Monthly Update: Supporting birth during COVID-19, finding your baby's position, and more!

By: Gail Tully |
May 1, 2020 |
Community Updates,
Provider Tips
skin to skin

In this month’s update:

  • How Spinning Babies® is offering relevant support for families giving birth at this crucial time
  • The latest research and evidence recommending skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth
  • How to get an estimate of your baby’s position by the wiggles you feel during the third trimester
  • Upcoming events and how we are exploring a virtual option for our World Confluence


A Note from Gail Tully

My Dear Community,
Our shared interest in babies’ positions in pregnancy and birth brought us together. Some of us are parents; others are professionals in the childbirth or body work fields. Our interests and backgrounds span the human experience. Today, a shared experience of coping with a runaway virus brings us closer in the values of life and freedom, of compassion and action.
My caring circle of staff, community, Spinning Babies® Approved Trainers, Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioners doing bodywork, and Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educators learning to teach physical techniques online have joined me in offering relevant support at this crucial time. This generation of families giving birth this year can’t wait for better systems. They need help now.
Here’s what we’re doing to help:

  • We’ve gone LIVE on social media doing weekly Facebook Lives on our Facebook page.
  • Our Certified Parent Educators are teaching from our Spinning Babies® Parent Class video online.
  • An online course (Resolving Shoulder Dystocia) went up to assist professionals, and we’ve included a comprehensive preview so “baby catchers” everywhere can learn a vital skill to free the stuck shoulders affecting about 2% of all births—without paying a dime.
  • Soon we’ll have a free e-book for parents giving birth during times like the COVID-19 pandemic where self-sufficiency is crucial. We’ve linked it to our website content to put this book out quickly for everyone.
  • We’re planning consultation calls through our Approved Trainers.
  • Aware Practitioners are offering phone consultations for bodywork.
  • Plus, we have lifesaving, pain-reducing, and birth-nerd-satisfying information on our website—free and available to anyone who is willing to take the time to read it.

As we seek connection during this challenging time, let us be wildly protective of another inherently challenging time: birthing in places or situations where it’s usual care to separate the baby from the parent who birthed them. Hey, it’s Mother’s Day!

No Separation

Current research informs better practices to support skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, and not just for minutes. Ann‐Marie Widström and her research team guide clinicians to “create a shelter for the mother and baby’s right to not be separated.” This sensitive and insightful new research lists nine instinctive stages of newborn behavior during skin-to-skin, from after birth until the newborn infant has suckled and/or fallen asleep.
This week, Reuters ran the good news that the Center for Disease Control came to its senses and began promoting skin-to-skin contact instead of separating newborns from their mothers. When a country touts evidence-based care, it’s great that its leadership can change a policy and begin with something we have volumes of evidence for, such as skin-to-skin contact after birth and breastfeeding.
CDC: Skin-to-Skin
“Skin-to-skin care is the practice of placing the infant directly on the mother or other caregiver in an effort to maximize surface-to-surface contact. Health benefits include helping initiate breastfeeding, stabilizing glucose levels, and maintaining infant body temperature. Therefore, skin-to-skin care is encouraged immediately after delivery for medically stable mothers and newborns.”
CDC: Breastfeed Even When There is COVID-19 Exposure
Skin-to-Skin Benefits
Widström, A. M., Brimdyr, K., Svensson, K., Cadwell, K., & Nissen, E. (2019). Skin‐to‐skin contact the first hour after birth, underlying implications and clinical practice. Acta Paediatrica, 108(7), 1192-1204.
Skin-to-Skin after Cesarean
Stevens, J., Schmied, V., Burns, E., & Dahlen, H. G. (2019). Skin-to-skin contact and what women want in the first hours after a caesarean section. Midwifery, 74, 140-146.
Skin-to-Skin as Stress Relief
Jones, H., & Santamaria, N. (2018). Physiological benefits to parents from undertaking skin‐to‐skin contact with their neonate, in a neonatal intensive special care unit. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 32(3), 1012-1017.
Masked Mothers and Baby’s Response
Lozoff, B., Brittenham, G. M., Trause, M. A., Kennell, J. H., & Klaus, M. H. (1977). The mother-newborn relationship: Limits of adaptability. The Journal of Pediatrics, 91(1), 1-12.
This 1977 study helped drop the mask requirement for parents to see their babies face-to-face by listing the benefits of doing so even in hospital nurseries.
Photo of skin-to-skin after birth
skin to skin

Belly Mapping®: How can I tell what position my baby is in?

A mother contacted me the other day. After a long first birth, she wanted tips to understand her baby’s position. This is something most pregnant people can estimate themselves by knowing what to feel for.
Belly Mapping® helps you estimate your baby’s position by the kicks and wiggles you feel during the third trimester of pregnancy. Gail Tully designed this three-step process so parents could estimate a baby’s position before and possibly during labor.

Our website teaches you the questions to answer. From these answers, a picture of baby’s position begins to appear. Here are some tips:

  • Lie down. Abdominal muscles need to relax enough for you to feel baby’s body.
  • Use the pads of your fingers, not the very tips. Press slow and steady until you feel baby’s contours.
  • The smooth back is across from the limbs. If baby isn’t directly facing back or front, but faces a side, you’ll feel a smooth, hard side and a softer, lumpier side.
  • Follow the contours and notice when they change direction, such as when your fingers “walk” from the baby’s back over the hip to the little bum, like coming around a round corner.
  • If everything feels lumpy, consider you might be feeling limbs that are close together.
  • Try again each evening before falling asleep. Baby will come to expect your touch.
  • Make it a game. “Tap, tap. I’m here, baby.”

For more involved instructions, like telling a breech from a head-down baby or if baby is posterior. Click here to get a free downloadable map.
belly mapping doll

Featured Interview

Our Founder Gail Tully was thrilled to be interviewed by international TV Host and prenatal/postnatal Fitness Instructor Anna Kooiman on getting baby in an optimal position for smooth delivery. Enjoy the interview below.


Online Course: Resolving Shoulder Dystocia

We are so excited about our new online course Resolving Shoulder Dystocia, which was launched to assist professionals. Learn about safe techniques for resolving multiple types of shoulder dystocia in this continuing education course by Midwife and Spinning Babies® Creator Gail Tully. The course is normally $90 and now $20 for 2020 in support of birth workers during this world health crisis.
We’ve also included a comprehensive preview so “baby catchers” everywhere can learn a vital skill to free the stuck shoulders affecting about 2% of all births—without paying a dime.
Interested in taking the course? Click here to learn more.

Spinning Babies® World Confluence

The 2020 World Confluence is proceeding as planned. Spinning Babies® is closely monitoring the global health situation and considering the needs and concerns of all the parties involved in our upcoming events. If anything changes, we will keep you updated. Can we add a virtual option? Will there be any additional locations offered to participate in the confluence? We’re exploring these options! Please fill out this form to share your interest.
Gail Tully kneels with pelvis in RSD Brazil



Oct 05



There are no upcoming events at this time.


Oct 02


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.

New Zealand

United Kingdom

There are no upcoming events at this time.

United States
Sep 14

Seattle, WA – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Kelly – Sept 14-15, 2021

September 14 @ 9:30 AM - September 15 @ 5:00 PM
Nov 05

Ventura, CA – Spinning Babies® Workshop w/ Kelly – Nov 5-6, 2021

November 5 @ 9:00 AM - November 6 @ 5:00 PM
Nov 06
Nov 13

See all upcoming events on our calendar here.

Pin It on Pinterest