During my first birth, my water broke before I was in labor…

Unlike what the movies tell you, this only happens in about 10% of births. It’s not common, but it did happen to my mother so I was worried it would also happen to me. And once my doctor found out I was GBS+ and needed antibiotics in labor, it basically became my nightmare scenario because I would need to go to the hospital right away instead of getting to labor at home as long as possible like I wanted.

I’ll share her birth story soon, but for now what you need to know is that after my water broke and we headed to the hospital my ahhh-mazing doula had us walking, and climbing stairs, and walking some more, and climbing stairs two by two and it worked… kinda.

I was definitely having contractions, but nothing crazy was happening.


My ahhh-mazing nurse (it’s great to have a birth team full of superstars) did the Spinning Babies Side-lying Release on me while I was sitting for my second round of antibiotics.

Three contractions on each side and there would be no more walking the halls that day… I was in full blown active labor after that.

So What Does It Do?

Side-lying release helps correct possible imbalances in the pelvis, which can help make more room for baby to move into a better position and lengthen your pelvic floor muscles so baby came move down during birth. All of that can increase labor progress and reduce pain.

When To Use It

With my clients, I recommend they do this twice a week in the weeks leading up to birth to get baby in an optimal position for labor and to prepare their bodies for birth.  

Side-lying release can also be used to try to start labor when your overdue (though that isn’t always very success), if labor stalls, you’re having contractions without progress, your feeling pain in your pelvis, hips, or back, or if baby is malpositioned. (Even the slightest tilt in baby’s head can make all the difference in progress.)

If you’re in a hospital setting and baby is being monitored, you can listen for a whooshing sound to hear baby “spinning” and making moves when done correctly.

When SHOULDN’T you use this technique.

The side-lying release is generally throughout pregnancy and labor, but if you notice any bleeding (other than bloody show), are having cramps that are not clearly contractions or a part of labor, have had hip surgery, or if labor is progressing quickly then you should avoid this technique.

I use this technique at most births, especially when labor seems like it can use a pick-me-up or if it seems more painful than it “should” be for how far along someone is. I’ve seen it work absolute magic and I’ve seen it do a whole lotta nothin’, but the beauty of the side-lying release is that it really doesn’t hurt to try!

So grab a partner and try it today (as long as you don’t meet any of the criteria above)… see how it feels. Do you love it or hate it?

Already had a baby? Did you do this in labor? Did it hurt, help, or do nothing?

Let me know!