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A great resource for foetal positioning

Birth Resource: Spinning Babies


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06/10/2017

A great resource for foetal positioning

Overview

Spinning Babies is an approach that uses maternal physiology and foetal positioning to ease pregnancy and birth. It was developed by Gail Tully, a Certified Practicing Midwife (CPM) from the USA.

Spinning Babies is an approach that optimises the physical relationship between the bodies of mother and baby for the easing of childbirth. The technique is a new paradigm that takes cues from baby’s position and station for natural, physiological solutions. Try it in any birth setting, childbirth program, or pain management plan. Spinning Babies techniques may help to:

  • Align the uterus so baby can curl and enter the pelvis as a small, compact – and more active participant
  • Release tight ligaments or muscles which may pull or twist may relieve pelvic pain now or discomfort during birth
  • Support what’s loose in womb or pelvis with a pregnancy belt
  • Open the pelvis to let baby move down during the birth process
  • Share birth wisdom with parents and providers in ever-deepening layers of understanding birth

By beginning with activities to support the range of motion and alignment, the aim is to reach a healthy mix of mobility and stability for the pelvis. As well as assisting in labour, Spinning Babies can be used in the last trimester of pregnancy to ensure that the baby sits in an optimal position for birth.


Techniques for Labour

Spinning Babies also offers techniques to manage and work through certain situations during labour. For example:

  • Strong labor seems to start and stop, or surge and withdraw, for some hours to days
  • Surges come on at any time
  • Contractions may be long and irregular, but strong for hours and then fade away
  • Pattern occurs with or without back labor
  • An internal exam reveals that baby is still high in the pelvis
  • Baby might not be engaged. For some, the uterine action to engage baby seems like labor, sometimes as strong as labor associated with transition. But the baby isn’t even on the cervix
  • When the baby is not engaged in the pelvis the uterus works very hard to try to get the baby into the pelvis. The pain is on the pubic bone, but can also be felt in the back or rectum. When baby moves, baby may “grind” the forehead on the pubic bone trying to rotate away from the front of the pelvis. Sometimes there isn’t pain to give a clue
  • The cervix is often open less than 3 cm in a first-time mom. But don’t rely on the cervix! Sometimes women open all the way to 10 cm and yet the baby hasn’t come into the pelvis.

If the baby isn’t engaged, the nurse, midwife, or doctor may say the baby is -3 station. This unengaged posterior baby often must rotate to left occiput transverse before engaging. Spinning Babies techniques aim to help rotation. Rotation may solve the problem to let baby engage and descend through the pelvis, helping the mother potentially avoid a cesarean. 

We have used these techniques with many women that we have supported in birth. It's worth having a look at these during pregnancy so you can familiarise yourself with the techniques and help your body before you even go into labour.

Read more about Spinning Babies here

 

 




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