Women have been instinctively following their bodies lead in labor for thousands of years, and while our instincts are often exactly what we should be listening to, there’s a time and place for pulling out a few helpful tricks to nudge labor along and position both mom and baby for birth. If you search the internet for labor positions and techniques you’ll find endless lists. We know that can be overwhelming, so we’re giving you a few bites to chew over the next week.
First up: The Miles Circuit
About this technique:
The Miles Circuit is a set of 3 exercises than can be practiced in late pregnancy, at term as a means of encouraging onset of labor, or in a stalled labor where contractions aren’t getting longer, stronger, or closer together. These positions are suggested to help nudge baby into a more optimal position for birthing.
For this circuit you’ll need to set aside about 90 minutes out of your day. Create a relaxing, comfortable space with an exercise/yoga mat, (or a firm, cozy bed), plenty of pillows, and a glass of water to stay hydrated.
Open Knee Chest Position: Hold this position for 30 minutes, starting out in cat/cow, then dropping your chest as low as possible to the floor with your bottom high in the air . Keep your knees wide enough apart that the angle between torso and thighs is about 90 degrees. Prop yourself up with pillows and get as comfortable as possible. If you have a partner to help, a rebozo (long, wide scarf or fabric) carefully positioned under your belly can help hold you up in this position.
Exaggerated Sims: Lie on your left side with your top leg propped up as high as you can with pillows or cushions, and your bottom leg straightened. Roll forward and relax into this position for about 30 minutes. This position is likely most comfortable on a bed with a pile of pillows for support!
Get Up and Moving: Now is the time to get up and sit on a ball doing hip rotations (thing hula-hoop), try lunges, curb walking, or sideways stair walking for another 30 minutes. Check the Miles Circuit link for a more complete explanation of these three exercises.
This circuit can be done daily leading up to labor. During labor, try to maintain these positions through contractions, if possible.
You can find the step-by-step, illustrated instructions for the Miles Circuit here.
Check back soon to find out what’s up next for our suggested Techniques to Try In Labor.