Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Power of the Pelvis

The past month has been a month of 10 pound babes... a little boy and a little girl. Both were born with ease-  one in hospital and the other at home in the pool. Both of these women were of a slight build and yet their bodies opened wide to accommodate these rolly polly babes. 

One of my aims as a doula is to build a friendship with women before they birth and it was during this time fears surfaced in one of my clients as to her ability to birth a big babe. She had been told by a gynaecologist at the tender age of 19 that her pelvis would be too small to birth a baby and that caesarean would be her only option. This piece of information festered for the next 10 years and by the time she fell pregnant was petrified of what would happen to her and her babe. 

As part of our antenatal visits we discussed these fears and explored exactly how the pelvis dismantles itself to create room during birth. We mapped her pelvis and she understood what positions she could adopt that would help her and her babe during labour. 

After 14 hours of labour she birthed her 10 pound baby without a tear. I hope she emailed that gynaecologist and told him to choose his words carefully next time. 

The pelvis is made up of four bones and four joints. Usually the pelvis is immobile however during pregnancy your body is flooded with the hormones Relaxin & Progesterone. These hormones soften the ligaments & the cartilage which make up the joints in the pelvis. This makes these joints movable. With correct positioning during labour this then allows your baby extra room to move through your pelvis with ease. 

Mapping the pelvis is easy. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. My worksheet for mapping your pelvis is too large to post here, however if you'd like a copy just drop me an email :)

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