A couple of weeks ago I led an online Workshop on how to create a birth plan. To my surprise I had a mother outline in her plan that she did not care about mobility. My job as a doula and birth educator is not to judge parents on their birth preferences. My job is to get a better understanding and create awareness. Some birth decisions are rooted in lack of birth education or in birth trauma. In my experience mobility has always been a laboring mama’s best friend.
Why is mobility important?
Based upon research, a moms labor can be quicker if she uses upright positions with movement. Upright positions with movement can encourage a baby’s head to descend deep into the pelvis. A baby that settles deep in the pelvis is optimal for pushing during second stage of labor.
How does movement affect the mom?
Movement and a hormone called relaxin can cause slight changes in moms joints that can encourage baby’s to rotate. Walking, slow dancing and rocking are all examples of movements that can be done during labor.
Mobility can also be a coping mechanism for a laboring mother that is in pain. In some cases mobility is not obtainable for certain births. However there are multiple positions a mother can get in that can have the same results as a mom that can walk and squat.
If you have ever had a hospital stay for a few days or have recovered from a previous surgery, before you were discharged, the staff made sure that you were mobile. See mobility is important. Mobility circulates blood and aides in recovery. It also helps get things moving in your digestive tract. In labor we want to get things moving in your uterus.
For all my mamas out there consider using movement and positions during labor as much as possible. If you are unsure how to move during labor I encourage you to take a comfort measures class. Gingersnaps, The Empowering Doula offers a virtual class! For more information click here.
I also encourage you to hire a doula. Your doula can coach you through positions. If you were preparing for a marathon you would hire a coach to get you in shape. Think of that analogy as you prepare for labor.