Movement in Labor

July 31, 2018 Brooke Volpe, Doula and Childbirth Educator No comments exist

Movement in Labor

My phone rang today and I recognized the name and anxiously answered.

“Hey girl, what’s going on?”  I asked, as a few thoughts danced around since she is arriving to her due month with her third baby.

“Did you know Einstein Medical Center Montgomery now has wireless telemetry!?”

Of course I am always excited to hear all things baby and birth related and all my friends know it.  I get wildly excited when I hear positive movements towards supporting women and their babies in labor and birth.  We quickly jump to the topic and have a  healthy conversation regarding needs and birthing rights of women in labor and movement highlighted our conversation.  In my own experiences and my studies, I have learned how important movement is for the overall well-being of both mama and baby in labor.

Benefits of Movement

There are so many benefits of staying active in pregnancy and labor and we are seeing more videos going viral of dancing mamas in labor.   Women are using dance as their form of movement, as a way to keep labor progressing, comfortable and enjoyable.  Words that aren’t usually paired with birth, right?  Well, they should be and they can be in your birth story too.  Movement or dancing can help manage discomforts that may come with pregnancy and labor.  It can also help keep women feeling in control by keeping adrenaline low and accelerating our release of oxytocin.  Movement will also keep a “thinking brain” off and allow women to stay in their body and with their baby  .  Lamaze is a wonderful resource for expecting parents and covers this topic beautifully for further reading.

“71% of laboring women did not walk at all during labor” – Lamaze

Freedom of Movement Starts in Pregnancy

What does your birthing facility offer that promotes movement.  A couple things to certainly consider as mentioned in the article above.

  1.  Hiring a birth doula who becomes a woman’s “thinking brain” and can help choreograph the movements that are helpful to progression of labor that also provides comfort and potentially shorter labors.
  2. Selecting a provider AND hospital that promotes and supports freedom of movements by offering wireless telemetry, especially if continuous monitoring is necessary for women opting for VBACS, inductions, etc.

Dance that Baby Out

Now go grab your iPods, Walk mans, Disc Mans (I was born in the 80s people)  and create a super fun playlist that will keep your feet busy, hips swaying, belly jumping to bring that baby earthside.  Of course rest is important too.  Don’t forget to include your partner in your dance moves and your birth doula too!  There is NOTHING like a dance party on your birthing day.   Not a dancer, that’s ok!  Movement can include figure 8’s on a birth ball, belly sifting with a Rebozo, walking, slow dancing with your partner, or rocking on a rocking chair.  It’s not uncommon for me to recommend putting your wedding song or a preferred slow song for some close, quiet time when needed.  See you at the next disco, I mean birth!

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