The Mile’s Circuit – a simple positioning tool

The Mile’s Circuit is named after Megan Miles, a Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Student of Midwifery. The circuit is a simple set of positions used to achieve optimal positioning either before or during labour. Optimal positioning is considered to be the LOA position (Left Occiput Anterior) as this position facilitates a smooth entry into the pelvic outlet and descent for the baby.

The Mile’s Circuit has been used prenatally to rotate a baby from posterior to anterior position and as a natural method of induction if positioning is delaying the start of labour.

The circuit can be used during labour if it isn’t progressing, whether the surges are not getting stronger, longer or closer together or whether it is known that positioning of the baby is not optimal.

The series of 3 positions has shown great results for:

  • helping line up a baby into an optimal position during early labour
  • relieving pressure on a mum’s back if she is experiencing back labour
  • turning a baby that is not in the optimal position
  • regulating or speeding up an erratic or slow labour

So what is the circuit?

3 positions, each one held for 30 minutes. Be sure to empty your bladder before starting and have plenty of water nearby to drink during the circuit. Complete the circuit through surges if you’re in labour.

Position 1: open knee chest

7224280_origStart in cat/cow, then drop your chest as low as you can to the bed or the floor and your bottom as high as you can.  Knees should be fairly wide apart, and the angle between the torso/thighs should be wider than 90 degrees. Wiggle around, prop with lots of pillows and use this time to get totally relaxed. This position allows the baby to scoot out of the pelvis a bit and gives them room to rotate, shift their head position, etc

Position 2: exaggerated sims

473486Roll to your left side, bringing your top leg as high as possible and your bottom leg straight. Roll forward as much as possible, again using a lot of pillows. Sink into the bed and relax some more. Try and get your top right leg up towards your head and get as rolled over onto your belly as much as possible.

 

Position 3: Get up and moving

9657377Lunge, walk stairs facing sideways, 2 at a time, (have a spotter downstairs of you!), take a walk outside with one foot on the curb and the other on the street, sit on a birth ball and hula- anything that’s upright and putting your pelvis in open, asymmetrical positions.  This gives your baby a chance to move down. If you are lunging or stair or curb walking you should lunge/walk/go up stairs in the direction that feels better to you.

The key with the lunge is that the toes of the higher leg and mum’s belly button should be at right angles. Do not lunge over your knee – that closes the pelvis.

When do you use the circuit? 

Some women use the circuit in the weeks leading up to birth starting with 10 minutes per position, building up to 30 minutes per position. The knee chest position can be particularly challenging to hold for 30 minutes so by starting slowly, the mother can build up her strength gradually.  Alternatively, a birth companion can hold a Rebozo under the belly to help her maintain this position (see image right). 6233285_orig

There’s no need to do preparation beforehand, particularly if your baby is well positioned. Many women are completely unaware of the Mile’s Circuit until it’s suggested to them in labour.   It’s another tool that we can use and comes in very handy during a slow or stalled labour to avoid augmentation or when a Cesarean section is suggested due to positioning.

The Mile’s Circuit website is simple, straightforward and easy to follow and where all of this information can be found.  There’s also a convenient printable PDF version of the circuit here:

http://www.milescircuit.com/printable-version.html

Adapted from www.milescircuit.com by Sharon Muza, CD(DONA), LCCE, DONA Approved Birth Doula Trainer.