Monthly Update: Side-lying Release tips, safety measures for Spinning Babies® Workshops, and more!

By: Gail Tully |
2020-08-07 |
Monthly Update,

In this month’s update:


A Note from Spinning Babies® Creator Gail Tully

“A different time, a different caregiver, a different outcome!”
Grandmother, mother, and aunt before her had each sought a vaginal birth but after long labors finished with a cesarean. This woman’s determination – and an informed birth team – changed the possibility of birth for her future generations.
“The caregivers we got [on the hospital schedule] totally supported this woman.” My long time friend and doula of 33 years told me about a birth I was called to chat about after catching up on her sleep. “Even though every 1/2 cm took 6 hours. It’s not that they did that many [cervical] checks. They didn’t. She has a can-do attitude that is solid. Her husband, too, was right there with her.”
Contractions were strong from very late Saturday night to Tuesday night. She didn’t get a break. She didn’t choose the epidural so she could create a greater chance for a vaginal birth. She took a shot of fentanyl to sleep at one point. But this shot allowed her to sleep for 4 hours and then she was able to get back to full-on labor. The doula noticed contractions were “not an asymmetrical pattern, really regular.”
She had called Monday evening hours before my manuscript deadline (Gail is working on an exciting new book, so stay tuned! 😉). Helping them was refreshing for me, too, because the myopic exercise of writing was making me wonder if this new little book for nurses and midwives could actually make a difference? Was I speaking to them from my authentic place and dilating past in a lull of typing empty paragraphs?
“What I want to say to you, Gail, I tried the Spinning Babies® stuff, we had your guide, the midwife had taken your course, and when those things still weren’t getting her off that course, I had to reach out to you for the second time in 33 years. I needed the advanced course quick!” she laughed. “You were the fresh energy and it worked. The belief that they would work was as important as what we did.” Oh… that didn’t sound effective, but the story went on.
They decided to repeat the tuberosity jiggle and the sacrotuberous ligament release. “Because when the sacrotuberous ligament release got her to 4 cm we did it again later [after the shot, I presume] and we used the sling to hang from like a cacoon with her legs free.” The ceiling sling allows a position like standing with a loose pelvis. They added a lunge with the sling to get room at the bottom of the pelvis. The hospital provided the sling and a waterbirth tub in the labor room. The water heater wasn’t effective, unfortunately, for a long birth, but the vertical position was necessary for the tight fit of this baby through the pelvis. “Still slow progress. But under two hours of pushing. She did it all on her own. They [the midwife and nurses] never had a word of discouragement.”
We continued talking about the usefulness of an intervention and a return to physiology after, and in this case successfully. “When they get to the point [of needing an intervention], there’s a lot of ways to do it. Whenever they get to a yes for a medical intervention, what I hope for them is that it is a resounding “Yes!” and not a “maybe yes.”
I asked my friend to ask the parents for permission to share their story at the upcoming virtual conference. When we say we’re “Changing Birth on Earth” we aren’t talking only about typical practices upon pregnant and birthing people.
Here is a hospital with innovation, midwifery, teamwork, and community relationships. We are also talking about the physical effects of living in a gravitational pull that can sometimes reduce the room in a pelvis. On the spectrum of ease, we don’t always find ourselves on the side of ease. And then every beautiful thing about birth team relationships, knowledge of pelvic diameters, and how to increase them is part of the birthing dance.
This year of 2020 we are changing the relationships and enhancing our diameters through social distancing and social structure change. Racial inequity and it’s abhorrent result in health, birth, and our society is not on the easy side of the spectrum of effort. Like changing the course of racism in our nation and world, we have to make continuous effort.
This month we celebrate the persistent efforts of John Lewis. Lewis was a visionary, and I think remains a visionary because where energy is, it cannot be lost. Lewis was a force for truth and justice. And he also recognized that within the person’s body was a need for harmony with one’s self. The following quote is especially well suited to our attention on Physiology Before Force℠:
“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim, or diminish your light … Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.”
― Lewis on being human in Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
Join us for the 2020 World Confluence!
Please join us in October virtually or if you live in Queensland, Australia, come join us in person for the Spinning Babies® 2020 World Confluence. We’ll have physical distancing and ways to increase safety at the Caloundra Events Centre while we affirm our lives and our movement together. Let us be together even when it is not easy. The physiology of human birth depends upon us.
NEW Sponsor and Exhibitor Packages! The World Confluence is an incredible opportunity to make an impression on a passionate community of birth workers who serve expecting families around the globe. Our attendees will become more familiar with what you have to offer and become more open to learning about the value and quality you provide with your products or services. Learn about our Sponsor and Exhibitor opportunities.
Gail Tully teaching

