Labor of Love | Part 1: Movement and Partner Support for Birth

Does squatting really open the pelvis wider than lying down? How on earth is a baby going to fit out of there? Don’t I have to lie on my back while I’m pushing the baby out? How can I use movement if I’ve had an epidural? What if I want to labor on hands and knees?

Come together with other expecting mothers and birth partners to discover answers to these questions and more. Together we will practice movements, postures and breath practices that support the labor and birth process.

Learn why breath and movement help us cope with the sensations of birth, and how movement helps the body adapt to birth and the baby finds his/her best way out. Discover how the birth partner’s physical support and hands-on techniques can help the mother throughout labor. And discover the powerful connection that is built between birth partners as they learn to breathe and move together.

Below you will find a sample class meditation audio recording as well as a video about Choices In Birth that we encourage families to watch as early in pregnancy as possible. (This topic is explored in more depth in the Informed Choices workshop.

Open Circle offers prenatal massage as well as postpartum massage with baby in Providence, Rhode Island

Can’t thank you enough for your classes on labor/delivery. I was able to deliver him lying down on my side. Your pushing info along laboring techniques all came in very handy. [Our doctor] said we had done our homework!

A.+M. G.

South County


  • The Awareness Scan (birth meditation)
  • Why Move in Birth (group discussion)


    • Baby positioning
    • Baby descent
    • Uterine Function
    • Comfort (physical and emotional)
    • Facilitating more likelihood of Vaginal Delivery, whether planning medicated or unmedicated birth
  • Supporting the Laboring Parent: Tools for Birth Support People
    • Feeling the Breath (partner exercise)
    • Understanding a laboring person’s experience and needs
    • Reading the signals of a laboring parent (group discussion)
  • Practicing Movement for Labor


    • Dance, baby dance: move those hips!
    • Forward leaning
    • Side-lunging/asymmetric poses
    • Squatting
    • Pushing + Birth
    • Movement for parents choosing epidurals
  • Pacing Yourself in Labor: What to Do When

*Supplemental Resources found in the expandable box include instructional videos on hands-on manual supports techniques for birth support, including the “Double Hip-Squeeze,” “Sacral Pressure,” and more.

Class Homework

Practice Awareness Scans (pg 1) and Belly Breathing (pg 3) through the course of your week
•Practice Feeling the Breath (workbook pg 6) 1-2x this week
•Practice hip circling + swaying and slow dance movements 
•Explore chapter 5 in your Understanding Birth Web APP
•If not taking class 2b, watching The Pushing Stage of Labor Video and practice pushing exercises (in video and on workbook pages 7-8)


Class Resources

Manual Support Techniques:
Double Hip Squeeze 1
Double Hip Squeeze 2
Sacral Pressure

Supporting “Optimal Fetal Positioning” in Pregnancy 
A “Good fit between mother + baby”
•Prenatal Yoga at Open Circle
Dancing for Birth at Open Circle
•Spinning Babies Daily Essentials
Breech Turning Movement Techniques

Supporting “Optimal Fetal Positioning” in Birth
A “Good fit between mother + baby”
•The Miles Circuit 
Spinning Babies Suggestions for a Variety of Baby Positions

Supporting Comfort, Strength and Mobility in Pregnancy + Birth
•Prenatal Yoga at Open Circle
Dancing for Birth at Open Circle
Prenatal Yoga with Jane Austin (video)

Understanding the Pushing Stage of Labor (video)
•Finding the Push (exercise; video minute 57:53)
•Observing the Push Awareness (exercise; video minute 59:29)


COST $65/birth team ($20-$65 IBP)

Step by step instructions can be found here:
Class Registration Instructions


“After the birth of my daughter, it was a very stressful time and I endured a significant amount of back pain for about a month. I could barely get in and out of bed. However, after Kaeli’s therapeutic massage I felt almost immediately better! It was absolutely amazing. After about one week, I could do everything without pain. She worked thoroughly with attention to every detail to insure I was always comfortable and at a peaceful place during the massage.” -SS, Providence Thank you for the work you’ve done in helping me with my shoulder and arm during these last few weeks of pregnancy. This shoulder issue has bothered me for many years, and I’ve been in and out of therapy, massage, and chiropractic care to help it. Although there has been some success in the past, the work that you have done has been different — I often felt that practitioners had a standard “script” that they were following and it didn’t really get to the root of my problem. However, the work you have done each time has been very unique to me and the issues that I’m experiencing. The difference is noticeable in the relief I’ve had after our sessions. Thank you! It has really made a difference! –G.M. Providence  
“Massage has really done wonders with our little [boy]. He is so much more comfortable with his body. He loves being changed now, and his digestion is less problematic.” -CZ, Providence “Kaeli’s Thai Yoga Massages are the most invigorating, relaxing and energizing massage experience I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried many. Little aches and stiff points seem to evaporate, I feel two inches taller, and the muscular surrender that is part of the massage experience carries over into a feeling of intense surcease that lingers long after. Wonderful!” -RF, Providence