Stations of the pelvis explained.
You may hear your Physician or Midwife make references in negative or positive numbers, or you may hear 0 station being said. Some fetal descent usually occurs before labor. You may hear that the baby is engaged ( at the top of the pelvic inlet)
Fetal Station explains how the baby is progressing through the pelvis. Zero station is when the fetal head (or legs in breech ) is at the mid-pelvis. The Ischial Spines.
The Minus 1, 2, 3or 4 means the baby’s head is that many centimeters above the mid-pelvis
0 station is the mid-pelvis ( ischial spines).
Anything in plus is below that point.
The value ranges from -4 through +4 when describing the station. On my slide, I have just -3 through +3. 0 station is at the mid pelvis. Many times during birth our main concern is dilation, however, labor progresses in 6 ways with dilation being one of them.
What can I do with this information?
You’ll know what your provider is talking about when they mention these numerical values. Be in the know. You can try different movements based on where a baby is in the pelvis to encourage descent. ( if needed) I say this because I don’t want birthing people to get concerned about the specifics, go where your body leads you.
This is good for a doula/ support person to keep in their back pocket in case you’d like to try different movement options. Example
If the baby is in the mid pelvis ( you can try lunges) If the baby is at the outlet you can work on increasing the outlet space with squats.
We will dive into that movement info next Wednesday.
Reference: The Birth Partner: A complete guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin.