See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

See the fireworks Hoksiyuhab Oti created by blogging on Check out their 2015 annual report.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

2016 will be even better!  Thanks and gratitude for all those who are following this blog, and reading my posts!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!





Positions for Labor-Part 2


Variations of the Squat

The Supported Squat

birthing• Your partner sits or squats behind you, toboggan-like style with back against the wall or bed, or using a chair for support
• Or your partner can be in front, doing a squat, and hold your hands for balance.
Standing Supported Squat
• As you relax down into the squat, take the weight off your feet and melt into the arms and against the body of your partner.
• In this position your body will tell your mind to relax
• You then surrender your mind and body to your labor
Dangle Support Squat
• Your partner supports from behind, or two people supporting you (one on each side) helping in supporting you in the squat position.


image004This position is a natural extension of the squat position when the labor is too intense.

• Kneel on the floor with a pillow
• Lean against a chair
• Or get on all fours
o especially good for back labor
o to try and turn a posterior positioned baby
o or if your labor is accelerating and seems unmanageable.

Kneel-Squat Position

• Kneel with one knee while squatting with the other leg.
• Alternate between legs, or you can do a rocking and swaying motion.
Knee-Chest Position
• Your knees are on the floor, while your head and arms are on a pillow
o Slows overly intense contractions
o Counteracts an urge to push when your cervix is not fully ripened.


CHAIR STRADDLE• Sit straddled over a low stool, toilet seat, chair or birthing bed angled like a seat
• The best of these is the sit-squat over a low stool, for the same reasons as the plain old squat position



SIDE-LYING• Does NOT use GRAVITY in the same manner as the SQUAT.
• Best on the left side, to prevent the uterus from compressing major blood vessels that run along the right side of the backbone
• It provides a way to labor without pressure of the uterus on the back, and allows for some sleep in a long labor.
• Use pillows for your head, and pillows under the knee of the right leg, and support pillows behind your back.
o It allows you to quickly roll into the kneel or up into a squat
o Once the contraction is done you can roll back into your nest of pillows.


*Images from The Birth Book, Sears & Sears (1994) and internet birthing images/stock photos*


Balaskas, Janet. Active Birth: the new approach to giving birth naturally, rev. (1992) Harvard Common Press.

Dick-Read, Grantly. Childbirth Without Fear: principles and practice of natural childbirth, 2nd ed. (2013) Pinter & Marition.

Sears, William and Martha Sears. The Birth Book: everything you need to know to have a safe and satisfying birth. (1994) Little, Brown and Company.

Let Your Monkey Do It



standing labor


Birth: Let Gravity and Movement Work for You

A woman needs to be able to change her position and to move around freely while in labor. The supine position is the antithesis of an easy birthing. “Movement greatly helps cervical dilation during the early part of labor” says Ina Gaskin, and it also assists the baby to be positioned correctly so baby can move into the birth canal.

If there are no hindrances to movement a pregnant mother will have any problems getting into the positions that assist in cervical dilation.

Things such as:

Intravenous lines- when you move the pole and line are awkward, and you really cannot move freely.

Electronic fetal monitoring: the transducer will set off an alarm when you move because it no longer picks up baby’s heartbeat; causing a nurse or midwife to come running.

Epidural anesthesia: would be problems due to the paralysis of the lower limbs.

Women will not intuitively lie down to birth. It is the outside forces and/or culture that pressures the women into it. There are some common positions that women worldwide have used, including the Lakota culture. These would be: sitting, kneeling, squatting, and on one’s hands and knees.

Some would require the usage of supports of various types. These supports could include ropes for the mother to pull on, birth chairs, stakes pounded into the ground, or the embracing support of a husband or a female birth attendant.

The benefits of upright positions are:

• Better use of gravity
• Maximum circulation between mother and baby
• Better alignment of the baby to pass through the pelvis
• Stronger rushes
• Increased pelvic diameter … when kneeling or squatting

The classic is: walking. Walking is upright (hence assists with gravity), and assists in the same manner as any of the other positions for birth. It is especially helpful in early labor. Other variations are to stand and gently sway the hips, using the principle of gravity again.

Listen to your intuition. It will tell you what to do…

Or as Ina May Gaskin says:

“Let your Monkey do it”

In other words, don’t let your over busy human mind interfere with the ancient wisdom of your body.

• Monkeys don’t use technology for birth
• They don’t obsess about whether they are inadequate in any way
• They don’t pin blame on anyone else for their condition
• Monkeys do not sit and calculate how long labor will take them, based upon how much dilation takes place.
• Monkeys assume the most comfortable position and not a position they are told to assume
• Monkeys are not self-conscious regarding the noises they make…

How can you “Let your Monkey do it” in a hospital setting?

Ina May Gaskin says:

“I believe it helps to mentally prepare
to be a little wild while you’re there”

It may mean doing something unconventional in order to keep moving through labor. Act as you would if in your own bedroom even though you may be in a hospital setting.


Trust the Process

Hoksiyuhab Oti:

“The house for giving birth (having babies)”. It is my goal to develop a free-standing birthing center on the Rosebud Reservation. I also wish to have a converted bus to travel around to the various communities on the reservation and bring birth support to the individual women on the reservation.

Childbirth Education

This is a source site for information about infertility/fertility issues, preparation for pregnancy,  healthy pregnancies, a safe childbirth, and Post-Partum care, and breastfeeding. The Rosebud Tribal Education has its own services for educating woman on the reservation for Parenting Classes. These two are separate and yet linked groups of topics.

Here you will also find support for those who wish to assist women and teens in pregnancy, links to information about childbirth, and a portal for online short-course Childbirth Education, for those who cannot afford/have no insurance for a class or have no transportation.  There will also be a page of links for information online.

Childbirth is a normal process.

Long before doctors took charge, women were helping women to give birth.

These women were called midwives.