The Double Hip Squeeze – Comfort During Labor

This post is part of the Preparing for Birth Series. Guest Dionna of Code Name: Mama shares a labor comfort technique your birth partner can use during labor. For more information about Dionna, be sure to check out the bottom of this post and for more posts on birth support, check out our week of birth support posts here on the blog.

hip squeeze

I wanted to share something that felt so flipping good to me during labor, and I did not know about it until a week or two before I gave birth. It is known as the “double hip squeeze.”

What is the double hip squeeze?

The double hip squeeze is a form of pressure massage that has many uses during childbirth. It can:

  • relieve lower back pain;1
  • reposition a baby who is posterior;
  • reposition a baby who is slow to descend; and/or
  • reposition a baby whose head is not in an ideal position.2

Why does the hip squeeze work?

A laboring mother’s pelvis is stretched by the pressure of the baby’s head bearing down.3 The baby can also put uncomfortable pressure on the sacrum.4 “The hip squeeze pushes the pelvis back into a relaxed position,” which both “relieves the pressure of the stretch” and causes the “pelvis to flare out slightly, allowing the baby room to move around and down.”5

Her hubby demonstrates the double hip squeeze on my friend, Shannon

How does your labor partner perform the double hip squeeze?

1. Have the mother lean forward. She can be standing, kneeling on hands and knees, or supporting herself on something like a couch or birth ball.

2. “Place your hands along her hips, fingertips on the top of her hipbones.” Keeping your hands parallel to the floor and your palms stationary, “rotate your hands inward to apply pressure. Using your palms, apply pressure up and in. Your palms should be in the fleshy circle of muscle, not on any bone.”6

3. “Experiment to find the places where the pressure feels best. . . . Apply as much pressure as she needs.”7

This technique can be done with one or two labor partners. My husband would recommend two – he did the double hip squeeze a maximum of six times, and with the amount of pressure I was asking him to give me, he was worn out.

Here is a video that shows the double hip squeeze in action:

You can also do the double hip squeeze using a Rebozo:

I only wish I’d known about this for Kieran’s birth!

What was your greatest pain management technique during labor?

__________________________


Dionna is a lawyer turned work at home mama of two amazing kids, Kieran and Ailia. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting and life with little ones.

Dionna is excited to share her newest project, a journal for mothers of adult (or almost adult) children. Order a copy for your own mama! For My Children: A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes, and Wisdom from Amazon or Barnes & Noble will be ready in time for Mother’s Day!

  1. See The Hip Squeeze” at Birthing Naturally
  2. See Comfort in Labor at 12 (PDF) and Massage, acupressure, positions
  3. See The Hip Squeeze” at Birthing Naturally
  4. How to Do the Double Hip Squeeze
  5. See The Hip Squeeze” at Birthing Naturally and Massage, acupressure, positions
  6. Erica Lyon, Donald Matheson, The Big Book of Birth.
  7. Comfort in Labor at 12 (PDF)
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