Over the last two blog posts, we’ve been discussing factors that might cause a woman’s labor to stall. From a medical perspective (i.e. William’s Obstetrics) they discuss the three “P’s” to labor progression. Namely
- Power: Stalled labor caused by inadequate power to muscles like the uterus.
- Passage: Stalled labor due to pelvic imbalances.
Check out the previous entries for more details and chiropractic’s contribution to these challenges.
In the last entry of this series, let’s talk more about William’s third factor (i.e. the passenger). Here, they are referring to the baby and how he/she presents in the birth canal. This can play a critical role in the progression of labor.
A Perspective On How Fast Your Baby Grows
If we look at the bigger picture of pregnancy, we can start to understand the beauty of birth and the unfolding that’s happening on a cellular level as a baby grows. Sometimes it’s easier to conceptualize this by looking at money. Follow this example and you’ll start to understand.
Imagine you started off with a penny and every day you started to double that penny. At the end of the day you would have two pennies, four cents the next day, eight cents and so on. If you kept doing this for a week, you wouldn’t think that having sixty four pennies would be a big deal. However, if you kept the process going, then by the end of two weeks you would have $81.92 in pennies and by the end of thirty days, you would be surprised to find that you have $5,368,709.12. Now although this is an analogy about money, imagine what is happening with as a baby grows.
When a baby is conceived, a sperm and egg come together to form one cell. Like the penny, that cell grows exponentially by the day. Although you could have over 5 million cells by the end of the month, the baby will be the size of a poppy seed. However, 40 weeks later the baby will grow to the size of a pumpkin. Some of you may not think a pumpkin is heavy, but imagine having to carry that pumpkin 24 hours 7 days a week.
Creating Space During Birth
The weight of the baby over time creates strain on muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the pelvis. The baby eventually feels cramped and attempts to move to an area more comfortable than the one they are in. As much as we would love our babies to go head down for birth, the space may be constricting and make it difficult for the baby to descend.
Clinically, we are seeing that sacral adjustments can affect the function of the pelvis and reduce tension to pelvic muscles and ligaments. At Color Chiropractic we incorporate specific chiropractic practices like the Webster Technique as a way to help sacral alignment while also addressing the tendons and muscles that can cause restriction to the baby’s movements. Through the Webster protocols, we help ensure that the baby has the best opportunities to move into a space that’s most favorable for their birth. Additionally, helping moms overcome fear of birth can also help reduce tension and allow the baby to feel comfortable moving.
We hope this information has given you some insights into potential causes of a stalled labor. Although it is difficult to decide what to do when a stalled labor occurs, we suggest being informed and taking action before it becomes an issue. Good spinal care can affect pelvic balance and the strength of the uterine muscles. Specific techniques like Webster can also make a difference in the baby’s position during labor.
Overall, proper balance and tone are essential to helping mother and baby feel comfortable throughout pregnancy. As always, if you are interested in knowing more about these approaches, schedule a free consultation to see how we can help.