Thursday, December 29, 2016

Belly Mapping


Gail Tully is the developer and creator of Belly Mapping. Belly Mapping is a 3-step process to estimate your baby's position in the womb. Many pregnant people can estimate with fairly good accuracy in their last trimester of pregnancy.

Step 1. Feel the contours of your baby with the pads of your fingers.

In Step 1, you will draw a 4-piece pie and draw in the fruits - locations of kicks and wiggles, firm edges and round bulges. If you know where your provider heard the loudest heart beat from baby, then draw a heart in that place. 

Draw a circle adding four parts to help you draw baby’s small parts in location. Fill in the “pie” you’ve drawn with marks to indicate the kicks, flutters, bulges and firm, smooth areas.
In Step 1: Lie on your back and bend your knees. You -or your partner or loved one - will feel through your abdomen more easily and you will be more comfortable. Roll over to your side if you suddenly don't feel comfortable. Pregnant people ought not to be on their backs very long. You can do this for 5-15 minutes and then roll over.  
 Put a doll over your map and then over your belly to visualize your baby’s actual position. Do the hands match the location of small flutters or are the doll’s hands going the other direction? Put the doll’s feet where you feel the biggest kicks and swing the dolls back around to match the largest firm, smooth part of the baby that you feel. (An anterior placenta will mask the baby with the big, smooth placenta.)


Step 2: Visualize baby using a doll. Holding a doll over your map and then your belly, put the doll's head where you know or suspect your baby's head to be. Place the doll's back where you feel the smoothest flat, firm area. Remember, you find that area on your own back. You won't likely be accurate if you try to locate baby while you stand up. Your stomach muscles will be engaged and hard to feel details through them.




In your lasts months of pregnancy your baby’s kicks and wiggles become more certain, more perceivable. When you lie on your back with your knees bent your abdomen is often soft enough to feel through your skin and uterine wall to contact your baby.



Feel your baby’s contours. The womb and your belly muscles, even though they are likely softer now, will protect your baby during your gentle but determined touch. Getting to know your baby’s shape will help you picture baby’s position in your womb. You can see the steps on my website or get a more detailed description and a template to draw in the Belly Mapping Workbook.



Seeking your baby in your mind is not as awakening as actually sketching your baby on paper or creating another visual image. “Seeing” your baby ignites fires in your heart beyond the more abstract thoughts without image. The highly technical ultrasound scan increases positive perceptions of the baby early in pregnancy while late pregnancy ultrasound has mixed results in increasing or decreasing anxiety and closeness. So, ultrasound may not inspire the same neurological firings of gentle feelings which a drawing may connect.

Visualizing baby by having a friend paint baby's picture on your belly in the actual position of baby is a fun way to finish up!
Let’s explore how bonding may increase. Your hand moves the pencil or crayon towards the curves and lines of your child. It’s as if you discover this mysterious visitor as you draw. You see the image, you feel the love of creation as you draw. This is the being within and this is the art which expresses your hope, your wonder, your own emerging self.

Belly Mapping is a three-part process to discover your baby’s position in late pregnancy.

If someone paints your belly, as Gail is about to do here, they will be more accurate if they feel your baby first. 
1.    
2.    Pu

3.    Step 3: Name your baby’s position.
 Right, Left, Anterior, Posterior are the directional words for mother's body. Baby's body part words used are Occiput for a head down baby or Sacrum for a breech. Learn more in the BellyMapping Workbook.




We show photos of paintings to help you see the end result here. But the real result is in the connection between mother and child within.







Monday, December 12, 2016

Three Levels to avoiding a cesarean

The pelvis has 2 distinct areas for birth, the area for getting in and the area for getting out.

But there is also the middle.


Three Levels of the Pelvis

Inlet for Getting In
Mid pelvis for turning
Outlet for Getting Out
Assessing progress in labor includes noting which of these three levels the baby is in. In medical terms, nurses talk about "pelvic stations" which, like train stations mark the journey. But unlike train stations, each pelvic station is associated with a level of the pelvis that moves in ways that are not much like the other stations.

Pelvic Stations
-3 and -2 are at the top in the Inlet
-1, 0, +1 I call the Midpelvis based on effective solutions
+2 or lower (numbers go up) are effectively the Outlet

When providers think of techniques that "open the pelvis" they are not often associating which level that move actually opens.

