June 20, 2023
The Writing of The Breech Release?
“Where goes breech, there goes birth! -Gail Tully, CPM
This is the first blog that I am writing for The Breech Release: Opening Pathways for Midwifery and Prenatal Bodywork!!!!
It is through breech that we actually pay deeper attention for it turns us as midwives, birthworkers, or bodyworkers upside down. This new perspective, however, is part of the gifts that breech provides in which we grow our skills for all pregnancies, including our new ways of seeing while opening our deeper understandings of anatomy and physiology.
This book was born of the work that Jamie Mossay and I were doing with breech families. The breech moms, babies, parents, and surrogates all deserve to have more skills for both pregnancy and birth as 1 in 25 pregnancies at term are breech.
Partly what makes breech work so rewarding is that people are in need of assistance in acute ways that are not being fulfilled by the culture at large. Mostly what they seem to crave is midwifery modeled care practices that respect the mind, body, and soul regardless of how they plan to birth their baby. There is currently a void for breech care in many places. Midwives, bodyworkers, chiropractors, or physical therapists will be the ones to fill this void. And in return, breech, when respected and organically observed, will give back to you.
After years of breech body balancing, I wanted to share what I had learned from my hands and observations, so I asked Jamie Mossay who was more seasoned with anatomy to help me complete a paper that I was guessing would be about 50 pages long. This “paper” became the book The Breech Release and when completed was much longer than I expected.
The book’s original intention for me was to just get this information out there so that it was accessible to the bodywork and midwifery community. It was meant for others’ to grow while I focused on being a midwife. Breech work has transformed my midwifery practice for everyone I serve – not just breech. And with a smaller home birth practice, breech began to teach me a skills subset that I had not come across as often. Breech bodywork was the key to a deeper understanding of specially shaped uteruses, variations in amniotic fluid, scars from surgeries, large fibroids, understanding more about fetal positioning, and much more.
However, in general, client desperation to avoid a cesarean birth also carries with it people in trauma, parents unsure of how to navigate towards a vaginal birth, some people in pain who had already been in pain for weeks, and babies who seemed to just need validation in how they were situated in the wombspace within. Such interactions led us to acknowledge the four pathways outlined in this book. The four pathways are really just bridges between the conscious and the unconscious worlds in which we enter in a breech body balancing session.
The Four Pathways include: Trauma-informed care practices, touch and bodywork, use of various positions, and gravity an movement. As we continue mentorship in workshops and community we look forward to growing these important community care practices.
Before writing The Breech Release, I was influenced in my thinking and learnings by forming a relationship to the rebozo after being taught and presented one when visiting Oaxaca in the early 2000s. The rebozo taught me something that felt quite magical in which I didn’t have names for as to why things were affective for the nervous system, for pain, or for positioning. Once you learn certain understandings, you ask different questions.
So many experiences following this led me to question how I could improve in helping babies be born even when I felt quite good at assisting babies to rotate or find space to descend in labor. I also learned more from Gail Tully of Spinning Babies® fame as well as many of the trainers who joined me in teaching. I learned that many came before me in traditional as well as modern cultures. Both Jamie Mossay and Adrienne Caldwell added to my understandings of connective anatomy and physiology. Many different people, ways of seeing, understandings of the body, continue to influence this work.
Yet breech body balancing and The Breech Release is about so much more than fetal positioning. May we grow skills together and look towards restorative birthmark practices.
May we grow this community together while caring for this sacred craft of midwifery.
Check out upcoming workshops as we continue to learn together.
Nicole Morales, Midwife June, 2023
P.S. A thank you to co-author Jamie Mossay for being a good teaching and writing partner in this work as well as Rindi-Cullen Martin whose skills for organizing this work continues to allow us as a team to do this work more effectively.
Keep a look out for workshops by Jamie Mossay, Emma Moreland, and Myself!