Podcast Episode #47

FitNest Mama Podcast episode with midwife Aoife Kenny: Optimal Fetal Positioning Birth Stories

I am thrilled to talk with midwife and childbirth educator Aoife Kenny regarding optimal fetal positioning. Aoife is the founder of Back to Birth, which is a rapidly growing educational platform that has been designed to prepare and support expecting parents through pregnancy, labour and parenthood. The position of the baby in the later stage of pregnancy is very important in labour and Aoife is here to discuss all of your concerns.

Have you felt confused by the terms anterior and posterior? How we sit, how we move, how we use our bodies especially in the third trimester of pregnancy can affect the position of the baby in the womb. The baby’s journey through the pelvis is complex and there are a multitude of factors that affect this process. 

In the last few weeks of pregnancy we hope that the baby is finding their way into the pelvis in an optimal position in order to be delivered. Aoife will discuss the specific posturing, movements, birthing aids and exercises that women can perform to encourage the baby into this optimal cephalic position.

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Podcast mentioned ‘Tips for all Great Birth Partners’ https://www.fitnestmama.com/podcast/5-tips-all-great-birth-partners-need/

Free Postnatal Workshop: Returning to Fitness After Birth

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Optimal Fetal Positioning with midwife Aoife Kenny

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. a physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three. Join me each week as we dive into all things pregnancy care, childbirth, and postnatal recovery, helping you have a wonderful pregnancy and afterbirth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Welcome to 47 in the FitNest Mama Podcast. I’m your host, Kath Baquie. I’m a mum of 3 young girls, a physio for women. And I have an online community, FitNest Mama, which helps to revive pregnant and new mothers with the exercises support and resources they need to feel good from the inside out as they prepare for and recover from childbirth. FitNest Mama has worked outs that are tired mum friendly, aching mum friendly and toddler friendly that you can do in the convenience of your home at the end of a long day whilst your bubba sleeps, or whilst your toddler is running around causing havoc.

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I had the pleasure of chatting with midwife, Aoife Kenny, from Back to Birth, about Optimal Baby Positioning, in this episode. So why is positioning of the baby important? What is the easiest position for the baby to be in for birth? How do I know if my baby is in position for birth? And how can I help to get my baby into position for birth? So today’s episode is for you. If you’re pregnant or you’re planning a pregnancy in the future. I have the pleasure of chatting with Aoife Kenny as a guest in this episode. And Aoife is an Irish, registered midwife, working and based here in Melbourne, Australia in Fitzroy. So Aoife is a founder of Back to Birth, which is a rapidly growing educational platform, purposefully designed to prepare and support expecting parents based anywhere in the world through pregnancy, labour and parenthood.

So this episode is sponsored by the FitNest Mama 7-day Free Trial where you can get access to exercises and stretches to help with your baby’s optimal positioning, which you’ll hear about in this podcast episode. You also get access to live classes and a huge library of on demand videos. FitNest Mama will help to improve your motivation and confidence to exercise during pregnancy and beyond. Simply head to www.fitnestmama.com/free for your free seven day trial.

Alright, let’s get into this episode with Aoife. And before I sign off, remember, my team and I will be putting together the Show Notes for this episode with all the links including how to connect with Aoife at www.fitnestmama.com/podcast. And don’t forget if you would like to trial some optimal baby positioning exercises and stretches, come and trial FitNest Mama for free for seven days at www.fitnestmama.com/free. Have a fabulous day everyone and I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Hello, Aoife. Thank you for joining me today.

AOIFE KENNY

Hi, Kath. Thank you so much for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

We’ve been chatting for so long on Instagram, and it’s nice to finally get to meet via zoom.

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah, we’ve been chatting since I guess day one since I started Back to Birth. And thank you for inviting me on your podcast. This is my first one. So I’m delighted to share this milestone with you.

KATH BAQUIE

So for those who don’t know, could you please introduce yourself and let us know a little bit about you?

