How to Do an Inversion

By: Gail Tully |
2007-02-09 |

An inversion is a technique for relaxing the lower uterine ligaments. It also helps a breech baby flip upside down. I learned the technique from Carol Phillips, a skilled chiropractor and craniosacral therapist who is knowledgeable in the birthing process. Our website lists a number of reasons a pregnant person might do an inversion. See our Forward-Leaning Inversion page for more information.

If you have questions about your situation, you may look at for answers. I can’t answer questions from the blog easily. You may email me, but if the answer is on the website, I will direct you there rather than answer. Thank you for considering the immense amount of time I offer to answer needs. A simple email is so much faster than a blog post to get to and to answer.

Do the inversion if you feel athletic enough. Don’t do it if you have trouble breathing, with asthma, for instance. Ask your caregiver if there is any medical reason you shouldn’t do this. Don’t do it right after your breech baby has turned head down.

Inversion Instructions

1. Have a helper to brace your shoulders so you don’t come down from the couch too fast.
2. Have your knees on the edge of the couch.
3. Come down slowly.
4. Brace yourself on your forearms.
5. Relax your belly.
6. Relax your neck and head.
7. Hold the pose for 30 seconds for a head down, posterior baby, or a minute for a breech or transverse baby, if you can. Start with shorter times in the pose and work up to 30 seconds.
8. Crawl forward, bringing one knee down to the floor and then the other.
9. Come to your hands and knees.
10. Sit up, on your heels and catch your breath.
Crawl around the room helping the weight of the womb settle forward.

Inversion Video Demonstration

Emily and Ludvig are 36 weeks pregnant (8 months) and their baby has turned sideways — into a transverse lie. See a photo of the transverse lie fetal position earlier on this blog. Emily uses the inversion to help relax her cervical ligaments that may be tight and twisting her lower uterus. There are other reasons that a baby may lie sideways in the womb, but this is a common reason, and one that Emily can do something about. She is also seeing a chiropractor and a midwife. She may also visit a craniosacral therapist or Maya massage therapist. She’d like to have a natural birth, so it is important that the baby turn head down.

How can you tell if the Inversions worked?

A baby in a transverse lie is lying sideways and the mother’s belly, in the last trimester of pregnancy, generally looks wider side-to-side than top-to-bottom. When the baby does move into a vertical position the womb will look different.
Once head down, kicks will be strongest above the navel towards the ribs, and there will be suddenly more pressure in the pelvis. There may or may not be twinges in the cervix. The sides of the womb won’t bulge, but one side may have a large mass of firm baby (the back) while the other MAY have limbs. Alternatively, there may be limbs on both sides and “all over” the front without such an obvious firm side when baby faces the front. Learn more at Belly Mapping.

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