Side view of Pelvic Stations


Baby's head crossing the Inlet... Whoops!

Baby's head tipped (asynclitic) in the Midpelvis

Looking up to the Outlet
The pubic arch  come down each side (past the IPR noted here) to the
sitz bones or Ischial Tuberosities (IT)
and the ligaments place the coccyx (C) and sacrum's position

Here's what can happen when a provider doesn't ask, 
Where's baby? but only asks the question of dilation.

A mother writes today, 

"I labored for 24 hours before the C-section. I was 4 cms. and not feeling any pain when they admitted me in the hospital. I was doing squats and walking the halls until 5 cms. with no pain.  The doctor thought labor was not progressing quickly enough after 7 hours and decided to break my bag of water at around 6 cms. That was when the pain shot up (More of shock than pain really). I panicked and asked for an epidural. 8 hours later and still at around 6 or 7 cms , I was wheeled into the operating room. "

One of the things I developed in Spinning Babies to ease birth and avoid unnecessary interventions to force babies through the pelvis is what I call "Pelvic Levels."  


Pelvic Levels thinking asks, Where's baby in relation to the pelvis?  
Cervical dilation is one clue. But the point is where is the wide part of baby's head? This is where we need room. Birthing women can make room at all three levels with different moves. Opening the top closes the bottom and squatting to open the bottom closes the top. So know where baby is before expecting to open the pelvis -in the right level!

Then, when we know where baby was and where baby ended up, we can see, "Whoops!", breaking that water bag (amniotic sac) may have dropped and locked baby into the mid pelvis. Baby's forehead may be against one ischial spine and the back of baby's head locked over the other side in a "deep transverse arrest" (baby's head is stuck sideways in the narrow mid pelvis). 

On our enewsletter linking you to this blog, you saw that the Spinning Babies recommended activities  for any kind of a mid pelvis stall in labor:

Lunge  
Lay on your side with knees together and feet open and apart, but knees together!

What not to do? 
Intense pelvic floor exercises or chronic gripping of the pelvic muscles (tends to add aches or shooting pains) can shorten the pelvic floor and cause a labor stall when baby gets to the mid pelvis and expects to rotate through the hole in the pelvic floor which turns out to be held tightly closed from mom's power moves before and during pregnancy. 


Soften the way by lengthening pelvic floor muscles and doing complementary exercises for the muscle pairs that nurtured together make the balance of birth. 

Learn more about pelvic levels and the techniques listed in Spinning Babies; Parent Class. 
See step by step instructions on resolving the issues at each level of the pelvis. Birth Geek Heaven. Get your Spinning Babies; Parent Class download on your favorite device. Be sure to have extra room on your device for the download and a little more for function. You can download it only to one device, but you can stream it from any internet source that allows streaming. Vimeo.com free membership required. 


Friday, December 9, 2016

Daily Activities are "Essential" but...

We at Spinning Babies recommend beginning Daily Activities as you feel fit for simple activities.
We don't recommend "feeling the burn" but rather listening and respecting your changing body to feel the stretch. Moving through a pose slowly and holding it with good alignment is more important for supple flexibility.

If you like the social feeling of a video, even at home, Daily Essentials yoga routine is a real "feel good" stretch half-hour physically and in mood. Starting the daily routine of stretching with Sarah Longacre in the Daily Essentials video at about 20 weeks pregnant has been attributed to shorter births by the parents who use it everyday.

We expect to see baby's position be anterior at each appointment from 30 weeks on to birth (in general, I observe that a first time mom has spontaneous onset of labor between 41 weeks and 41 1/2 weeks). 

The left occiput transverse or left occiput anterior position in the womb most usually allows baby to be curled up and aim the small, round crown of the head into the pelvis.

Daily Essentials: Activities for Pregnancy Comfort & Easier Birth from Spinning Babies on Vimeo.

Unexpectedly, a baby may rarely change position quite late in pregnancy. 

Why? 
Long car ride? Nope. Not in this case.
Fall? No.
Strange turning movement with a jolt (like golfing or softball or giving a chiropractic adjustment as opposed to receiving one)? No.