AOIFE KENNY

Of course. So my name is Aoife for anyone wondering how to pronounce my name. As I’m sure it’s quite obvious. I am Irish. I am originally from Dublin, Ireland. And I have been based in Melbourne for four years in Fitzroy. So Fitzroy, you know, it’s become a second home for me. I love the place that’s truly captured my heart. I am a registered midwife in Ireland and in Australia. I am a clinical midwife specialist in a really busy tertiary hospital in Melbourne and I’m also a certified childbirth educator. And am the founder of Back to Birth which is my own little baby that I started this time last year.

KATH BAQUIE

Great, I’ll ask you all about Back to Birth at the end and would love to hear more about it. But super excited today to chat about Optimal Baby Positioning during pregnancy and more importantly, for birth. So why do you love talking about this?

AOIFE KENNY

I know Well, listen, I’m quite passionate about age, women and education, pregnancy birth. But I have always had quite an interest and passion in Optimal Fetal Positioning and maternal positioning. I’m really aware when it comes to pregnancy, it has its own language. And I guess it can be a bit of a buzzword, and I’m sure to whoever is listening, I’m sure many have heard the word anterior and posterior and might have felt a bit confused by these terms. So I really do want to protect and empower and support women to really fit to understand the really important concepts to have a normal birth. So yeah, I put myself in women shoes that I can only imagine this term and this sort of topic can be confusing.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, absolutely. And why is positioning of the baby so important, do you think for birth?

AOIFE KENNY

it’s really, really important, how we sit, how we move, how we use our bodies, especially in the first semester of pregnancy, can affect the position of the womb, which can affect baby’s position in the womb. And baby’s position, as I said, is really important for a normal physiological birth, how your baby passes through your pelvis is going to have an important impact on how you’re going to get her baby’s journey through the pelvis is quite a complex one. And that is impacted by a multitude of factors, maternal and fetal. The optimal position for your baby, to whoever is listening, I really do believe is whichever position most easily fits with your pelvis. So there is an ideal optimal position. But I really do believe you know, every baby is different, every pelvis is different. So it’s important to grasp the importance of movement or optimal positioning. We I guess, we should probably talk about these magical positions that hopefully can support a normal birth.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, I would love to talk about the positions to help support birth, but just taking a step back, you touched on them, and I just want to dive into them a little bit more like the maternal and fetal different characteristics that might change with the way the baby is positioned. So what are some things characteristics of the mum that might make her baby and be in a different position?

AOIFE KENNY

Sure. It’s down to multiple factors, but one in particular is probably. And there are certain shapes of the pelvis that vary, obviously, between each woman. One in particular, which is sort of the round shallow, open pelvis shape, which I’m sure you’d know a lot about is quite common, and it’s more likely to support a normal birth, as opposed to a narrow shaped pelvis that potentially can put some women at risk of an intervention or a slower, more prolonged labour or cesarean.

KATH BAQUIE

Is there a way of telling like, I can imagine with x rays, you’d be able to tell the shape of a pelvis, but it’s not something I’ve actually paid attention to, the shape? Can you actually tell by looking at a woman’s pelvis during pregnancy? What the shape is like? And if it’s an optimal shape?

AOIFE KENNY

I’m good Kath, but I’m not that good.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, because there’d be a lot of muscle bulk. Like, there’s so many different factors. So that’s one of those things it’s probably interesting to know about, but it’s like knowing that genetics can hold a factor doesn’t really help you.

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly.

KATH BAQUIE

You can’t do anything to change.

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah, I always do encourage every mums to look into elements of physio, during pregnancy for support and advice and education. So I think just seeing a number of health professionals that have an idea, and understanding of the importance of these sort of concepts will help. But necessarily, when a woman walks into an anthill room with me, it isn’t something I’m able to pick up on through abdominal palpation. Of course, using our hands we are able to determine the position of the babies and where the head is, and I guess if the muscles are tight, but not necessarily the pelvis.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And I think it’s probably really commonly, and I remember talking about it, really common point of discussion when you’re pregnant, saying, “Oh, where’s my baby’s head, today?” And I remember mine at some point, I swear it was just doing somersaults for a few weeks. Is there any correlation between a baby that moves and changes positions the whole time? Yeah. What does that mean?

