Knowledge – Dynamic Anatomy in Labour
‘Dynamic anatomy’ is a term used to describe the anatomy of the body in lively action or motion.
In a labouring mother, the way bones, soft tissue, fluids and connective tissue move and behave in relation to one another is influenced not only by the instinctive birth process, but also by the mother’s health (emotional and physical), her unique body structure, position, posture, active movement, breath, ability to release tension, and the lie and size of the baby. Though the physiology of the birthing body is understood to be in dynamic process, generally the mechanics of labour, the passage of the baby through the mother’s pelvis, is studied from a semi-static point of view. The uterus is contracting to open the cervix, to push the baby through the pelvis and out of the vagina. The structure of the pelvis, size of the mid-pelvis, the size of the outlet, position and dilation of the cervix, the position of the baby, and alignment to gravity are all given important consideration. Apart from positioning and the mother’s ability to assist with her pushing efforts, not much emphasis is placed on the relationship of the body in motion to the birth of the baby. Studying the body in motion offers an enormously rich perspective on the interactive play between the physiological components or structures, both individually (muscle or bone groups for example) and between each other (bone with muscle, or connective tissue with muscle for example).
It also offers a wonderful perspective and understanding of the way in which space and tension within and between structures can profoundly change.
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