Babies Need Space When Passing Through Mother’s Pelvis

Babies Need Space When Passing Through Mother’s Pelvis

When we look at a human baby, and consider his/her mother’s pelvis, it seems impossible for one to pass through the other.
Not so, if the baby has his back toward mother’s front –preferably her left.
He is able to curl forward and slide under her sacral prominence—the large bone at the top of the sacrum. To do so his head must lie in a lateral position with his face toward her right hip. As he descends he turns—his chin tucked well down his chest- until the top of his head is touching the back wall of her pelvis, and his shoulders lie across and inside the entrance to the pelvis so that his body lies in a transverse position in mother’s abdomen.
Now, his head is able to pass out the fully dilated cervix into the vagina, or birth canal.
The uterus, having had a rest, changes it’s action The contractions become expulsive, and he is pushed further out of his home. There should be no need for maternal pushing if he is properly lined up.
Once his head has emerged, he makes a quarter turn to allow his shoulders to pass between the ischial spines. Now, if mother is in an upright posture, legs well away from her body, his posterior shoulder is born, followed by his body, and he lies, face down, ready for any fluids in nose or mouth to drain.

If a baby starts the journey while facing forward, he is unable to bring his head under the sacrum until labour contractions bring his bottom forward. Because the contraction pressure is into the lower uterine segment instead of on the cervix, his membranes usually rupture early, making moving even more difficult. When he does get into mother’s pelvis, he is unable to use the space at the back without becoming a face presentation. This is very bad for his neck, and really tedious for mother.
If he continues in the upright or “military” position the common “back labour ” with the need for help ensues.
Babies, like all live born young have a built in pattern that makes birth as safe and simple as possible. Once we understand “How the parts fit” we are able to help most mothers and babies to a straightforward process and at the same time gain great satisfaction ourselves.

Why Do Babies Prefer LOA?

Why Do Babies Prefer LOA?

It is generally accepted that, given a chance,” ready- to- be- born” babies will choose the “head down, back to the left” position for birth.

What’s so special about this position?
1; There is more space in mother’s abdomen for the large back.
2; It is simple to curl up until the smallest diameter of their head is the leading part. The skull bones are able to slide under one an other at the sutures, making the head even smaller.
3; It is easy to slide under the pelvic sacral prominence into mother’s pelvis.
4; When labour starts the contraction pressure moves down baby’s spine, to end smoothly on the maternal cervix.
5; If mother is upright and mobile, the uterus can tilt forward with each contraction, applying maximum energy to opening the cervix. (No waste lifting baby, uterus, and liquor as when mother is reclining).
6; Once second stage occurs, baby has only to lift his/her head to emerge.( No need for deliberate maternal pushing.)
7; The whole process is straightforward, as baby is able to make use of all the available space in the maternal pelvis, and the uterus can use all the contraction pressure.

The ROA position works almost as well, but the modified banana / pear shape of the primigravida’s uterus means that it is an option only for second or later babies, but few of them choose it

What Are The Difficulties With ROP

Today many babies are failing to settle into the LOA position for birth. This means that the journey will be harder and slower for both baby and mother.

Why won’t just any “head down” position work.
1; A baby in the ROP position is facing forward in the military, or upright position.
2; He has the longest diameter of his head presenting.
3; As he is above the lower segment of the uterus, he fails to stimulate the maternal cervix to soften and shorten.
4; He is very likely to become post mature, or overdue.
5; Until his bottom and the uterus comes forward during labour, he will be unable to get his head under the maternal sacral prominence.
6; As his head is still to upright, he must try to come straight through the middle of the maternal pelvis
7; His skull bones don’t fold, but the parietal bones must change their shape to allow his head to fit. ( the sugar loaf head )
8; Pressure from contractions is on the lower uterine segment instead of the cervix, so dilatation may stop at about 5cms.
9; If he succeeds in getting through the cervix, he may rotate to bring his back forward, and descend more easily.
10; If he fails to rotate far enough he may become a “transverse arrest”
11;He will need maternal effort to be born.