AOIFE KENNY

Hmm? Well, you know, in early pregnancy, in the first and second trimester, the position of your baby isn’t as important as it is in the third trimester. So I really didn’t want mums really getting too concerned or anxious or stressed by where their baby is. In the third trimester, this is when it becomes important. And, of course, we really hope and expect baby to be doing lovely movements. In a way somersaults, it’ll probably take some short, but I guess after a certain stage in the last few weeks of pregnancy, we hope that baby’s encouraging to find their way into the pelvis in optimal position in order to be delivered. And just because of you have an active baby or baby that moves a lot, it doesn’t mean babies in the wrong or right position.

But in the last few weeks, that’s when it’s really encouraged women to really start honing in on certain positions that can hopefully support baby to, yeah, become in an optimal position. And I guess this position that I’m sort of referring to is the position where baby’s head is down, which is a cephallic position. And also, we expect baby’s back to, you know, be facing mum’s tummy, and the chin tucked in. And ideally, this is an anterior position. And this is the ideal position for lovely babies to be in. Not all babies are in this position. And that’s okay. Some babies actually need to be in other positions to be born. Position, however, anyone that’s listening, that I’m referring to is posterior position. And I guess Kath, would you come in contact with women who are concerned also about the certain position and posterior position?

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, I think it is a common concern for women that they’ve been told they’ve got a posterior baby, and they’re concerned, they’re going to have to give birth in that position. Because you do hear lots of stories about it, you know, being more painful and all the rest. So I guess a question for that. At what stage of the birth process does the baby can keep changing position too? So if a woman does, that say she’s 39 weeks pregnant, and she’s been told she’s had a baby that’s sitting in a posterior position? What does that mean for?

AOIFE KENNY

Sure, it isn’t something to be overly concerned about 72 to 90% of posterior babies will rotate to an anterior position at some stage in labour. And that’s due to you know, the power of having regular contractions. And of course, some babies don’t turn and some babies are born in a posterior position. That’s incredible. And I’ve seen that kind of times. But I guess when a baby’s posterior, which means baby is back to back and baby’s facing your tummy. So we call them stargazers. It just means that due to the surface area and the circumference of the head, it can be a slower, more painful, difficult labour.

KATH BAQUIE

So I think this is the question on every woman’s mind. And we did put this out as an Instagram story before today. How can I help to get my baby into position for birth?

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah, yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

The number one question.

AOIFE KENNY

Number one question. Well, it’s a breeding question. And the good news is there are a number of movements and exercises to promote baby to hopefully fall into the optimal position. So I guess or leaning positions can really support baby and why they can support baby is because gravity will be on your side. So forward leaning positions would be when let’s say some women are standing upright and sort of leaning forwards maybe that’s against kitchen table, against a chair, against her desk and work, sitting on a birthing ball and leaning forward. This also will support baby to hopefully baby’s largest part or heaviest part, their back go to the abdomen. So I’m a huge fan of Breaking Balls, any news on my classes or meets me in the Labour Board, I am first ball and how this plumps up the bed with the bed to the side and a ball in the room. Birthing balls amazing resource and I really think if there’s anything to invest in, in the last six weeks of pregnancy is a birthing ball. It’s gorgeous. It can support, you know, the baby’s position but it stretches muscles. It helps with aches and pains and discomforts. Spinning babies, which I’m quite haven’t talked about yet. But this is going to be thrown in numerous times. Spinning babies really supports and believes in women protecting the balance in their body, which means ensuring that muscles aren’t too tight or too loose or twisted and the birthing ball can support women to, you know, stretch out muscles and protect that balance. So I’m all about the ball.

KATH BAQUIE

100% and inside FitNest Mama, we’ve got a range of workouts that don’t include the ball, but then also do include the ball and, like I’m sure we’ll dive more into some postures and positions. But I know my mums, as soon as they reach that 35 to 36 weeks mark, they’re all asking for those sorts of workouts, which will help with the baby positioning. So we’ve got some beautiful, for those that are listening, if you want some beautiful exercises and stretches to help with baby positioning. That’s exactly what’s inside FitNest Mama. Okay, so we’ve talked about standing and kneeling over a bench. So correct me if I’m wrong, but what we’re aiming for those listening, is to get the upper body below the hips.