Could it be the umbilical cord? This is unlikely but possible. Correct for the other reasons and ask for medical (or midwifery) assessment of baby's heart rate. During birth the baby will be listened to for dips in the heart rate and if they match a particular pattern, it may be assumed to be due to a short or wrapped cord. Often when a provider doesn't know the answer they fill in the "blank" with umblical cord and only after the birth if the cord is seen to be wrapped or uniquely short can we confirm that the baby's lack of descent or rotation was due to the cord.  We leave this question for that time. 




Could there be a twist in the pelvic floor lower down that made baby turn as s/he dropped? This may not be known, but a Physicial Therapist, Pelvic Floor Specialist, professional bodyworker, Osteopath or Chiropractor MIGHT be able to assess this. If getting an assessment isn't practical, doing the corrective activities wouldn't be harmful if they actually weren't needed. 

The answer is the same here as for most mysteries, add balance and go within. 
More practical tips for parents coming!



Spinning Babies Parent Class from Spinning Babies on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Trying Spinning Babies for the first time

Try this food.... you'll like it!
Listen to this electronic brain-wave music.... it'll boost your productivity!
Let's visit my college friend, you'll have fun...

Does trying something new seem risky?

The activities on Spinning Babies can seem novel and strange for many people.
How do we know if something new is beneficial?

Choosing to try a technique from Spinning Babies

  1. Make sure you understand the correct way to do a technique: The way you do your technique is safe.
  2. You don't have a contraindication to the technique: You are medically safe to do the technique.
  3. Match the right technique to your comfort or labor progress goal: Your choice reaches your goals.



Spinning Babies has chosen key techniques from birth traditions and body work brilliance to offer specific results in some cases and general improvement in range of motion and comfort over all.

The when to do what is found on SpinningBabies.com within the articles discussing the general topics of pregnancy and the specific topics on the childbirth process.

Here's one woman's story of moving past her initial hesitation to respond to a physical need for increasing comfort. She writes to Connie, her doula. They live in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Connie! I've been kinda lazy about those three Spinning Babies exercises 😔 - I'm just never in the mood to do a headstand [She means forward leaning inversion, which is NOT a head stand but is an inversion]..... BUT I was having really bad round ligament pain all weekend - like could barely walk, was dragging my right leg behind me, needed help getting out of bed, etc. - it felt like it was on both sides but actually I think it was mostly right side - anyway, it seemed like the [Forward Leaning Inversion] might help so we tried it and it was a miracle! I only did it for 30 seconds and it made everything so much better - I could walk normally again for the first time since Friday! Anyway, just wanted to tell you my Spinning Babies success story - now I'm extra motivated to keep doing that one, and hopefully the others, too - we also did the Rebozo Sifting and I think that might've helped as well

Connie is a coronary nurse and doula. Read more about her journey and services at http://www.doulanana.com/about.html


 Best technique is easy on the stairs. The neck hangs loose. The head is gently flexed. But it is in coming up that the technique is completed. Rise up to a high kneeling position. Have help the first few times, as your body will adjust to blood movement and the sense of your position from your middle ear.  Be safe. Read the instructions to find out if you can be safe to try this; ask your medical provider if there is any medical reason you couldn't go upside down (high blood pressure, for instance).

Trying Spinning Babies for the first time

Try this food.... you'll like it!
Listen to this electronic brain-wave music.... it'll boost your productivity!
Let's visit my college friend, you'll have fun...

Does trying something new seem risky?

The activities on Spinning Babies can seem novel and strange for many people.
How do we know if something new is beneficial?

Choosing to try a technique from Spinning Babies

  1. Make sure you understand the correct way to do a technique: The way you do your technique is safe.
  2. You don't have a contraindication to the technique: You are medically safe to do the technique.
  3. Match the right technique to your comfort or labor progress goal: Your choice reaches your goals.



Spinning Babies has chosen key techniques from birth traditions and body work brilliance to offer specific results in some cases and general improvement in range of motion and comfort over all.

The when to do what is found on SpinningBabies.com within the articles discussing the general topics of pregnancy and the specific topics on the childbirth process.

