The pelvis plays a significant role in the labour and delivery process (and postpartum!). Understanding how it functions can help empower you during your labour, birth and postpartum period.
P.S. And at the end of this blog, there a link to a FREE masterclass that will help you better understand the role of your core and pelvic floor during pregnancy.
One point to remember is that the pelvis doesn’t move as dramatically as some teaching tools might suggest. While we do want to utilize positions that create space during childbirth, it’s not about widening to an extreme degree.
In the early stages of labour you want to utilize positions that create space at the top of your pelvis or the pelvic inlet. During pushing, you want to use positions that create more space at the bottom of the pelvis, or the pelvic outlet.
When discussing labor and the pelvis, it’s important to understand the role of your pelvic floor. Contrary to common misconceptions, these muscles don’t actively push the baby out. Instead, their function is to mobilize and move out of the way to make room for the baby to move down and out.
Of course, pain management is another consideration for your labour and birth. Options like epidurals can provide relief but might limit mobility during labor. But, women with epidurals still have choices when it comes to positioning i.e. you no longer have to stay lying flat on your back.
Peanut balls and birthing balls are now readily available in many hospitals, allowing mothers to open up their hips and find more comfortable positions without needing a staff or family member to hold them.
Additionally, even if circumstances require you to be on your back for monitoring or other reasons, there are still options to create more space within the pelvis. Strategically positioned pillows or subtle adjustments in leg and hip placement can make a significant difference.
Ultimately, childbirth can be unpredictable, and plans may need to adapt. The key is to be prepared and informed, practicing different positions and discussing options with healthcare providers BEFORE the big day.
By understanding the role of the pelvis and being aware of your choices, you can approach labor and delivery with confidence AND flexibility.
Hope this helps!
Katie Kelly, PT & Eryn Matheson, PT
Before you go, make sure you click here so you can get instant access to our Pregnancy, Core and Pelvic Floor FREE masterclass! In this free 60 minute masterclass, presented by Eryn Matheson, PT, you’ll get the advice you actually need to have a strong and confident pregnancy, birth and postpartum period.
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