AOIFE KENNY

This is it. And also, it’s really important that the knees are below the hips as well. It will really support baby to be in the right position.

KATH BAQUIE

How could the knees? I’m just trying to visualize it.

AOIFE KENNY

Oh, sorry. I’m sorry, it’s sitting down. I’m thinking of the ball. As I said, I’m obsessed with that ball.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s right. And so we could be sitting on a ball leaning over something. And then also what sort of kneeling postures do you like?

AOIFE KENNY

Sure. Oh, kneeling is an amazing active birth position. And it’s a great position to do in pregnancy as well. Kneeling, all 4s so you know, that kind of positions lovely. Upright, kneeling is also really helpful. Leaning over the birthing ball on your knees, and just sort of giving the ball a nice little hug as well can be really supportive.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, so we’re sort of talking about two different things here, aren’t we? We’re talking about when you’re pregnant, some positions and postures to get into. How many times a day or what sort of prescription do you recommend then for if you’re pregnant?

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly, I guess that really varies on a woman’s fitness regime, or how active she was before pregnancy. If someone that was quite active, and would have joined a gym, or would have done a lot of movement before pregnancy. And I guess I’d recommend women just sort of do as much as physically they can. They know their limits more than me. Once a day, if possible, we really don’t want overdoing it. If it feels, if the energy to do twice a day, amazing. But you know that you’re in pace, and it’s all about just sort of continuous movements each day opposed to once a week, not much is going to happen, you know?

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And I think it’s also great to realize we can even break that down further. So we could say, Okay, once a day, I’m just going to do some nice postures and positioning and stretches, and get into some of those lovely positions. And then maybe once a week, you could do a bit of a workout. So that’s when you need a bit more strength, did I say once a week? Once a day, or whatever it is that you choose based on, as you said, your fitness. So just because we’re doing these positions, they don’t all require energy and a lot of effort, I guess. Is that right?

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Forward leaning positions, they help guide baby away from your sacrum and into position that you both have more space. Allows more space in your pelvis. There are some specific things that you can do, like we said, that can just you know, help babies position. Another one that we haven’t talked about is turning the chair around, and straddling in the chair in a way, great position. It can relax the muscles. But also, I think it can be helpful to do a different movement each day, keep us distracted, keep us engaged, keep us busy.

KATH BAQUIE

And I love that straddling of the chair suggestion. I recommend to my mums who’ve got some low back pain. Because I find when we sit upright in a chair, our muscle, back muscles are quite active. Whereas being able to slouch a little bit more in rest of upper body on the backrest of a chair, it allows some lengthening through those back muscles. And I think having that upper body support, we really need to demonstrate this. Don’t worry. We are in a podcast. Might have to do an Insta live after this. By leaning on the backrest of a chair, it allows us to deload out body which means I do believe that allows that lengthening of the back muscles, but also the relaxation of the back muscles. So yeah, I think that’s a great one. It’s great for helping to open up the hips as you said. I love that leaning over the back of a chair.

AOIFE KENNY

And I think we all have a chair, you know, hopefully in the house. So it’s something that’s easily accessible and something that, you know, maybe your partner can get involved in, or your toddler or your four-year-old or your teenager, who knows, you know.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah and if you’re working, it’s an easy adaptation to sitting at a normal desk chair.

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly. At a busy day, I stay with classes, and I was doing a Q&A. And then I just felt my back was starting to become, you know, just a bit inflamed or sore. I’m, as a midwife, I’m not used to sedentary positions. I’m used to running around worried and yeah, I did that position. And I really did find it was helpful. And then I sort of incorporated bit a kneeling when I was watching TV. So thankfully, some of these positions can have a really immediate effect and the soothing effect as well. So important, it’s all about, you know, ensuring women are as comfortable as possible during the stages because I don’t think comfortable is a word to many mums today. In the last few weeks.

KATH BAQUIE

Absolutely. So are there any other positions or postures that you like, for helping with that baby positioning?

