The first thing which struck me was how NICE Gail was, so genuine, relaxed and friendly! She hosted the day with so much humour and a clear understanding of women and so, so much insight into how women can be helped to work with their bodies to help their babies be born.
We started the day talking about Belly mapping, here is a link to Gails article on her Spinning Babies website:
A lovely pregnant woman came along for the morning (due that day!) and Gail talked her through her own belly mapping to work out her own baby's position, which was marvellous and something I plan to teach my doula clients from now on! The mum left with a drawing of her baby on paper, but could so easily have been done on her tummy (see pics on Gail's website)
Gail talked in depth about posterior presenting babies and why and how they are in this position, and how it may affect labour and birth for some women. I say 'some' women, because I don't believe (and neither did Gail) that all women do have problems birthing their 'OP' babies. I know this from experience because two of my own babies were born this way, and they were not the typically long back labours that is generally expected, in fact they were the opposite of this. BUT for some women their babies may need to rotate around before the birth, and these babies and mothers were the focus of Gails workshop.
Gail showed us some techniques which we could encourage clients to use as a daily routine to help relax and gently stretch ligaments promoting a ' balance' in the mothers physiology. It is so easy in our culture these days to not have the mobility in every day life which promotes health and balance, and it is so easy for our bodies to have little twists and knots in them which can impact on our comfort during pregnancy and the birth of our babies. Gail asked our pregnant volunteer to try some of the positions, including the forward leaning inversion, and we all spent a long time practising different rebozo techniques for support and for 'release' exercises.
I particularly liked the myofascial release, and even though I have been a masseuse for many years had been unaware until now of the delicate movement and significance of the fascia alongside the joints of the pelvis, ligaments and muscles of the reproductive system. I also discovered new techniques to use with my Rebozo scarf, and have begun to question whether there is anything else a woman actually needs in her life other than one of these beautiful Mexican shawls! (I shall be attending a Doula retreat in June and one whole day is dedicated to Rebozo use - so I shall let you know!)
The three principles of Spinning Babies
so, we now have techniques to achieve balance! Gravity and movement work so well together, and women will move into amazing positions during labour when in an environment to do so. The lovely Fynn Willis, a Doula colleague and friend in Somerset did some amazing belly dancing for us all to demonstrate the movements Gail was talking about (Fynn's video will be on you tube soon, I will post a link when it's up) and we had a marvellous afternoon of practising lots of different techniques to help babies engage and navigate the pelvis.
here is a link to the Spinning Babies website:
There were a few yoga teacher on the course that day, including Belinda Staplehurst from Yogaworks in Leamington Spa, her website is here:
Pics of Belinda, Gail and I together to follow.. (Gail has them on her camera and will send them to us :) )
As promised.. more photos................
Myself, Gail and Belinda