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Labor and Delivery Prep Guide

Posted by Jesse Lillejord on

CHIRO FOR MOMS Labor and Delivery Prep Guide! We share our favorite biomechanical techniques, supplements, and therapies that help prep mama’s body for labor. Typically there isn't ONE thing that moves your body into labor, rather it's a combination of MANY.  Read on to learn ALL THE WAYS you can help your body progress into labor + delivery naturally

Labor and delivery prep guide

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1. Webster Technique

The Webster Technique is a pregnancy specific chiropractic technique. Starting at 30 weeks of pregnancy, this technique is used to optimize the natural physiology of the woman's pelvis during the end stages of pregnancy.  It's a great way to prep for labor + delivery!  This technique focuses on your sacrum (tailbone), surrounding ligaments (round ligament + sacrotuberous ligament), hip flexors (Iliopsoas), pelvis (low back) + pubic symphysis (crotch bone).
The technique involves muscle and ligament work in conjunction with pregnancy specific chiropractic adjustments. Using a specialized women’s pillow with areas for bellies and boobs, mama lays comfortably while we address any restrictions we find within the pelvis. This does a few things for labor and delivery. It assists with pelvic opening, since muscles and ligaments are able to relax as they should. For the same reason, baby has more room to get into optimal birthing position. Addressing any spinal misalignments helps nervous system function, so the mind and body can better communicate. 

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2. Sitting on the Ball 

Pelvic mobility is important ALWAYS… but especially during pregnancy. In the clinic we use manual adjustments to help gap joints and increase mobility in the pelvis ~ but at home is where the ball comes in! Use the ball to mobilize the pelvis ~ tilt your pelvis forwards + backwards, rock side to side, and practice figure 8’s. This will make for a more adaptable pelvis during labor.
During labor, you can also use the ball! Many women find it more comfortable than a chair, since there is less pressure. If you aren’t laying down for your birth, you can use it up until delivery for both mothers comfort, pelvic mobility/balance, and better baby positioning [gravity helps!]

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3. Side Lying Compression: 

By compressing downward in this position you can flare the wings of the pelvis and open the sacral area that lies between the two. This helps baby move down and open the birth canal, making it a great first step for labor prep! Make sure to do both sides + have mama breathe through the stretch. See this demonstrated in the video at the end of this post!
Labor and Delivery Prep Guide

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4. Adductor “Stripping”

The thigh adductors are the inner thigh muscles that are responsible for pulling your thighs together. They begin at the pelvic rim, which is close to your crotch and insert to the middle part of the thigh and lower leg. Stripping [ massaging ] the adductors involves applying pressure in the direction of the muscle fibers in order to restore normal muscle length and promote local circulation.

Labor and delivery prep guide

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5. Belly Sifting 

Belly sifting, also known as Rebozo sifting [ from Spinning Babies ]  is traditionally a Mexican birthing technique that is commonly used by doulas and midwives today. This technique is effective in providing pain relief for mama by taking pressure off the low back and relaxing the uterine ligaments and abdominal muscles. It also helps get baby properly positioned for birth!  Traditionally this was accomplished by using a Rebozo scarf, but any scarf you have at home will work! See the partner video below for a demo of this technique.
If you want more, contact your doula or midwife!
Labor and Delivery Prep Guide

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6. Sacral Rocking

Sacral rocking is another hands-on technique for labor preparation. Similar to side-lying compression, the goal of this is to open up the pelvis and birth canal for baby. Using a broad hand contact, place one hand on the front of mama, right above the crotch bone and the other hand on mamas back side, right above the tailbone, Visualize this as a rocking motion, as you lift with your front hand and push with the back hand. See this demonstrated on the partner video below!
Labor and Delivery Prep Guide

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7. Curb Walking // Side-walking Steps

Curb walking is when you walk with one foot on the curb and the other on the road so they are uneven. This forces you to shift your body weight more with each step. The same can be done by walking up and down stairs sideways. Be sure to use a railing or wall for balance. If one side or direction feels more uncomfortable than the other, stick to the uncomfortable side.
Walking in this fashion allows gravity to help baby descend deeper into the pelvis, putting gentle pressure on the cervix which can trigger dilation.
Labor and delivery prep guide

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8. Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is not a treatment modality that we use at CHIRO FOR MOMS, however, it is one we refer to a lot [ especially with labor and delivery preparation ]. Acupuncture uses small needles in specific body points in order to stimulate a certain response. To find out more about how acupuncture can help you [or your kidz], consider checking out our Online Prenatal, Postpartum, and Pediatric Course. 
Labor and delivery prep guide

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9. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea + Dates + Evening Primrose Oil

We have grouped all our food and herb recommendations here. It’s always important to talk to your health professional before starting a supplement. We also believe it’s important to have well-sourced supplements with third party testing to insure quality.
— RASPBERRY LEAF TEA ::  This tea is commonly thought to induce labor, however the research evidence to support this anecdote is slim.
— DATES :: Some studies have showed that women who ate dates during their last month of pregnancy had reduced the needs for labor induction. [1,2].
— EVENING PRIMROSE OIL :: Evening primrose oil [EPO] contains a prostaglandin precursor [GLA]. Cervical ripening refers to how much the cervix dilates before labor and is a determinant of how long actual labor will take. Prostaglandins are what are responsible for ripening the cervix. In a double-blind trial, oral administration of EPO for 1 week to women who were nearing term increased the frequency of successful vaginal delivery. [3]
Labor and delivery prep guide

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10. Sex

It’s true! Sex can help induce labor for a few reasons. All these factors may promote cervical ripening and may quicken labor: 
— Sex releases prostaglandins
— Female orgasm creates uterine contractions. 
— Stimulating breasts/nipples releasing oxytocin ~ responsible for uterine contractions

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Video Demonstration of Partner Techniques :

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Resources:
1. Al-Kuran O, Al-Mehaisen L, Bawadi H, Beitawi S, Amarin Z. The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011;31(1):29-31. doi:10.3109/01443615.2010.522267
2. Razali N, Mohd Nahwari SH, Sulaiman S, Hassan J. Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2017;37(5):595-600. doi:10.1080/01443615.2017.1283304
3. Ty-Torredes K A.: The effect of oral evening primrose oil on Bishop score and cervical length among term gravidas. Am J Obstet Gynecol  2006; 195(6)(Suppl 1): S30.

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 *** As always don't hesitate to reach out with questions /// thoughts surrounding this topic!***
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