Spinning Babies – Side lying release

Coming home after the wonderful Spinning Babies workshop with Jennifer Walker today I must say I am having a very difficult time putting into writing what I feel exactly. I have been touched by all what I have heard and seen both on a professional level and very much so on a personal one.

My personal experience

Why I am about to share quite a bit of a personal story with you – although I usually refrain from this as a doula – is because it shows how much we already know about ourselves and our bodies and how to help ourselves and our babies during labour. Even without actually realizing what and why we do.

I did not have any knowledge about fetal positioning when I was expecting our first daughter. All I needed to hear at around 32 weeks was that she was head down, which also meant a go for a healthy and normal birth, so I was happy and content. Nobody said anything about how our baby was positioned When labour started at 41 weeks it started slowly, my baby taking her time to find her way and I did my best to help her. I stayed upright, I moved a lot, I moved my hips and all these felt comfortable. And then in the active stage my lower back started to really hurt, baby’s head was still not engaged, contractions were still 5-7 minutes apart and I started doing something that felt good but strange at the same time; (I even remember thinking “this must look really weird from outside”) whenever a contraction came I pushed my belly out and leaned backwards. I felt silly, this is not how you labour! This was not in any of the books, who does that? Leaning backwards?


Walcher’s position

Walcher’s engagement technique

After a handful of contractions this strange urge went away and I was soon at the pushing stage. They made me lay down which was not comfortable at all, I would have wanted to stand and lean onto something instead. Pushing took very long and I felt it was the most difficult part of my labour. Our daughter was born and it was only when I started to train to become a doula a year later that I also started to connect the dots; I had a posterior baby!
She had her back against my spine so she had a really hard time positioning her head into my pelvis, she just couldn’t get her head under my pubic bone. By leaning backwards, I made way for her without actually knowing that I am using the Walcher’s engagement technique on myself. I was right! It wasn’t weird, it was what I and my baby needed!

Body awareness and instincts

As a doula I find it extremely important that women actively educate themselves about their body and how it works. But I also believe that if we listen to ourselves, our instincts, then we connect with our tissues, muscles and bones and we do what they ask us to do. After today I am also convinced it is very important that women know about their babies’ position in more detail.

I am beyond grateful for the knowledge that I was able to gather today. It introduced me to a whole new level of doula care and labour support and also boosted my woman ego, that we know how to do this.
Thank you Jennifer for this experience!