AOIFE KENNY

I think for probably lunging is also really helpful position to support baby to rotate, gravity once again is on your side, your opening, you know, your pelvis. And I guess, to do your very first lunge in labour is probably not ideal, because you may fall on the floor. So you might actually need to build up that stamina in your legs, but I really do find lunging and squatting are two really helpful positions to support optimal positioning and also have an active birth, if that’s something that you wish for.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s a great one. I do love a good squat. To be honest lunges, I find they’re fantastic. But if women have been getting pelvic girdle pain, lunges can sometimes flare up that pelvic girdle pain. So if you’re listening, that’s something to be aware of. If you’re wanting to try out some lunges, if you are a bit achy, just start off really slow, small amounts and just monitor your pain.

AOIFE KENNY

Yes, it is. All these positions, you know, are recommended if you feel comfortable to do so. Even though the recommendations don’t want you to do something that doesn’t feel right. So it’s just all about being in tune with yourself and connecting with your body and knowing your limits. And yeah, kind of I guess for a woman who has sort of girdle pain, what opposition would you maybe recommend or a mum who has optimal positioning on the mind?

KATH BAQUIE

You’ve just thrown it right back at me?

AOIFE KENNY

Oh, sorry. Oh God! I should’ve texted you. I should’ve texted you.

KATH BAQUIE

This is basically questions all about you, Aoife.

No. I’m only joking. So generally with pelvic girdle pain, again, this isn’t the blanket rule. This is why I like to see women sooner rather than later. Because if we can nip things in the bud, and just adapt and modify their program, it can really help to settle their pain down sooner. And that means by the time they get to this, you know, the last four weeks of pregnancy, hopefully their pain isn’t as much of an issue so then they can go into these movements with no worries. So for those listening, if you have got pelvic girdle pain, don’t persevere with pain. I always said that to every woman, if you’re in discomfort, go and get it seen too and try to get onto it sooner rather than later. Because I highly do think that the sooner we can nip it in the bud, or at least start some management strategies, it might not help to relieve the pain 100% but it might help to reduce the pain. Because if you’re really inflamed around that pelvis, any of those more single leg activities can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable. So such as lunges, so that’s when I would love to incorporate more kneeling positions and I love pelvic tilts. Because pelvic tilts, I think a really lovely opening up that pelvis and providing, so you can do pelvic tilts and sitting on a football four-point kneeling. Yeah, I think the pelvic tilts is really lovely for those with pelvic girdle pain.

AOIFE KENNY

Great one. That’s a brilliant one. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, perfect. I guess all those kind of positions, when comfortable will allow gravity to work with your body and just provide space for the sacrum to move and open. Guess that’s the whole thing, just trying to make space for baby, but we don’t want to hurting yourself.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s right and in our modern day society. We are probably doing a lot less than we did 50 years ago. 100 years ago, you know, we had to do everything around the house. Then we had to wash clothes by hand and make fireplaces and we’re just always moving our body. Whereas these days, our lives are much more sedentary as you say our pelvis perhaps doesn’t have as many opportunities to open and get into those really nice positions.

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly. Yeah, our daily unconscious habits Like, I was setting up a desk driving for long distances, or you know, especially in a lockdown isolated life that we’re all in at the moment, we don’t have as much freedom to move. So it definitely is something we need to keep in mind for sure. And I guess that’s why we’re doing this lovely podcast, we’re going to give you tips, I guess, on what we can do at home. We’ve said a few but also, it’s great to have a little plan in your mind what you can do in the room, because freedom of movement in the birthing room isn’t restricted. If that is something that you look for. Of course, if you are hoping and your plan is to have an epidural, that is amazing.

That’s your informed decision. But I guess for mums who have a plan to hopefully keep active, then I guess yeah, it’s something that we’ll touch on now and prepare for it because it’s really important.

