The Pelvic Ring: Why Movement in Labor Matters

March 30, 2021

By Donna Ryan, Founder

Have you ever gotten a ring stuck on your finger? Most of us have had this experience at some point in our lives. Pregnancy is often a time when the rings come off because of the extra fluid. You likely had a scary moment when it felt truly stuck – right before it got placed in a drawer or put on a chain to wear around your neck!

Think back to that moment and how you got the ring off. Did you find yourself moving the ring or your finger? Or both? Did you have to use some coconut oil, lotion, or even butter? If your experience is like most people, you found yourself moving the ring more than your finger. 

Let’s take a moment to compare this situation to labor and the baby descending, ultimately coming through the pelvis. Imagine that the pelvis is the ring and the baby is the finger in the ring/finger example. 

Imagine, if you will, that the pelvis – or the ring – is perfectly still and doesn’t move at all. It’s entirely up to the baby – or the finger – to release itself. I don’t know about you, but I literally would not have been able to get my ring off if I couldn’t move the ring. So often, women spend a majority of their labor in bed with an epidural. This means the baby has to do the work on his or her own. This fact alone helps explain the high cesarean rates with failure-to-progress and cephalopelvic disproportion diagnoses.

Now imagine that the pelvis is able to move around through walking, rotating the hips, climbing stairs, sitting on a birth ball, etc. Wow! What a difference this makes for the baby! He or she is able to feel their way down with more ease. You’ve likely heard that walking or being upright makes for quicker labors. This is why. Mom and baby work together rather than baby pulling all the weight! 

If you are scared of labor – I’ve been there, I get it – take a class with your partner and prepare together. Fill your toolbox so you can be an active participant in your labor. The experience truly can be amazing and empowering. You will give birth to this baby one time. Do what you can to keep that pelvis moving in labor. It can potentially even help you avoid major surgery. Your baby is depending on you to do your part! 

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