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Spinning Babies® helps McLaren Greater Lansing decrease c-sections

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jul 22, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Yes, you read that right. Spinning Babies®, a labor positioning program, can help moms in labor avoid a C-section. Midwife Gail Tully (CPM) created the Spinning Babies® approach and has worked with labor and delivery nurses at McLaren Greater Lansing on how labor positioning can make all the difference in a mom’s birth experience.

In the first quarter of 2018, 35% of first-time moms who delivered at McLaren Greater Lansing who were full term with baby head down had a primary c-section. In the first quarter of 2020, that rate dropped to 19%.

“I have been doing some form of labor positioning throughout my 15 years as a nurse” said Tamilikia Foster, RN, labor and delivery nurse at McLaren Greater Lansing. “A couple of years ago I was helping a mom labor in the tug of war position and ended up getting injured. After that injury I started to research better options for labor positioning and found Gail Tully with the Spinning Babies® program.”

The best way to avoid a C-section and have a more comfortable labor is to move during labor. For example, you could walk the halls, rock in a circular motion on a yoga ball, or dance with your support person.

“Dancing or hula hooping is one of my favorite positions,” said Foster. In this labor position, Mom puts her arms around her partner’s neck and her partner puts their hands around her lower back, and while pressing on her back they sway through the contractions. The counter pressure on Mom’s back helps relieve pain, the swaying opens the pelvis and allows baby to move down, and it’s something that brings the couple together during labor.

“Some of my other favorite positions to move moms into are the flying cowgirl, knee/chest, and the throne or princess position, which is achieved by arranging the bed and having Mom sit upright and bring her legs in, which takes the pressure off of the back and opens the pelvis,” said Foster. “I think many people think that labor is up to Mom, but really it’s mom and baby working together. Mom’s job is to dilate and baby’s job is to rotate.”

Wireless monitors are one of the tools the nurses at McLaren Greater Lansing use to allow moms to move about freely while still being able to monitor baby. They also have birthing beds, balls, bars, and other tools used to help with different positions during labor.

“I have heard many birth stories that end up in a C-section because the mom labored flat on her back the whole time,” said Foster. “Even if Mom has an epidural, we are still moving her into different positions in bed.”

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