As doulas, we often see labors that are more laborious than others. When labor stalls, particularly in early labor, and contractions start and stop or become irregular and slow processing, it is easy for the laboring mom to get exhausted, frustrated, and emotionally drained. Although there are many reasons for this to occur during labor, one of the most common is the position of the baby before and during labor. The ideal position for a baby to be in prior to labor and during, is the “Left Occiput Anterior”, or LOA, when the baby is face down, with their back facing the left side of the mother. A baby who is Occiput Posterior or OP, often results in a more difficult or longer labor with more intense back pain and even irregular contractions.
When we attend a birth, we recommend various laboring positions for the mother to ensure that baby is in an adequate position for delivery. One technique that we use, is called the Miles Circuit. Miles Circuit is a combination of positions for the mother to employ before and during labor to ensure optimal positioning for birth.
Directions for the Miles Circuit exercise can be found at http://www.milescircuit.com/the-circuit.html
Your doula is a fantastic resource for helping you engage techniques and skills for labor, including birthing positions and pre-labor exercises. Proactive work and communication between you and your birth team can help you achieve your best birth!