Birth Prep - Before Spinning Babies
Everyone who works with pregnant people should understand the Spinning Babies technique. But it is best when combined with other types of birth prep.
There is more to body preparation for birth than fetal positioning.
Common scenario: you log into Facebook and see that in one of the pregnancy groups you are in someone has asked what they should do to prepare their body for birth natural birth. I love this kind of question: What the heck should I do to make sure that my baby comes out with relative efficiency?
The most common answer to this question is: Spinning Babies.
I absolutely adore Spinning Babies. I think it is a fantastic resource that has helped so many around the world and so many of my own clients. It is revolutionary and everybody who works with pregnant and birthing people should understand the Spinning Babies techniques.
However, it is a most powerful tool when combined with other types of birth prep. So often, Spinning Babies is used as a sort of “fix” for issues that could have been worked on for many months prior. Work that is so incredibly effective - who knows if the need for these techniques would even be needed if the client was better prepared. If clients were given safe pregnancy exercises and safe pregnancy techniques to perform during all stages of pregnancy.
Thank goodness there are amazing body work techniques like Spinning Babies but we need to train our bodies in a way that facilitates long term change as well. Ideally, that the most important work starts before the third trimester. Without properly training the body consistently over time, the results will not last. Meaning, birth prep shouldn't be limited to the Spinning Babies techniques.
Say I go to a bodyworker and they work on my hamstring and open up some great ranges of motion and release tension - that is a good outcome but temporary. What I do when I leave that massage is of utmost importance in order to keep what was manually addressed on the table. In order to keep it, I need to load those tissues in that newly acquired range of motion. This is how we gain functional mobility and this is what we need for childbirth.
For almost every client, I use a combination. I use Spinning Babies, especially in the third trimester and during labor if needed. It is absolute magic at fixing acute issues. Temporarily releasing the pelvic floor is quite useful when a baby is making their way through it!
I use the principles of the Body Ready Method right away in pregnancy and throughout the entire journey to introduce load and movement to the body in a way that trains it neurologically to change and to be prepared for birth. Giving clients safe exercises and techniques during all stages of pregnancy are crucial for getting the body ready for birth. In many ways, Spinning Babies has informed our work at Body Ready Method. I have attended hundreds of births.
And when I would see an issue popping up again and again I would ask myself:
- Why is this issue happening to so many people? What is the mechanism?
- Why does this Spinning Babies technique work so well to resolve this issue?
- What could be done, if anything, to prevent the need for this technique and this issue to arise in the first place?
That’s Body Ready Method. People are still going to need acute solutions. That is a known. But, what if we also give them some tools ahead of time so maybe we won’t see the need quite so often?
I like to call some of the birth techniques my “big guns.” Some of the techniques, while effective, are not super fun to do during the process of childbirth. Don’t get me wrong, I will put a client into Walchers if I think it will help, but it’s not a fun move to do through contractions. So if I can train a client’s body over many months, to do what Walchers does and in a way that allows for lasting change in the tissues of the body instead, why wouldn’t I? One of our goals with exercise during pregnancy should be exactly this. Knowing what challenges present themselves in pregnancy and how to prepare for them long term is the key in providing excellent and holistic care. Bandaid solutions are never as effective as multi-faceted, comprehensive ones. That is not to say that our clients will not need acute solutions but being better prepared can greatly lessen that need.
So my advice is: learn all the Spinning Babies techniques but also learn how to train your client’s bodies. Give them safe pregnancy exercises and safe pregnancy techniques to perform during their first, second and third trimester so that their body is more fully prepared for the process of childbirth. Train their bodies for long-term change in the tissues. Train them to have a yielding pelvic floor, a responsive core, a balanced, mobile and stable pelvis. This is what constitutes a truly ready- for-childbirth-and-beyond body.