Over the past couple of weeks I have absolutely loved learning about how biomechanics effect pain levels and progress in birth. This has happened through an online course I have just completed with a very experienced and wise midwife, Molly O’Brien.
We are taught very little in our midwifery training about how the pelvis, and the important ligaments and muscles connected to the pelvis, effect the room available to the baby and hence their journey through the pelvis to birth. Pelvic imbalance can cause the woman pain during the pregnancy, and also negatively impacts the physiology of birth, often resulting in longer labours and much increased levels of discomfort and pain for labouring women. Sadly, this often leads to strong analgesics being administered and medical interventions to try and ‘fix’ the delays.
I have learned with Molly that through simple techniques and manoeuvres we can firstly improve pelvic health in pregnancy. If a pelvic imbalance and sub-optimal position of the baby is diagnosed in labour we can gently and effectively, through good knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology, create more space within the pelvis for baby and allow the baby to adjust their head position, facilitating labour progress and greater comfort for the woman.
On my last shift at the hospital I had the opportunity to help and support a woman, using my newly acquired knowledge and understanding, who was having a long, painful latent phase of labour. I am looking forward to giving expectant couples antenatal advice through Little Seeds antenatal classes that will help to promote pelvic health and balance, alongside the newly found ‘tools’ that can assist them should a difficult labour arise.