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The EpiCurl

epidoula epidural labor childbirth doula
Mom laboring with Epidural using doula's Epicurl position.

Might sound like a funny name but we (us birthy chics at MaternityWise) made it up based on the position and the fact that we use it with moms to curl into a happy C shape and to encourage baby rotation and descent as well as mobilize their pelvis while laboring with an epidural.

Now keep in mind, changing positions AT LEAST every 45 minutes is very important for progression. Side lying with top leg up and over (with hip and shoulder behind) is another great one to use as long as you have plenty of pillows *grin*

Show you that one another time!!

Obviously, using gravity is best. However it can be tricky!!  When you can't feel your legs or help balance yourself on a yoga ball (because of an epidural) this position, the Epicurl, might just save the day. 

Here's how you make the magic happen:

1. Move bed into throne position. 

Head of bed up, foot of bed down at least 6 inches, depending on how comfy mom is, lower for less flexible mommies. 

2. Have her sit with foot soles together so her legs make a diamond shape. 

3. Here's the most important part: get her bum-cheeks open and tailbone behind her and open those hips wide so she's sitting in a very wide open pelvic stance. This assists with enlarging the space of the pelvic OUTLET. (If baby is still very high, you may want to focus more on opening the pelvic INLET - and that is for another post)

4. Putting a rolled blanket in the small of her back or lower can help a lot with maintaining this position comfortably. 

5. Place the yoga ball in the diamond of her legs. Put a sheet over the ball (it's been on the floor, yuck!) and maybe a pillow so she can rest comfortably leaning forward. She can hug the ball or just put her arms over the top. If you're finding the ball wants to roll away, roll up a towel and wedge it in front of ball to keep it where you want it.  I've even had moms fall asleep like this. (Nailed it!)

6. Bolster her in with extra pillows where needed, under knees/thighs, like Tasha has in the pic or more behind back, but try to keep her leaning forward. Follow mom's guidance for comfort.

7. Don't forget to put the bed rails up. They can help wedge pillows or just give the staff a greater sense of safety - which can help them trust you and your crazy positioning techniques. Fall risks are one of the greatest concerns for hospital staff.

Labor here for 45 mins or so. Then change position. You can return to this position as often as you want, just remember to change it up. We haven't had to change too many times with moms cause they tend to dilate quickly like this. So keep an ear out for the "I feel pressure/pushy" cues. :)

For those of you like me, who need a visual, my client Tasha (who is all about education) was gracious and let me snap a pic to show others. She pushed out a gorgeous baby girl just a few hours after this was taken. 

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