Our three favorite body balancing activities help the body more fully when used one after the other:
These techniques balance the pelvis and surrounding areas for comfort, birth preparation, and labor progress. Add more gentle techniques to achieve even more consistent comfort in pregnancy and ease in childbirth.
These three techniques, arranged in this order, tend to improve the comfort and fetal positioning for most pregnancies.
Q. Is there any risk?
A. Some individuals will have medical reasons not to do one or more of the Three BalancesSM.
Common contraindications are:
- Don’t jiggle in first trimester or if the placenta is or has been bleeding or multiple premature births.
- Don’t go upside down (Forward-leaning Inversion) with high blood pressure or risk of stroke like a history of brain aneurysm.
- Don’t do Side-lying Release when hypermobility of the joints makes this position not a gentle stretch but way over stretching.
Please: Read each page describing the technique for amazingly helpful tips, testimonies, what conditions may cause them not to be comfortable, and the full contraindications for when not to use them.
Q. If my baby is already in a good position, will doing these cause baby to move to a less ideal position like breech or posterior?
A. Not in a pregnancy with a normal amount of amniotic fluid and only very rarely would going upside down cause a baby to move breech. Chronic tension causing baby to turn breech after initially loosening those torqued, tight muscles can be released by more body balancing. Baby can then turn right back to head down. Turning breech from head down is extremely rare in body balancing compared to a bit rare from having a long car ride or a fall, for instance. Balance more muscles and the pelvis if either of these events happens to you.
Q. Will my breech or transverse baby move head down, or to a more ideal head down position if I just do one?
A. Yes or No. Once in a while a baby whose head is up (breech) or to the side (transverse lie) can turn head down with one to seven Forward-leaning Inversions. For some babies, their head down position can become even more suited to vaginal birth if a series of body balancing activities are used. Self care activities are listed throughout this website in in our ebooks on those positions. Professional care is available in many places by pregnancy informed Osteopaths, Chiropractors, therapeutic massage therapists, and craniosacral therapists to varying degrees. We have a list of Aware Practitioners who took a workshop to learn specific and advanced techniques beyond the scope of this website.
These three techniques address common reasons a tense or torqued body might cause pregnancy discomfort or a challenging labor.
Q. Does doing only one achieve what all offer?
A. No. But not all are always needed. If you don’t know, take it slow and see if all three can be done.
Q. Does doing all three address all conditions that can cause a long labor or stop a vaginal birth?
A. For most people, the Three BalancesSM will address the issues that might arise to lengthen labor or need a cesarean due to baby’s position or tight or twisty ligaments or muscles. But a few people will need tension in a part of their anatomy that is not released by these three beauties. We offer more techniques and refer to others who have this knowledge in our page on professionals,
The Origin Story
We used to call the Three Balances techniques by the name The Three Sisters of Balance to emphasis the synthesizing effect similar to The Three Sisters agricultural practice of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederation of Five Tribes (and after 1722, the Six Tribes), in the region that is now the northeast of the USA. In small mounds of earth squash, corn, and beans were planted together. Each plant puts nutrition into the soil that is needed by the other. Variations of the Three Sisters were used in Mesoamerica, including a 4th sister, a flower to attract bees! We honor the wisdom that precedes us.
Our intent by using the name Three Sisters of Balance was to raise respect. Labeled as cultural appropriation gives me pause to consider the use of the words, Three Sisters. Would I then become another white person who can’t see Native presence in the world? Would I add to Native invisibility? I sat with my colleague, Pat Welch of the Turtle Women Doula Program who revolutionized care for St. Paul Indigenous families by introducing Indigenous doula care in the 90s. She was able to reduce the rate of premature birth to almost zero! I was honored to work closely with her during the initial program creation and first year, including being a doula trainer with her. We sat, in this instance, with a board of decision makers seeking to reduce racial disparities in birth. At no time in the meeting were Native neonatal mortality mentioned until Pat Welch spoke up. She talked about the invisibility of her people in government policies. I find this continues all too often. While I am a birth activist I would like to do a small part to add visibility in an engaging and meaningful way to the 100s of thousands of people visiting Spinning Babies®.
My intent was to recognize wisdom and break down ignorance and compartmentalization. When some of the white audience hear the brief attribution in our workshops, barriers fall. Physiology in society improves. The “body” of the world is less violently separated and a tender thread of connection is made. My hope was that some of the ignorance about Indigenous culture is reduced.
Thinking of the body as a system of separate organs is similarly disconnecting organs from the landscape of the human whole. Fascia is removed from the cadaver and only then is the anatomy studied. We lost the connecting factor!
Combining the jiggle and a stretch reaches the fascia in complementary ways. We picked three specific techniques to reach fascia throughout the pelvis and soft tissues inside it. Our arrangement is branded but the techniques are not. We honor the teachers that created light along the way. Even when we change and grow, we remember roots of development and seek to express respect in the era we live.
I have met four clients and a friend with their breech and transverse babies for [these three techniques] during the last three weeks – four babies already turned head down. One of them deeply impressed the doctor when my client went for a check on Monday, the doctor did not expect baby to turn, I have no idea why…
Now I’m waiting for the last one to go head down… Did I ever mention that I love the approach and the techniques of Spinning Babies®?
Doula & Coach
Keepin’ It Real
Adding a few more techniques will give more support for babies to move into position. Repeating techniques in pregnancy maintains space in the body for improving comfort, ease and optimal fetal positioning. Begin with these three body balancing techniques in labor along with smarter birth positions in labor to make the most room in the pelvis and tissues for birth.
Here are some of the techniques to balance more areas of the body for even better results:
- Standing Sacral and sacrotuberous release for pelvic size and mobility
- Dip the Hip and “Cat-Cow” for helping baby move to the left
- Also, add a rub to the buttock when the right side is upwards during a Side-lying Release
- Psoas lengthening, for instance with an aligned forward lunge, for easier engagement
- Professional body work such as Webster’s Maneuver, Logan Basic, and Dynamic Body Balancing, Fascia Therapie (Danis Bois Methode) or Therapuetic Pregnancy massage (different than relaxation massage or prenatal massage), Orthobionomy, and others.
- Walking and other daily activities to optimize your range of motion
- Rest SmartSM
Don’t be afraid to continue your quest to restore balance.
Daily exercises are shown in Daily Activities.
- Three Balances℠
- The Jiggle
- Forward-leaning Inversion
- Side-lying Release
- Standing Release
- Abdominal Release
- Abdominal Lift & Tuck
- Shake the Apple Tree
- Other Techniques
- Comfort Tips
- Rest SmartSM
- Birth Balls
- Bed Rest Tips
- Professional Help