Side-lying Release in a Case of Pre-Eclampsia

By: Gail Tully |
February 15, 2019 |
Provider Tips

Spinning Babies® enthusiast Maíra Libertad, prominent midwife and midwife educator (and now Spinning Babies® Approved Trainer) in Rio de Janeiro just received a very beautiful story of Side-lying Release (SLR) success and felt that you would like to know! An OBGYN was taking care of the woman and told her this story in her words.

Her Story

“First-time mom with severe pre-eclampsia receiving magnesium sulfate due to very high blood pressure, in advanced labor, complaining of strong sacral pain. She was moving freely but was not finding a comfortable position. I checked her and she was fully dilated, baby was in 0 De Lee [pelvic station] (very similar to the previous VE a few hours before). I could not identify precisely the fetal position due to excessive moulding (with caput) but seemed ROA.
She spontaneously adopted a left side-lying position in the bed and then I remembered of SLR. I explained to her and her companion what I would do, the objective, then adjusted the position [to Side-lying Release] and asked her to remain for 3 contractions. [In just] 20 minutes after we finished, she reported strong vaginal pressure and moved to hands and knees. Immediately we could visualize the head crowning. Baby was born OA with significant moulding (shape confirms my assessment that the baby was previously asynclitic in ROA, probably). They are both very well and the woman did not have significant tear.” – OBGYN Ana Carolina Pordeus, Recife, Brazil

Gail’s Comments

The benefit of using Side-lying Release in a complicated birth situation where a vaginal birth is expected or hoped for is the untwisting and releasing of shortened, spasmodic muscles in the buttocks, such as piriformis and the pelvic floor. Baby may now come on to the cervix more symmetrically, as evidenced by progress or symmetrical labor pattern. This is temporary but may often allow labor to finish during the time.
This release of muscle restrictions may help blood circulation as a wonderful side effect, balancing the pressure of the blood between the legs and torso. While not a cure for high blood pressure, SLR seems supportive of achieving the most progress available through physiological means.

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