Can we talk about lithotomy position? You know, the supine (on the spine) position with legs placed in stirrups? The position commonly used in birth?
Before we go too far, let’s just say that this position was developed so that a doctor who is delivering a baby has access to the mother. Therefore, this position commonly utilized during the birthing process was designed for the benefit of the doctor. Otherwise, the position tends to be detrimental to the mother’s health, and it can also be detrimental to the health of the baby.
I woke up with aching hips and a low back that is very sensitive today. It happens – every few weeks I have tension through this region of my body. Which I directly attribute to birthing my daughter in the lithotomy position, and then holding and carrying my daughter on my hips since she was a few months old.
Why this hard stance toward lithotomy? Well, this position makes the mother work against gravity and places an immense amount of force against the mother’s pelvic structure. This position narrows the birth canal opening. This position makes the baby work against these constraints (and sometimes injures the baby too.) This position results in more birth-related complications than anything else. Just another antiquated procedure used past its expiration date in the women’s health arena. (That’s a whole other blog post, probably a series of blog posts!)
For me, this position caused a second degree laceration, or tear, to my perineum (the area that connects the anus and the vulva) which resulted in a suture line that I had to manage immediately postpartum. (Ouchy!!!) For me, this position drove my right hip forward and out of alignment. Two and a half years later, this disharmony certainly needs to be resolved. So here’s my plan of action – I will be scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor, and scheduling an appointment with an acupuncturist, and attending a few yoga classes this week, and walking, and swimming. I hope that all of this will help my lower back and hips feel better. In the meantime, thank goodness for the Healing Rose’s Extra Strength CBD Salve!
And because this disharmony in my body is driving this blog post – here’s my Public Service Announcement: Mamas-to-Be…If you are quickly heading into the birthing room, please educate yourself about positions that are much more functional in facilitating the birth of your baby.
I spent a fair amount of my labor process on my hands and knees. Hindsight is 20/20, but I know now that I should have delivered on my hands and knees to protect my hips and low back and perineum from injury. My body naturally found this position and really wanted to stay there. Had I delivered at home and not needed to transfer to hospital, I would’ve delivered in this position. And Mamas – You’ll come across obstetricians who do not deliver babies unless the Mama is in lithotomy position (that’s what happened to me.) Please know that this may very well be the position that works best for you, but in too many cases, this position causes more harm than good. To this end, educate whoever will be supporting you during your birthing process (your life partner, your family, your doula, etc.) so that they are able to advocate for you when the time comes. There are many positions that are more comfortable for you, that are safer for you, and safer for baby. And if you are about to become a Mama for the first time, or the fifth – I hope that you feel empowered to have the birthing process that you desire. Every Mama deserves to have the birthing process she desires. And every baby deserves to have a Mama who feels empowered and inspired by her birthing process. Not achy and ouchy and traumatized.
In the maternal health arena, the United States has the worst record in the developed world when it comes to maternal deaths and complications. Most of which are completely preventable. We need to do things differently. Mamas and families who are educated and empowered to have the birthing experiences they desire will play a role in creating these shifts. If this topic interests you, or if you need more information, please reach out. More on this topic later. Off soapbox, for now.
As always dear readers, wishing you a bright, beautiful, tension-free, pain-free day! Happy Monday! Namaste. <3
My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression
Goal — To Gain Clarity
Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.
More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me.
Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia
Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime. DEFINITELY NEED TO IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN!!! I’ll be in bed by 9pm tonight.
Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night READ BOOKS, NOT ELECTRONICS!!!
Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain
Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk – DO ONE OF THESE ACTIVITIES DAILY
Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation.
Swim — 10–20 laps
Walk — Just get out and walk.
More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.
- 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board
- 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. I feel a cannabis holiday on the horizon. Perhaps for 3 days, perhaps for longer. CBD products ordered!!!
Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic
28 Days of Clean Eating inspired meals – Gotta pull a recipe for tonight’s supper