Well Kath, I got a quite few questions this morning that I’m sure you did, as well just hide to work with the posterior baby and labour. Because this is something that you know, we should prepare for. We should prepare for everything. So as we were saying a posterior baby generally is back to back. So that will result in a mum feeling a lot of pressure and potential pain or discomfort in advance. So we don’t necessarily have to jump straight to the really hard-core medications. It can be helpful to know that he packs can be really helpful and can support discomfort as well. The water, the shower bath as well can be gorgeous to you know reduce discomfort and support the posterior position. Um, you know, the buoyancy can also be a big tip. Birthing ball, we talk about that last but it makes sense, you know, the sense of slouching on a birthing ball, or rolling on the floor. So the ball can support a mum to be in an optimal position, which hopefully could turn Baby, you know, which is would be an amazing outcome. And sterile water injections as well is definitely an option that we haven’t talked about, bring mum who has a posterior baby, and what they are, because they were new to me, , would you believe? We don’t have these in Ireland. And I remember I was in the birth centre when I first arrived, and my mom would ask me for these, , and I was like ‘what?’. So whenever I go home, whatever happens bringing them wtih me.  But a sterile injection and midwife will inject a tiny amount of 0.1-0.2 mils of sterile water into certain areas in a mums back, which will temporarily numb a woman’s back. And it was sort of disrupt the pain receptors. So it just sorts of will relieve the pain back in your back. So 85% women, it works great. So for sure, this is a great tool to keep them in the box for a mum who has a posterior position baby.

KATH BAQUIE

Can I just clarify, was that a study that showed 85% of women benefit from the water injection?

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

All right. Okay. I’ve only heard a couple of women tell me their experiences. And they all said, I get result. Not so positive.

AOIFE KENNY

How interesting, I guess, you know, it’s all different and all varies, and I’ve seen it work very effectively, I guess, potentially, the discomfort from the injection is the injection itself. We tend to give the injection when a woman is having a contraction. Were very considerate in that regard. But you know, generally mums are very conscious of the contraction that maybe they’re not so focused on what we’re doing. But you know, everyone’s pain perception is different, and everyone just feels it needs. So yeah, I guess that discomfort can be a bit uncomfortable, but it only lasts a few seconds and it doesn’t ease off. And generally you know, it’s supposed to be effective, but you know, everyone’s different.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, it’s great that there’s been some research showing 85%. It’s so encouraging. That’s brilliant. And there was a question that came through. If I have an epidural, what’s the sort of best position that I can give birth in? So yeah, I thought that nice thing to discuss.

AOIFE KENNY

It would be an, with an epidural, I guess it’s important that we all understand that, unfortunately, we are restricted to the bed. Our legs aren’t ours or the period of labour when you have an active working epidural. It’s not safe to do the certain positions and movements that we’ve just been talking about the lunges or squats, the walking. So I guess anyone who’s done my classes, the Time Shine class, we really do focus on what can we do then at all areas of birth, especially with an epidural.

I’m really passionate about encouraging women to move as best they can, if it’s comfortable to do so. And I really encourage the partners to take on that role, to remind mums to move side to side. I know it’s not our lovely forward leaning positions that we’ve been talking about. But with any movement other than lying on your back. Well, enlist gravity, to be on your side, to help your lovely baby move down. So side to side position would definitely be one tip, and also peanut ball. So to whoever is listening this podcast, a peanut ball is like what? You could say it’s almost like a peanut like shape pillow. That’s what I’d say that’s what it is. And it is placed in between your legs, let’s say when you’re lying on your side, this will allow your outlet to remain open even though you’re not moving or walking around, a squat, you know, in the kneeling position, those kind of positions, open your pelvis out by 20%. So even though I guess it’s not as wide as a squats, or something. So for sure, I’d really recommend any mum who is hoping to have an epidural to request, “I would love a peanut ball, please and thank you.” So that the midwives can go and get a peanut ball for a mum.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s a brilliant tip. And birthing in sideline is also great for the perineum. So there’s research to suggest that four-point kneeling or sideline can help to reduce your chance of that significant tear, perineal tear, but um, obviously can’t be four-point kneeling if you’ve got an epidural. So side lying is the next best option if you can.

AOIFE KENNY

Exactly. And I guess you know, in the movies we watch, or the shows we grow up seeing, we generally don’t see women on their side, we see women lying flat in the back or supine or semi-recumbent. So this is sort of what we picture when we think of women in labour. But it’s really important to know that there’s many other options position that mums can adopt that will support normal labour. So ideally, any other position in line on your back can support you and your baby’s position in birth.

