beliefs about your relationship and the task at hand (birthing, in this case).

Now multiply that with as many people as were with you, and then give each combination of pairs, trios, quads, and all groups a point of expression with its own personality, it would seem. That point of expression might be felt as how people calm down when a particular person enters the room, or how the room tenses up, in the case of a chronically stressed person entering.

By opening sending gratitude (a smile, a thank you, and especially an acknowledgement of the individual worth of the individual spoken aloud) the expression of emotion for the group, not to mention an individual within that group) is lifted and oxytocin flows in.



To sum up our 5 steps to Birth Happiness
1. Trust your instinct when choosing a provider.
2. Be present with real life and let go of expectations.
3. Hire a doula (then they may help with #1 and #2) for your birth.
4. Breathe fully. Now and while in labor.
5. Be the love you want to feel in your birth.



The most important thing is love.



Monday, December 15, 2014

My friend Willma's third homebirth





Thanks for sharing, Willma!

I loved being a moment of celebration early in your journey. Your baby

is strong and as gorgeous as your other children! The following pictures are of our Belly Painting in England last June (2014).  I wish you great love and every prosperity in family, joy, and service!




Gail adding Willma's eyes adoring her developing babe.



Who is this little one?



Ken Johnson taking photos of Willma's announcement!



Snuggled in the womb under the light of the moon.



Back to Birth Activism!


Willma with Jan Tritten at the Bury St. Edmunds' Midwifery Today conference in June 2014. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Fantastic Four

There are four mutually supportive "Body Balance" techniques that a pregnant woman and her trusted support person or provider can do to prepare for a gentler birth. In the new Spinning Babies' Parent Class each technique is thoroughly demonstrated with a pregnant woman and her support person.

Here is the Fantastic Four:

Very gentle but rapid jiggling of the abdominal and pelvic muscles helps to relax the smooth muscles of the ligaments and connective tissues supporting the womb.

Rebozo "sifting" helps make room for a good starting position for baby to begin labor. This vibration like jiggle also helps the receiver of this gift get into a relaxed state that is conducive to peace and spontaneous onset of labor. Read more about how to lift and sift at the same time.



 A daily forward leaning inversion helps make room in the lower uterus to welcome the crown of baby's head.

Get help to get into position the first few times so not to lose balance.

Hold the position for only 30 seconds. Or, simply take three relaxing breaths to fill the belly and sigh out.

Gently stretch the pelvis and spine to release tension as your body guides you.



Add the Sidelying release to "balance" the length and "strength" of the pelvic floor. The sidelying release is much more than simply laying on one's side with the leg hanging off the bed, couch, or table! Be precise, see the instructions! 

The helper holds the top hip directly over the bottom hip. The helper presses the top hip straight down into the bottom hip (not too strongly) so that pelvic muscles relax. Leg muscles stretch. Comfort is achieved and the pelvic floor becomes more navigable to the baby's head. Repeat a few times a week and do every 6-10 hours, as needed, in labor for comfort or to support labor progress.




The Standing Release is also helpful for sacral mobility and so, labor start and progress in harmony with nature.

Standing Sacral Release, the proper name, comes from Dr. Carol Phillips, DC, and is a variation of the diaphragmatic release common in myofascial therapy.

Benefits which may be experienced:

  • Very nice after a long car ride. 
  • May reduce premature contractions that are due to pelvic instability (Is this happening to you? See a midwife or doctor immediately upon 5 contractions in one hour before 37 weeks gestation. Drink a gallon of water while you get to the hospital to be seen for premature labor!)
  • Reduces chance of breech presentation
  • Reduces chance of posterior presentation. 
  • Supports comfort in the pelvic girdle (the joints of the pelvis) especially when used with pelvic stabilizing exercises. 



These four activities are so fantastic and support the benefits of one another.
The Fantastic Four will support your comfort in pregnancy. The Fantastic Four will also help an induction go better and easier, since a good head position helps all birth, not just spontaneous birth.


Additionally!
Walking with a full stride is crucial and will help control blood sugars while helping to lengthen the psoas muscles to balance the pelvis. Let's  emphasize the power of a daily, brisk and free-strided walk!

Another powerful preparation for birth is to squat. Two types flex the sacrum well.


  • Squatting with the back flat against the wall (posterior pelvic tilt), and 
  • Squatting with the bottom flared out while pulling on door handles (the door is open, in an anterior pelvic tilt). 





Find the way to peace in the heart. To do this, breathe deeply in and out in a way that expands the belly and fills the full lungs. Release fear and worry and replace with love and a surety that your love to your baby is more important than events will help you navigate the conversations to bring about your best support possible.  This helps you let go of the outcomes and be one with your intent.

Daily exercise is essential!
See the downloadable video of gentle but specific exercise activities on my site. The Daily Essentials Video is excellent for those who dislike exercise as well as those who love it!

Prepare for spontaneous birth and yet, be able to identify a labor that needs help to release tight muscles to return to the spontaneous progress you desire for the birth of your beautiful intent.
The Spinning Babies: Parent Class shows the Fantastic Four in detail. The segment on labor is geared to help avoid a section in labor incase of labor stalls.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

When the doctor says "No."


"I am a doula to a mom with Mo/Di twins. I recommended SpinningBabies to her since her wee ones are transverse right now. She spoke with her Dr. who said to avoid the Spinning Babies exercises stating they were not safe for her type of twins.

I would like to know your opinions and thoughts on this. "


My response may help those of you who are facing two seemingly opposing points of view.

Monochorionic Twins
"Which exercise does her Dr. mean to avoid? [Spinning Babies presents dozens of exercises when you combine the website and the videos. The doctor may not have meant to ban walking,  Maya abdominal massage, or many others.  He is likely concerned that her movement might have the twins bump each other and move in the uterus and so entangle the cords or the twins. When the twins are small, 12-18 weeks or even 24 weeks, their own play in the watery environment might do just that. Life is mobile and so objects and people interact.] I would suspect [the doctor meant for her to avoid] is the forward-leaning inversion. There are, instead of the forward-leaning inversion, balancing exercises that do not require an inversion.

Your hand will follow the tension later in the release
The standing sacral release requires nothing more than standing with soft knees (for both the mother and the helper), breathing into a relaxed belly, and the lightest touch, no lighter than that even.
She can ask her doctor about that one.
My approach [to support the best release of maternal hormones]  is to honor the relationship that the mother has chosen and not to interject my opinion. I find there are many avenues to "yes" and seek those that lie within the scope of practice for the doula and within the parameters the mother has set by her choice of care provider.
Balance is a spectrum. Unwinding or untwisting the lower uterine segment is a goal and while the forward-leaning inversion is most efficient at doing this unwinding, there may be other places in her body that, once balanced, can encourage her body to find the space to allow the lower uterine segment to unwind.

Think of the cervical ligaments and their fibrous, living rope, connection to the pelvis, particularly the sacrum. If we can't "move the lower uterine segment" via the forward-leaning inversion, is there a way to mobilize the sacrum gently without inversion? Seek these ways. Seek a greater connection to the babies and a more parasympathetic nervous system state. So calm and open though inward and peaceful, rather than alert and aware.
There is much we can do even though there is something we can't do. Seek the way to "yes" without orienting yourselves against the "no."  Then you will find the parasympathetic state of maternal hormones.

In 2001, before Dr. Carol Phillips conceived of the forward-leaning inversion, I helped a friend with approximately 7 pound transverse twins. We did Rebozo and a thorough abdominal massage (not a relaxation massage but working with fascia and smooth muscle, much like Maya Massage) and an abdominal myofascial release. After these three, her babies when head down.  
There is always more than one way to "yes."

Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.