There are other difficulties for a baby in the OP position, but this will be enough to think about.
The “passage the powers and the passenger” function very well when, and only when, the baby is able to make use of all the available pelvic space, and his mother is free to respond to his signals.

E-Book How Will I Be Born

I have converted How Will I Be Born into an e-book and am working on Understanding and Teaching.
It is available through the shop and is 3 US dollars for now ( no postage and printing costs)

The azw3 format the book is in is not recognised by the iPad Kindle Reader so we will work on changing it to a format that works and will let people know when it is available.

E-Book Sample

I am in the process of converting the books into e-books and here is a link to download a sample. It is the first chapter of How Will I Be Born and is in Kindle format. That means you will need the Kindle Reader app for your device/tablet/PC. This Kindle Reader app seems to be available for most devices and OS’es.
For those not familiar with Kindle-
You will need to download the Kindle Reader software appropriate for your device first and install it ( if it hasn’t automatically installed)
You will need to download the e-Book to the correct folder on your device in order for the Kindle Reader software to find the e-book.
On a PC this is usually Documents->My Kindle Content.
On an Android Samsung it looks like any kindle format ebook needs to be placed in a folder called Kindle. It is usually located somewhere like data\\files.
On the iPad it may automatically download the eBook to the correct place and then open it.
The iPad Kindle software does not recognise the format the ebook is in (azw3). We will work on changing it to the older mobi format for iPads and alter this post to let people know when it is available.

If you have any problems downloading please let me know.

Any feedback regarding different devices and where to save the download too would be appreciated.
Also feedback regarding layout and appearance etc.


Why Loa is easier than ROA

Why LOA Is Easier Than ROA

It is commonly known that LOA is the position preferred by babies when they have a choice. What is special about the left side?
By the 38th week of pregnancy, there is more space on the left side of mother’s abdomen for baby’s long back. Why? Well, about now, the uterus develops a lean to the right at the top, and a twist to the left at the bottom (google uterine right obliquity and dextro- rotation ) The reason is probably that there are more abdominal contents on the left side pushing the uterus sideways. Think of the curve of a banana—the inside curve is shorter, and so less comfortable for baby.
During a second or later pregnancy, the uterine lower segment is softer and rounder, so some babies do choose to lie as ROA, though there is less space on that side.
As long as his/her back stays toward mother’s front, labour will proceed steadily as with LOA.

There are some interesting ideas to be found on such sites as /2013/12/course-of-fetal-position-changes.html

Why Are Other Positions Less Favourable?

Why Are Other Positions Less Favourable?

When a baby tries to enter his/her mother’s pelvis from any head down position apart from O.A., or head down, back forward between mother’s hip and umbilicus, he is faced with a major obstacle. It can be negotiated, but this usually means a late start to labour, and a very slow birth process.

What is the problem?

First, he will be too upright. He will be facing forward, instead of backwards. Instead of having his back in the spacious abdomen, it will be at an angle toward mother’s spine and her right hip. His shoulder will almost certainly be on the other side of her spine, and has a major obstacle to pass when he tries to turn. This is the sacral prominence— the large bone at the top rear of the pelvis. To move into the pelvis, he must slide between mother’s pubic bone and her sacral prominence. To do this, he must bring his bottom well forward, which is almost impossible until labour contractions tilt the top of mother’s uterus forward.
If he does manage to enter, he must come down in a straight line—should he try to use the sacral curve, he will end up coming face first. This is not a good position to be in.
He is also unable to curl his head onto his chest without bumping into mother’s pubic bone. Therefore, babies in Occipito Posterior seldom begin the journey in an effective position.

What Else is Different?

Firstly, the pressure from “practice” contractions is about 2-3 cms in front of the maternal cervix into the lower uterine segment. Thus, the hormone signals that cause the cervix to soften and shorten are not as effective. This often leads to the so-called “false labours” as the baby tries to move himself into a better position.
Then baby’s attempts are often painful, as he rubs against the pubic bone. These sessions may last several hours, and are very tiring.
If labour is not induced it usually starts with the membranes rupturing, and no contractions for some time. They will start when the uterus has regained it’s “tone”—like a balloon losing its air, the uterine walls lose their tension when the liquor drains away
Labour will be slower than for an O.A. positioned baby, but we will discuss this in a later post.

