Category Archives: Pregnancy

Pelvis Problems and the Side-Lying Position

Today I had a great talk with Dr. Jessica Scarratt (of Family First Chiropractic in Dothan, Alabama) about the pregnant body. She taught me how round ligament pain on one side of a Mama’s body can be caused by the sacrum and pelvis being out of alignment on the opposite side of the body—for example, a mama with round ligament pain on her RIGHT front side most likely has had her LEFT side of the back, pelvis, and sacrum out of alignment. When the “left half” of a Mama’s back is out of alignment, her body will compensate by pulling tightly on the “right half” of her belly, which causes her baby to be pulled over to the right side; but we know that a Mama with a baby on her left side will have a longer and more difficult labors than mothers with babies on their left sides!

But what is causing this left hip problem? I think it may be caused by the way some pregnant mamas are sleeping!

Mostly due to this great article on optimal fetal positioning by famous student midwife and author Amy Hoyt, we have taught all of our Mamas to rest and sleep in Dr. Bradley’s “side-lying position” to encourage a baby to lay on his mother’s left side, with the back of his head towards her front. Word is getting out, too. More Mamas than before are sleeping on their left sides and sharing what they’ve learned with their friends.  However, I have also seen more “right-positioned” babies this year than I’ve ever seen before. Maybe the cause is people not quite doing the position right!

Sleeping on your left hip puts your pelvis, sacrum, and back out of alignment on the left side, which will cause your uterus and your baby to be pulled unnaturally over to the right side. Dr. Jessica told me my theory makes TOTAL sense and just might be THE cause of all these babies on the right side! So, we need to get more moms OFF their left hips!

Mamas, please MAKE SURE you are not sleeping on top of your left hip at nighttime! If you can put a pillow “between” your knees, then that means you’re doing Dr. Bradley’s “side-lying position” incorrectly! Instead, please try to lie on top of your belly as much as is possible, with a pillow under your pelvis or several pillows underneath your right shoulder, chest, hip, thigh, and knee as needed for comfort.

I hope this helps make sense to any Mama who may be having a persistently right-lying baby. Try correcting your nighttime sleeping position and doing some of the other exercises for optimal fetal positioning, and maybe you can get that baby back over to your left side again! :-)

Wishing you the best of birth,

External Resources

Videos about Birth (all available from Netflix):

Orgasmic Birth, directed by Debra Pascali-Bonaro (2008)
The Business of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein (2008)
Pregnant in America, directed by Steve Buonaugurio (2008)

External Websites Excellent research-based information on pregnancy and maternity care. Information on prenatal care, medical testing, healthy lifestyle choices to prevent
birth defects and preterm birth. Web site for parents by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Web site for parents by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Questions to Ask When Choosing a Birthplace Consumer Reviews of Local Birthplaces and Caregivers; Information about Local Intervention Rates Common pregnancy discomforts Tips for pregnancy discomfort Sex During Pregnancy On Maternity Leave

Newsletters/Updates Weekly pregnancy e-newsletter from Lamaze—”Building Confidence Week by Week.” Free messages each week on your cell phone to help you through your pregnancy and your baby’s first year. BirthWatch, a Facebook application that posts updates about your pregnancy on your Facebook page and sends you weekly e-mails with helpful tipsSpecific Pregnancy Issues