Here's one woman's story of moving past her initial hesitation to respond to a physical need for increasing comfort. She writes to Connie, her doula. They live in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Connie! I've been kinda lazy about those three Spinning Babies exercises 😔 - I'm just never in the mood to do a headstand [She means forward leaning inversion, which is not a head stand (LOL) but is an inversion and so produces a different effect and uses different muscles, and this one, doesn't activate the core]..... BUT I was having really bad round ligament pain all weekend - like could barely walk, was dragging my right leg behind me, needed help getting out of bed, etc. - it felt like it was on both sides but actually I think it was mostly right side - anyway, it seemed like the [Forward Leaning Inversion] might help so we tried it and it was a miracle! I only did it for 30 seconds and it made everything so much better - I could walk normally again for the first time since Friday! Anyway, just wanted to tell you my Spinning Babies success story - now I'm extra motivated to keep doing that one, and hopefully the others, too - we also did the Rebozo Sifting and I think that might've helped as well

Connie is a coronary nurse and doula. Read more about her journey and services at http://www.doulanana.com/about.html


 Best technique is easy on the stairs. The neck hangs loose. The head is gently flexed. But it is in coming up that the technique is completed. Rise up to a high kneeling position. Have help the first few times, as your body will adjust to blood movement and the sense of your position from your middle ear.  Be safe. Read the instructions to find out if you can be safe to try this; ask your medical provider if there is any medical reason you couldn't go upside down (high blood pressure, for instance).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Spinning Babies Conference 2016


Sweet '16  The Success of Our Confluence
The new paradigm is begun

In 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon as participants left I heard,


"This was the best conference I've been to in my life." heard 3x in a row
"This was the best conference I've been to in my career.""The was the best conference I've ever been to!" 



_Spinning Babies Confluence Logo

If you weren't able to be with us, you can still share the love! Here's what happened!


The Spinning Babies Workshop started our 5-days of learning with  Rachel Shapiro, CPM and CNM-student. It was a full house to say the least! Gail was so proud to introduce Rachel in her trainers circle at the conference! SpinningBabies.com/meet-the-trainers/rachel-shapiro 
ACNM has granted 7 Contact Hours or .7 Continuing Education Units for Certified Nurse Midwives.
MEAC has granted 7 Contact Hours or .7 Continuing Education Units for Certified Professional Midwives. 
Doula organizations, such as DONA International, often accept these CEUs. By the way, DONA International has approved the Spinning Babies Workshop as an advanced doula training but because this is Rachel's first workshop, she had not yet applied to be on faculty for the recognition by DONA International for this purpose. That may come along soon.

Denise Bolds, of Bold Doula used her blogging presence to
address issues of equity at our conference and in the birth world. 

Thursday attendees dove into the topic of their choice for the day. Everyone was beaming as they left for the day. Thursday Speakers included 
Angelina Martinez Miranda, Midwife. 
Carol Phillips, DC; 
Adrienne Caldwell, LMT
Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LCSW

ACNM has granted 7 Contact Hours or .7 Continuing Education Units for Certified Nurse Midwives.
Jenny Blyth and Fiona Hallinan, contact hours pending.
Belly Mapping with parents and potential belly painters finished the day! This one does not have continuing education credits.

"The conference was the best of the best!" 
Emily Shier is a DONA International approved doula trainer in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Friday celebrated 16 different speakers through the day. Seriously, something for everyone! Interest tracks included 3 maternity care topics and one mentoring bonus discussion with Penny Simkin; pelvic topics with Jenny Blyth and Fiona Hallinan; bodywork topics with Lindsay McCoy, Deb McLaughlin, and Marcello Windolph; and (recorded for the webinar in the main room) Breech with Jane Evans, Anke Reitter, and short presentations from Adrienne Caldwell, Phyllis Klaus, Angelina Martinez Miranda, Dennis Hartung, Leslie Sedlak, Nicole Morales and Gail Tully.

"This was the best conference because in every room I went into, people were hugging!"

Penny Simkin chatting with our own Megan Edington.

Saturday presented the paradigm with Penny Simkin, Anke Reitter, and Gail Tully (recorded in the webinar). Claudia Booker gave dynamic presentations on The New Face of American Birth and "Women of African Descent:  Modern Day Implications and Strategies for Pregnancy, Labor and the Vaginal Birthing of Our Babies. An Interactive, Town Hall and Sharing Presentation". Participants also heard Dennis Hartung, OB on Safely Reducing Cesareans; Phyllis Klaus on Resolving Birth Trauma; and Deb McLaughlin on craniosacral protocols.

