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Hip Eights


Moving the pelvis in a figure of eight motion can be extremely helpful in loosening tighness in the pelvis, spine and legs and surrounding muscles and ligaments. It can make space and encourage movement of a baby who may be in an uncomfortable position.


Sometimes a tight spot can be felt on one side of the birthing person's back. This can be a posterior baby, perhaps with their head pressing there. These movements help to stretch and twist and move the lumbar spine, to ease off tension and create more balance and space.

Figure of eights can also be done on a birth ball instead of circles. Make sure you go one way a few times and then reverse the motion back the other way to create even movement and space. Keep the feet planted widely for balance and have a helper nearby if you feel nervous about large movements on the ball.

If there is a particular point in the movement that feels tight, note this and then perhaps massage this area, focus on lengthening there with a stretch or do sidelying release to allow a lengthening of the tissues on that side of the body.

Guided Hip Eights:

  1. The birthing person can lean forward over a counter, high bed or back of the sofa using cushions so their upper body can feel really relaxed. 

  2. Make sure they lean comfortably with the head rested, arms relaxed and feet hip width apart or slightly wider.

  3. The person helping to guide the movement of the pelvis stands behind the birthing person with their legs apart and knees soft so they can move freely and comfortably

  4. They place their hands, with permission, over the iliac crests of the birthing person's pelvis, heels of the hand at the back of the bony pelvis at the top.

  5. The hands then guide and push the pelvis down and forwards around 45 degrees, one side then the other, encouraging the birthing person to bend one leg and then the other, one leg and then the other in a swooshing, dipping movement.

  6. Start shallow, notice any tightness and gradually increase the depth of the movement

  7. The birthing person may feel movement as space is made for the baby to turn. Can you feel a tightness the other side of the back now? Or has the tightness in the back gone completely? Maybe the baby is now anterior?

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