Birth is a sacred and beautiful process for mothers - bringing their baby earth side. It brings joy, tears and an unconditional love and bond.
The process of birth can also be filled with the unknown. Medical emergencies may bring about a different birth plan. They may even bring trauma.
The more we empower mothers with knowledge of the birth process and their options during birth, we can help reduce stress and aid in a smoother birth process.
Understanding how our pelvis is meant to move during the birth process can help facilitate an appropriate opening for the baby’s passage.
First Stage: Facilitating Opening of our Pelvic Inlet
Helping Baby down into pelvis.
The opening at the top of our pelvis is called the pelvic inlet. Our hip bones (iliac crests) need to open and move more out to the side for this opening to widen.
Opening the top inlet will make our “sit bones” (ischiums at the bottom) move closer together. Our sacral base, needs to go into extension or move posteriorly, which causes the coccyx to move forward (tucking tailbone under). The pubic bones will widen slightly as the baby’s head enters the pelvis.
To encourage this motion early in labor, you can rock hips into a posterior pelvic tilt, tucking your bottom under.
You can this sitting on a birthing ball
Great to do while on hands and knees
Doing this in a standing position will allow gravity to help get the baby into the pelvis.
The pelvic inlet widens until your baby’s head enters the pelvis far enough to contact the pelvic floor muscles.
When the baby’s head encounters the pelvic floor muscles, that signals the pelvic bones to change their direction and facilitate the widening of the bottom part of our pelvis- the sit bones (ischiums).
Second Stage: Facilitating Widening the Pelvic Outlet or “Breathing Baby Out”
The pelvic outlet is at the bottom of the pelvis or our “sit bones” and includes the ischiums and our tailbone. To widen the pelvic outlet, the top of our hip bones need to move slightly inward or together while the sit bones widen outward. Our sacrum moves into a flexed position and our lower back more into an arched position which causes the tailbone to move back.
To facilitate this motion during later labor - you need to do more anterior tilts of your pelvis, thinking about sticking their butt out backward and lifting your tailbone.
This motion can be done on a birth ball, on hands and knees, hall kneeling position or supported standing
Tip- Adding internal rotation of your legs (think bringing knees together and feet outward) will widen the ischiums even more, which might be the extra room needed to help the baby come out.
Schedule a birth prep session or register for one of Dr. Ashley’s Prenatal Wellness Packages and learn how to stay healthy during pregnancy and physically prepare for your birth!
Birth Doulas are well educated, trained and amazing support during birth! They can help you and your partner remember these techniques, communicate your birth wishes, and provide mental/emotional/spiritual support during birth and immediately following.
Coming Early 2023!!!
Inspired Maternity’s Birth Prep Program
A 75 minute online educational program. Gain access to printable forms that cover prenatal stretching/exercise, and our birthing position form to have on hand during labor!
Special note for hospital births with the use of epidurals:
Laboring on our back with legs bent up, knees pulled back out to the side, and a posteriorly tilted pelvis with external rotation of the legs, is the exact opposite to widening the pelvic outlet.
Talk to your birth team prior in assisting you into a different safe position for later birth stage
Side Lying position can allow you to rotate pelvis forward as your sacrum is more mobile compared to on your back
If on your back, have your partner or support person put a towel behind lower back to help rotate pelvis forward. Bring knees closer together, and have head of the bed lifted upward to help you get off the tailbone as much as possible. Remember the bed can break down where the support team can help support you in a partial standing position and allow stirrups to help support feet.
Inspired Maternity in Peoria is a one of a kind Pregnancy and Postnatal Physical Therapy, Wellness and Fitness Studio located in Peoria, Ill. We offer in-studio prenatal and postpartum fitness programs, Physical Therapy and Wellness assessments throughout the calendar year, as well as virtual options, programs and telehealth visits.