Sunday began with Jeanne Ohm on Chiropractic considerations in her Great Expectations talk. Dennis Hartung showed mildly complicated breech births to encourage an understanding that slowdowns in breech birth can be handled by skilled providers who want to reduce cesareans, and Gail and her trainers spoke on how to bring Spinning Babies into the practice of providers, particularly nurses and doulas. 



Speakers at Our Confluence

 Speaker Burst
Adrienne Caldwell, LMT; Akhmiri Sekhr-Ra, CPE; Angelina Martinez Miranda, Midwife, Anke Reitter, MD. PhD, Fetal Maternal Medicine Specialist; Carol Phillips, DC; Claudia Booker, MEd, CPM;  Deb E. McLaughlin, CST, CPM;  Denny Hartung, OB; Jane Evans, independent midwife in the UK;  Jeanne Ohm, DC;  Jenny Blyth and Fiona Hallinan;  Jessica Peterson, DC; Lindsay McCoy, Restorative Exercise Specialist; Marcello Windolph, Fasciatherapie; Penny Simkin, PT;  Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LCSW; and Wendy Foster, Birth Recovery Specialist.

Spinning Babies Approved Trainers who spoke at the conference and pre-conference were Jennifer Walker, Lorenza Holt, Marya Molette, Nicole Morales, Rachel Shapiro, Tammy Ryan and Gail Tully, 

Are you interested in how many continuing education credits were given to which sessions? See the Spinning Babies conference website at 




"This was the best conference because in every room I went into, people were hugging!"

If you weren't able to be with us, you can still share the love. Learn about the paradigm of
Balance Before Force






Speakers before the conference
Blooma's Sarah Auna (center) enjoys hosting the party of international speakers the night before the Spinning Babies 2016 World Confluence. Blooma's owner Sarah Longacre and five of her staff created a party for us with wine and chocolate. It was a wonderful event!! Lorenza Holt, Angelina Martinez Miranda, and Joni Nichols sang Los Mananitas to me! And then Joni insisted she and Jennifer Walker sing Happy Birthday in Dutch to me!

 See more on our blog, http://spinningbabies.blogspot.com/2016/10/spinning-babies-conference-2016.html



Tomesha Walker of WalkerGroup, LLC 

Tomesha Walker came from Cleveland to do promotion and video coverage during the conference. She added her own unique element of joy in every interview. See her interviews on our Spinning Babies Facebook page. 

Tomesha also taught our trainers the basics of social media promotion while she was with us. Expect to see more from the trainers on Facebook!












"...Thank you for the absolutely wonderful beyond words Spinning Babies Confluence....thank you!" - Charrie, Attendee
The magic of Phyllis. Phyllis Klaus gives up-to-date MindBody techniques for fetal positioning, healthy pregnancies and overcoming past birth trauma. Follow her in depth sessions in person.
The magic of Phyllis. Phyllis Klaus gave up-to-date MindBody techniques for fetal positioning, healthy pregnancies and overcoming past birth trauma.
“It’s a great honor for me to be here with Gail and what she has created and given to us, world wide, to understand the wisdom of the body and the human spirit and the baby.” - Phyllis Klaus said as she began her talk on how she may use the  MindBody approach in fetal position in pregnancy and in healing the messages we carry onward from birth.

"This conference was incredible all around and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Looking to the future once school is complete ... I would love to offer my service to any future endeavors."  -Shyla Earl, Intake Coordinator for Everyday-Miracles.org in Minneapolis

Jenny Blyth and Fiona Hallinan introduced a warm and welcoming approach to mobilizing the pelvis that won American hearts.
"There hasn't been anything this big in the birth world for a long time, since Janet Balaskas... nah, this is bigger."   -Fiona Hallinan, RN, RM.

Dr. Dennis Hartung, OB, speaks on safely avoiding cesareans at the Confluence. His session is not live streamed. Enjoy this intimate gathering with one of our local birth heroes. 




Our top level sponsors for the Minneapolis St. Paul
Spinning Babies 2016 World Confluence were:
Blooma LogoBlooma.com
"SISTER!!!!  You KICKED ASS!"  - Sarah Longacre, Blooma Yoga
Childbirth Collective
ChildbirthCollective.org

Our Next Biggest Confluence is in Sao Paulo, Brazil
when Sia Parto and Spinning Babies converge in
early September, 2018 
Also read the previous blog post.

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.