A woman wrote me today saying she’s due now but her baby isn’t engaged. Her doctor said her baby is on her left facing her right hip and looking down.
Was that a problem she asked?
I began to answer in one way and suddenly realized as I wrote that I wasn’t sure exactly what her doctor meant!
See the drawings here, the babies on the left side are flexed, with their chin’s tucked and the one on the bottom left is engaged.
There is one finger width between the baby’s shoulder and the mother’s pubic bone. The bigger baby above is flexed but not engaged. The two on the right show one beginning to engage on the top right and the bottom right this baby can’t engage because the head is resting atop the symphysis pubis (pubic bone).
A chiropractic adjustment of the sacro-ischial joints and the symphysis will likely help. A myofascial release of the sacrum may be needed to help baby engage, too.
“Looking down could be a big deal,” I started, “if down means literally down, towards your pelvis. If it means that baby is looking “down” into baby’s lap, then that’s good.
Find out because its all the difference in the world.
If baby’s head is extended, a pelvic floor release (sidelying release) would be helpful. Don’t do hip circles on the birth ball until the baby is flexed – meaning has her or his chin tucked. See circle of LOT baby here.
Face up means the hair line above the baby’s forehead will be the closest part of the baby coming, The baby would then be extended a bit or even all the way to a face presentation. I don’t have a drawing of that.
Myofascial release of all three, abdominal, sacral and pelvic floor would be good. In addition, the rebozo then the foreward leaning inversion. And if baby is in a good position, won’t hurt, but only make labor progress more smoothly.”
She’d asked if she should be concerned and what could she do (as my reply addresses) but added,
Should I just let nature take it’s course?
“You could let nature take its course now, and not do these things. That is an alternate way to cope. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Which isn’t the same as saying both routes will have the same result!
I suggest women ask, in one year looking back if you were to need a cesarean, whould you be satisfied that you did “all you” could or wanted to do at this time to prepare.”
Being pro-active is implied in using a Spinning Babies approach. But having a wait-and see attitude isn’t wrong. But notice in yourself if it is being trusting or being in avoidance.
There’s a significant difference there in birth outcomes.
Let’s be balanced, active and working on flexibility. Nature’s course is to be in balance and to be active.
Modern life doesn’t offer much spontaneous symmetry or activity. Today, we must choose to be active. We also may have to overcome imbalances brought on by sitting or standing for hours, especially in chairs growing up in school. As adults we over use our right leg driving our cars.
Look at the first principle of Spinning Babies, Balance.
Carol Phillips, DC, is teaching doulas, midwives and yoginis three specific techniques that are specific to balance the day after my Spinning Babies Workshop in Richmond, Virginia. Come and see how amazing this could be for your birth practice!
Seriously, thank you for this post. 17 months ago I had a cesarean because of a face/brow presentation (doc said OP face presentation, I reached in and felt a forehead). We're considering another pregnancy and I'm terrified of this happening again, but until today I didn't know there was something yo ucould do to encourage proper flexion.
Any more information would be GREATLY appreciated. I already plan on memorizing spbmembership.wpengine.com from the positive pregnancy test on, but the more info, the better.