Side-lying Release Tips

Side-lying Release (SLR) is a wonderful technique developed by Dr. Carol Philips, DC, of Dynamic Body Balancing that uses a “static stretch” to temporarily, slightly enlarge and soften the pelvis. SLR is appropriate for all people, pregnant or not, who do not have hypermobile joints, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or recent injury or surgery of the hips, knees, or lower back. Severe symphysis pubis dysfunction requiring a walker or wheel-chair would also be a contraindication for Side-lying Release. Care for safety should be taken for obese people and those whose legs and hips are not very mobile at all. Please be very conscious of alignment for all. The many details for a safe and correct SLR are posted on our website and can be learned in our Spinning Babies® Workshop. Pregnant parents can receive up-to-date instructions from a Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator in a Spinning Babies® Parent Class or experience the SLR as part of a bodywork session from a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner.
Having a twin pregnancy is not a contraindication to Side-lying Release on its own. Labor is not likely to start immediately after a Side-lying Release, however, if labor has begun there can be notable labor progress. Twin pregnancy has higher rates of hormones and sometimes that means more ease in labor, especially when the first twin is well-positioned above the brim of the pelvis. For this reason, it’s good to have a plan if labor does begin strongly and quickly. Again, it’s not the usual expectation before labor begins to have this response, but it’s important to be aware and ready in case there is quick progress.

How a breech baby turned head down with Spinning Babies®

“Breech success story: After feeling very uncomfortable during the start of my third trimester of my second pregnancy, we found out around week 32 that indeed our baby was breech. I worked with my doula and Catherine Burns (Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator and Aware Practitioner), practicing the Spinning Babies® essential moves and adding in a few myofascial release sessions. It did the trick! At a 37-week ultrasound, the baby had ‘spun’ and was exactly where he needed to be! I was able to have the natural birth experience I wanted and he was in the perfect position.” – Lindsay
forward leaning inversion

Spinning Babies® Workshops are Still Happening

Spinning Babies® Workshops are rescheduled or smaller now, according to local guidelines. The agenda on the website is actively updated to reflect changes. The Approved Trainer teaching the workshop will inform participants of the workshop safety measures and workshop particulars. Please note: Many guidelines depend on the local situation. Approved Trainers will make safety decisions based on the conditions in each area.
Some universal guidelines during the pandemic:

  • Do not attend the training if you are sick (fever, shortness of breath, a cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms). In some locations, temperatures may be taken at the beginning of the workshop.
  • If you begin to feel unwell during the training inform the trainer and go home.
  • Wash your hands when you arrive at the workshop and before and after hands-on practice, eating, or using your phone. When this is not possible hand sanitizer will be available.
  • If you will be using your phone during the workshop, we recommend that you clean it when you arrive.
  • Seating will be well spaced during the theory portion of the workshop.
  • When practicing hands-on techniques work with the same 1 or 2 participants throughout the day.
  • Masks may be worn during any hands-on practice (depending on circumstance and local regulations).
  • Bring your own water bottle.
  • Do not wear jewelry during the training.
  • Make sure you read the detailed instructions regarding specifics for your workshop.

Each Approved Trainer communicates through Eventbrite emails

  • In the case of a canceled workshop, you will be refunded your full registration.
  • In the case of a rescheduled workshop, you will be given information about transferring or canceling your registration.


$70 Off Online Course for Birth Professionals

Learn safe techniques for multiple types of shoulder dystocia through our online course: Resolving Shoulder Dystocia. You get access to presentations, birth videos, first-hand experiences of midwives, practice drills, printable resources, and more for 60 days. This course reviews birth anatomy, the different types of SD, solutions for each type, and how to think critically in a time of crisis and incorporate this life-saving information into your practice. Resolving Shoulder Dystocia has been approved for three (3) continuing education hours from the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council.
Resolving Shoulder Dystocia is only $20 (regularly $90) for 2020 in support of birth workers during this world health crisis.⁣⁣⁣ Don’t miss this chance to take the course at the lowest price possible. Get the course today and receive $70 off your purchase!

Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training

Become a Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator to get training that can transform your practice and experience working with expecting families. You will help improve pregnancy and birth for parents, join a community of birth workers, and learn from a program that really works! Join us for one of our upcoming trainings:

Photo credit: Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Tammy Villavicencio




Feb 09

Brisbane, AUS – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Jenny – Feb 9-10, 2023

February 9, 2023 @ 09:00 - February 10, 2023 @ 17:00


There are no upcoming events at this time.


There are no upcoming events at this time.


There are no upcoming events at this time.



There are no upcoming events at this time.


There are no upcoming events at this time.

Sep 08

סדנא ספינינג בייביס- ספטמבר 8+11, 2022

September 8 @ 08:30 - September 11 @ 18:00
Nov 17

סדנא ספינינג בייביס- נובמבר 17+24, 2022

November 17 @ 08:30 - November 24 @ 18:00

New Zealand

United Kingdom

There are no upcoming events at this time.

United States
Sep 23
Sep 26
Nov 04
Nov 18
Dec 03
Jan 12

Big Island, HI – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Kelly – Jan 12-15, 2023

January 12, 2023 @ 16:00 - January 15, 2023 @ 11:00

See all upcoming events on our calendar here.

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