The Amazing Foetal Skull

When we look at a newborn baby’s head, it seems impossible that it can fit through the mother’s pelvis. When we look again, we see just how cleverly it is designed.
There are many small bones, layered between an inner and outer layer of membrane. In the upper skull or vault, they are made in such a way that the front ones and the back one can slide under the side pair and one of that pair can slide under the other. This mechanism works well when baby is head down, back forward (vertex LOA). If baby is in any other position—e.g. facing forward (ROP) he must change the shape of the side bones to make his head smaller. That is he develops the “sugar loaf” shaped head.
This process takes much more time than simply folding along the joins, which is one reason O P labours usually last much longer.
By describing both as “moulding” we have missed the most important point. Nature, evolution, God, whatever has designed the baby and the process to be as simple and safe as possible. It is our duty to discover the master plan, and help as many mothers and babies as possible follow it.
This is what we teach with our books, “Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning”, for professionals and “How Will I be Born” for parents –to-be.

Why and How Optimal Foetal Positioning Works

Why Human Babies Should Be Head Down Back Forward For Birth
Why Human Babies Are The Only Ones To Face The Mother’s Spine For Birth.

Because humans walk upright on two legs, their pelvis has been modified to support the trunk (body). Other placental creatures need the pelvis only for somewhere to attach the hind legs. Their babies have a straightforward path. They have their back to mother’s, and their front legs stretched forward, with their head and neck along their legs. First the toes emerge followed by the nose. There is a straight passage through the pelvis into the world. Even the great ape babies are born facing forward.

The human baby has a more complicated path. He is wider from front to back at the top of his head, and from side to side at his shoulders. When he has his back between his mother’s umbilicus and her left flank, he is able to curl forward and fold the bones of his skull along the joins (sutures) to make it smaller.

His mother’s pelvis is wider from side to side at the top. It has a basin in the middle, and is wider from front to back at the bottom. At the base of the lumber spine, we find a large, strong bone called the sacral prominence. This protrudes into the pelvic space and proves an obstacle to a baby who is not able to curl forward. The rest of the sacrum and coccyx plus the “spines” or side walls of the pelvis form a curved solid support for the body.

How will he fit through?
When his back is to the front, it is quite easy. He turns his head to face mother’s right groin, slides under the sacral prominence, curling tighter and turning until the top of his head is toward her spine as he goes. Now, he should have his shoulders just inside, and lying straight across the top of the pelvis. Once the uterine cervix is open, he moves down through the “spines”, the narrowest part of the pelvis, and brings his head into the world.
A turn to again face mother’s right thigh and his shoulders (posterior first) emerge followed by the rest of his body.
There will be no need for deliberate maternal pushing, as baby and uterus are able to manage his birth unaided.
Some second or later babies may prefer mother’s right side, but most of them choose her left.

What Should I Do?
During the last few weeks of pregnancy maternal posture becomes important if baby is to choose the best (optimal) position for birth. This is where Active Birth preparation belongs. Mother must try at all times to keep her knees and her abdomen apart. Her abdomen should always be lower than her spine. Yes, her back will sag—babies love the lordosis of pregnancy. She will have a bulgy “tummy” and walk with a “duck waddle” but it is only for a short time, and the results are worth it. Baby will be comfortable only in the optimal position.
A baby who has his back toward mothers, has a much more difficult journey. His back and neck are too straight, and he must bring his posterior shoulder past the sacral prominence before he can start to descend. He can’t really curl forward, because he is too close to mother’s pubic bone. Also, until labour is established–when the uterus tilts forward with each contraction, bringing his bottom forward—he will find it hard to enter the pelvis. Thus we get the typical backache labour.
His position means that mother’s nerves and hormones do not receive clear signals to start and continue the birth process.
We can discuss this topic in a later article.

About the shop

Hi, I see that the shop shows “excl postage and packing” . The prices quoted include postage and packaging for my books which will be sent individually. As it is a new site, we are working on the hiccups. Any feedback will be appreciated.
Regards Jean