Saturday, July 28, 2012

When Spinning Babies fails


The success of Spinning Babies lies upon a continuum. 
Any particular pregnant woman's ease of her birth can also be thought of as along a continuum. 
The ease or difficulty of repositioning any particular baby before or during labor also falls along a spectrum from easy to difficult, even "too late." Some women will have to do 3 activities for a day, others 12 things all month!

How do we know when "Spinning Babies" fails? When the baby is stuck in a posterior position and unable to be born without a vacuum or cesarean after a good try in labor. Even then, deciding when enough is enough varies greatly from mother to mother and provider to provider. I do admit, readily, that Spinning Babies won't solve all fetal repositioning needs.

When I read on a pregnancy forum that Spinning Babies didn't work, that the techniques were uncomfortable and nothing happened in a day or three, I think someone missed a true understanding of their body and their baby's situation. Our wombs are not really round water balloons with a baby floating randomly and able to get head down with gravity alone. A few women will fit this picture, but not many! Rather several ligaments, muscles, and even the alignment of the pelvis shape our wombs by the pull on the lower uterine segment. 

When there is a twist or tightness there in a ligament or a twist in the pelvic joints, the breech, transverse, or posterior baby may find their way to an ideal position blocked. 



Jean Sutton and Pauline Scott wrote a revolutionary gem called Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning in 1996. I found it in 1999. Midwife Jean Sutton emphasizes maternal posture, keeping her pelvic brim open and using a pregnancy belt. Using their approach I found many women were helped to have an anterior baby. But some were not.

I started addressing those whose babies couldn't turn by maternal posture and a few tricks I knew by adding pelvic alignment, addressing abdominal tone, and releasing "spasms" in the uterine ligaments. Now many more women found resolutions. Some babies turned only with labor contractions, whose first job is to reposition the baby and help baby engage. 

 Spinning Babies doesn't equal maternal positioning for Optimal Fetal Positioning, can you give a moment to think about that? 

Spinning Babies begins with Optimal Fetal Positioning and brings in The 3 Principles, Balance, Gravity, and Movement. 
Balance means to bring the pelvis and the pelvic muscles and uterine ligaments into alignment or "balance."

Once balanced, maternal positioning becomes more successful. A transverse baby is a symptom of a twist in the lower uterine segment. Often a "3 breath" forward-leaning inversion does the trick, but don't twist your SI joints crawling out of it. So see if you can swing back UP to release the stretch of the ligaments from the inversion. Don't do this for more than 30 seconds! And yes, your head may pound the first few times you try it, so those of you with high blood pressure or other risk of stroke, no you can't do any inversions safely. Skip it. 
But if you are healthy, a short inversion is likely to help reduce pelvic pain, transverse lie and start to align your pelvis after many repetitions (repeat but keep these very short lasting!).

Here is the link for The Three Principles of Spinning Babies so that you can see the list of Balance activities you can do yourself or get help with, http://www.spinningbabies.com/more-info/for-pregnancy/3-principles-in-pregnancy


Remember, as Spinning Babies gets mainstreamed, the details of what Spinning Babies is really about get diluted. That's like any "approach", idea, etc. 
Every woman is somewhere on a continuum and those on the "far end" may need body work. Some women need to start at 20 weeks, others can do something in the last days of pregnancy or hours of labor. But some need many sessions with an expert body worker, helping their tight jaws relax before their sacrums swing out free enough to let their babies pass.  So you see, its a spectrum from ease... to a super challenge.
Its not over til the Fat Baby sings. 

Love to you all,  Blessings and happy birthing. 

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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.