KATH BAQUIE

Do you think that that’s something that women need to verbalize? Like? Do you think I know every doctor is different? But do you think the go to is still just a birth on the back? And we actually need to be verbal and vocal if we don’t want to birth on the back? Or are those options being given to women more and more so?

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah, that’s a great question Kath. I guess it depends on the environment. And maybe the circumstance at the time, freedom of movement is every single woman right and their choice. So women owned, maybe they don’t want to be open after the movie they just want to buy on their side, they’re exhausted. However, you know, 83% of women are giving birth in semi-recumbent or supine in the badge and 24% are giving birth in lithotomy which is fine on your back with your legs off. So I think it is a really helpful request to ensure that your care provider on people in the room are aware that you are hoping for an active birth with alternate positions.

So definitely I think it wouldn’t harm to say your preferences. And that’s why having a birth plan can be helpful too to suggest and really keen and open to trying alternative positions. Maybe less then and then it’s great opportunity then for to talk with your midwife by all the options that you have at the time. And also preparing your partner you know, as well, like, this isn’t just It doesn’t just fall on your midwife and you like your birth partner, the partner you choose in the room is part of the team. And it’s their responsibility as well to be your advocate and to support you. And sure they have a huge job. I am all about the birth partners, being and part of the team, I really want to ensure in my classes that the partner feel safe and aware of all the amazing things that they can do. So yeah, it’s a team effort. So yeah, that’s important. Everyone in the room, what your preferences are. So yeah, long story short, yeah, let us know that you don’t want to be on your back.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. And that is, I think, really important. Like what you just said, then about partners being empowered for what they want to do. I think that’s great. You cover it in your classes. And for those that want to hear more, as well, we do have a podcast episode, I’ll have to link it in the show notes earlier on. I think in the first 10 about how to… I can’t even remember what it’s called, how bad is that. I’ll put the link in the show notes. But, Aoife, your classes sound amazing. Can you please tell us a little bit more about them and how to find you? Like if people want to find you. How do they find you?

AOIFE KENNY

Yeah, sure. I guess that’s a very, it’s an educational platform online, and you’ll find me on Instagram, mainly @back_to_birth. And I also have a website, Back to Education, as well. On Instagram on in the highlight column. If you just click back to “Birth Bundles”, that’s where you’ll be able to find a lot more about what bundles and classes I offer. I offer a pregnancy, labour and birth bundle called Time to Shine and this is a two-part bundle. It’s two parts because it’s just a huge area to cover and I guess it’s exciting that we have two chances and opportunities to get all the questions then another bundle I offer is Baby Love. And this is a newborn bundle. But also as part of a bundle. I really believe, of course, it’s important to prepare for labour and birth. But, you know, we really need to start preparing for the fourth trimester, even though you know, your baby won’t be here for a few weeks. So I really do believe that’s very important. And then the golden era is Back to Birth Breastfeeding Bundle. And that’s a gorgeous hour where we discuss the importance of breastfeeding, the challenges that may arise. And I guess the premise of supply and demand and prepositions the big class we go through antenatal expressing too, they’re quite engaging, but jam packed with January always go over some forever charting. And to be honest, I’m very, very grateful and lucky that the clients that think of me sure they’ve become friends, we really do create lovely relationships and just the power of the internet, you know, like, and genuinely I have many of them in Ireland and Dublin, which is quite important to me, because as you know, from Ireland and half my hearts there, so I really tried to a handful of Irish mums every month as well as Australian. So that is a bit broad.

KATH BAQUIE

So that’s brilliant. Well, thank you, Aoife, joining me today. I really do appreciate it. It’s lovely to chat, all about Optimal Baby Positioning.

AOIFE KENNY

Thank you, Kath. Gosh is amazing!

KATH BAQUIE

Well, see you soon!

Thanks for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast brought to you by the FitNest Mama Freebies found at www.fitnestmama.com/free. So please take a few seconds to leave a review, subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. And be sure to take a screenshot of this podcast uploaded to your social media and tag me, @fitnestmama, so I can give you a shout out too. Until next time! Remember, an active pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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