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Open Birth Pattern

open birth pattern

Moms, are you struggling with postpartum? Maybe your body still thinks it’s birthing. Could you be experiencing an Open Birth Pattern?

What is an Open Birth Pattern (also called Open Birthing Pattern or Open Birth Position)? 

This term is used by my mentor Lynn Schulte from the Institute of Birth Healing, Colorado where I trained to become a certified Birth Healing Specialist.

During the last trimester mom’s joints get loose and her pelvis starts preparing for the labor. Her pelvis needs to be able to move and it does move in a certain way to enable the baby to get out:

The baby should be head down and as she starts to come down through the pelvic inlet the ilia (pelvic bones) need to open up. The sacrum moves backward first to allow the baby to engage in the pelvic inlet. And then, as baby turns and comes down, engages and hits the pelvic floor muscles of mom stimulates her body to actually move to the opposite direction.

The sit bones need to open up in the sacrum, the tail bone needs to move out of the way to allow the baby to come through the pelvic canal. These are normal birthing motions.

But sometimes when mom’s body gets stuck in this position – so-called Open Birth Pattern – even after the baby’s born safely, which means her body is still open up, this can cause issues during her postpartum recovery. But be sure that this can be corrected.

How does Open Birth Pattern develop?

There are three usual situations when an Open Birth Pattern can develop:

  1.  When the baby enters the left side of the birth canal and her head rubs up against the pubic bone in the front. For the PT checking the pubic bone, it can feel hard while it should feel nice and spongy. The mom, on the other hand, can feel pain in the area of the pubic bone.
  2. Depending on mom’s actual birthing position on their back, the right-sided SI joint over the sacrum and the ilium meet-up. It gets stuck and not moving as it should. It can’t go back down the way that it should normally be.
  3. The third thing that can happen is that the sit bones stay splayed open.

Watch my video here to see me demonstrate what happens to the pelvis during labor and when it gets stuck in the birthing position:

What are the possible symptoms of an Open Birth Pattern?

Here are some possible symptoms that may indicate that your body ‘’still thinks’’ that you’re birthing:

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Weakness
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse (heaviness in the vaginal area, feeling like things are gonna fall right out…)
  • Pain with Sex
  • Pelvic and/or Back Pain with the second/third/fourth/… pregnancy
  • Ungrounded Feeling/ feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling Unstable in Pelvis
What can you do to get help or facilitate your postpartum recovery?

If you, after watching my video about Open Birth Pattern and reading my blog post here, suspect that you possibly have an Open Birth Pattern, you can do the following:

To sum up, an Open Birth Pattern is completely and gently treatable with a conservative treatment that I administer to moms on a daily basis. One of the things that I do is assess the mobility of mom’s pelvic area and we start getting the mobility back where it needs to be. There are a few different ways to do this.

You can read a success story when I treated an Open Birth Pattern in one of my patients and helped her heal.

If you know someone who’s just had a baby or is not enjoying their postpartum, please share this blog post. Maybe you’ll do them a huge favor. Thank you!

Justine Calderwood

The Healing Spot Physical Therapy

"We Help Individuals Overcome Pelvic Floor Issues, And Heal Bowel & Bladder Conditions So They Can Be Active and Pain Free Again, Regardless of How Long It's Been"