The pelvic tilt, done with the mother on hands-and-knees, is good to relax the lower back after a long day. This gentle rocking exercise keeps the pelvic joints loose, too. Is it good enough to help a posterior (forward facing) baby get into a better, anterior, position for birth? (Be sure you are doing the Daily Do's.)
Though, one study says no, not when done once a day for the last three weeks in pregnancy, there is a way to use it that I think makes the Pelvic Tilt helpful for fetal positioning-- when done when baby is trying to rotate to the anterior- whether in pregnancy or labor. Read on to find out more.
The Pelvic Tilt
When to do the pelvic tilt?
- Any time in pregnancy or labor for maternal positioning with gravity and movement.
- After a long day.
- For any fetal position because its comforting for women. For the OP baby when active, when the baby hasn't dropped after 38 weeks, but this activity is only supportive, and shouldn't be considered a main activity to rely on for improving fetal position (flipping a breech, turning an OP baby to OA).
- Besides the mother's regular, daily use of the pelvic tilt for her own comfort, whenever she wishes, there is a time to use it to help baby rotate to an anterior starting position for easier labor:
- Any time after 32 weeks or as the 8th month begins: stop what you are doing and get into position for the pelvic tilt when baby is actively kicking and moving around. Do a few minutes of gentle or active pelvic tilts. When baby is active there is a chance his or her intention is to find a better, more comfortable fit with the brim of the pelvis.
How to do a pelvic tilt
To do a pelvic tilt on hands and knees, lift your lower back up towards the ceiling. Imagine that a rope helps you lift your lower back. Don't arch your shoulders. That's not the part that counts. Then straighten your back.
Don't dip your lower back like a sway back horse. That might strain your muscles in pregnancy. Switch from curling your lower back to straightening it rhythmically. Put music on if you like. Do 40 or so.
Get up slowly so you don't get a head rush.
When not to do a pelvic tilt
If wrists are too sore, or knees hurt, see if you can support yourself by leaning over an exercise ball, or the back of a couch, for your wrists, or pillow under your knees. You could try this while side lying, standing, and even, with subtle movements, on your back WITH your knees bent.
Before doing pelvic tilts
Get your pillows and set them under your knees. Use a tightly rolled hand towel to put under your palms by the base of your thumb to set your palms in a more comfortable angle.
Some women will do a "down-dog" yoga position after doing cat-cows, the yoga variation for pelvic tilts. If you want to do these, use a yoga mat.
To allow the pelvic tilt to be most effective, it is recommended that the mother have her abdominal ligaments and pelvic joints worked on. This step is more important for the first time mother, a mother beginning very late in pregnancy, or for a mother who has had interventions in a previous birth due to baby's position or length of labor.