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The Staff of Femina Physical Therapy Blogs About Vaginismus, Pregnancy and Postpartum Best Practices, Treatments for Incontinence, and More

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Featured From the Blog:

Upright Labor Positions | Vaginal Childbirth Positioning Series | Image Courtesy of Jimmy Conover via Unsplash

Upright Labor Positions for the Second Stage of Labor

If you missed part 1 in the vaginal childbirth positioning series, go back and read it here.

Childbirth/labor is quite an experience, and it can be scary waiting for the unknown. Being prepared, knowing, and being familiar with different options and labor positions is the best way to approach childbirth to help decrease as much anxiety should surprises arise.

This article will go over specific labor positions that help progress labor, and prevent perineal trauma.

As mentioned in Part 1: Pre-Birth article, it’s important to keep changing labor positions to help progress, preferably in different upright labor positions. As a reminder, the first stage is all about increasing the pelvic inlet to help guide the baby through the mid pelvis and finally towards the pelvic outlet/vaginal canal.

Read more: Vaginal Childbirth...

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Pre-Birth Stage of Labor

Positioning for the Pre-Birth Stage of Labor

What to Expect and What to Focus On:

If you have been pregnant for many months now, it is time to get ready for your upcoming birth! Similar to a marathon, we need to train for childbirth to prepare the muscles and body for the big event. For this reason, it is a good idea to start practicing being in different positions either with movement or holding a position for a long time. The pre-birth stage of labor involves contractions to dilate and open the cervix. Once the cervix is fully dilated, the second stage includes the passive and active phases of the baby crowning and coming out of the vaginal canal. The third stage involves the delivery of the placenta. We will go over how to best support our bodies throughout your childbirth journey.

Positioning for the Stages of Labor

Practicing and knowing different positions during this first stage can be helpful when pain may escalate. Upright positioning such as: walking, standing, rocking back and forth, kneeling over birthing ball, leaning against wall, holding onto partner are just some of the many, many positions that can be helpful.

Read more: Vaginal Childbirth...

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Pregnant belly birth prep services

Pregnancy, labor, and delivery greatly affect the pelvic floor muscles, and our birth prep services using pelvic floor therapy can bring you confidence, strength, and flexibility.

What are the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles inside the pelvis that form a hammock connecting the pubic bone to the tailbone. Both men and women have pelvic floor muscles. These muscles play an important part in stabilizing the pelvis and spine, supporting your organs (bowel, bladder and uterus) and toileting.

The Pelvic Floor and Pregnancy

During pregnancy the pelvic floor muscles are working overtime trying to stabilize and support the growing body of the mother and child. Read our previous blog post about preparing the pelvic floor for childbirth. During a vaginal childbirth, these muscles will utilize their strength and flexibility to help the baby be birthed. Whether or not the baby is born via C-Section or vaginally, the pelvic floor is involved, and this is where our birth prep services come into play.

Read more: Birth Prep Services Offered...

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What can a mother do to prepare her pelvic floor for pregnancy and childbirth?

First, you might be asking yourself “what is the pelvic floor”?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles inside the pelvis that form a hammock from your pubic bone to your tailbone and from sit bone to sit bone on the sides. The function of these muscles are to stabilize your pelvis and spine, support your organs (bowel, bladder and uterus) and maintain continence. In pregnancy and childbirth, these muscles go through a lot of changes. The goal of this article is to try and achieve optimal pelvic floor function throughout pregnancy and after.

Read more: Preparing your Pelvic Floor...

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Laxity in Pregnancy is what may be causing you those aches and pains

The Role of the Relaxin Hormone

As discussed previously on the blog, pregnant people undergo some major changes in their bodies, including producing different hormones that play various roles during pregnancy. One hormone that affects the musculoskeletal system in a pregnant person’s body is called relaxin.

Relaxin is a hormone produced by the corpus luteum (an endocrine gland made in the ovary when a follicle has matured and released an egg during ovulation) and the placenta (an organ developed in the uterus during pregnancy that provides oxygen and nutrients to your baby). Relaxin inhibits uterine activity and helps relax the pelvic joints so your hips can widen in preparation for birth. Relaxin peaks during the first trimester. However, relaxin can also contribute to laxity in other areas of the body during pregnancy, not just the pelvis.

Read more: Joint Laxity and Pregnancy |...

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Do you really know what happens to your hormones during pregnancy? Do you know what hormones are in play, during pregnancy?

Well, let’s go through some of the hormones and their functions during pregnancy, so you can have a better understanding of what is occurring in your body.

Read more: What's Happening To Your...

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** This information is for educational purposes only **

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      I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be. It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally...

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      Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful...

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