An image shared on social media of how a woman’s back bones move to make room for her baby as she is giving birth has left internet users astounded. The pic, which was first shared on North Dallas Doulas Instagram, shows the woman bending over with her back to the camera. As she does so, you can observe a bulge expanding from her lower back against her skin.
Tangi Birth Services, a pregnancy care center in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, which is run by Jessica Arrazate, a certified birth/labor, postpartum, and bereavement doula, also shared the image on Facebook where it has received countless comments from users who were amazed that they were just discovering why they experienced so much back pain during childbirth.
The center captioned the image, "Can you see that bulge on her lower back? That is the rhombus of Michaelis. During the second stage of labor, a combination of bones including your sacrum actually move backwards and in doing so, increases the diameter of your pelvis. This is what is known as opening of the back.”
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Our bodies are AMAZING!!! I love witnessing its majesty! This second time mom had a precipitous/rapid birth and used chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy & postpartum @cafeoflifedallas “The rhombus of Michaelis (sometimes called the quadrilateral of Michaelis) is a kite-shaped area that includes the three lower lumber vertebrae, the sacrum and that long ligament which reaches down from the base of the scull to the sacrum. This wedge-shaped area of bone moves backwards during the second stage of labour and as it moves back it pushes the wings of the ilea out, increasing the diameters of the pelvis. We know it’s happening when the woman’s hands reach upwards (to find something to hold onto, her head goes back and her back arches. It’s what Sheila Kitzinger (1993) was talking about when she recorded Jamaican midwives saying the baby will not be born ‘till the woman opens her back’. I’m sure that is what they mean by the ‘opening of the back’. “The reason that the woman’s arms go up is to find something to hold onto as her pelvis is going to become destabilised. This happens as part of physiological second stage; it’s an integral part of an active normal birth. If you’re going to have a normal birth you need to allow the rhombus of Michaelis to move backwards to give the baby the maximum amount of space to turn his shoulders in. Although the rhombus appears high in the pelvis and the lower lumbar spine when it moves backwards, it has the effect of opening the outlet as well. “When women are leaning forward, upright, or on their hands and knees, you will see a lump appear on their back, at and below waist level. It’s much higher up than you might think; you don’t look for it near her buttocks, you look for it near her waist. (Text credit @Dr Sarah Wickham) 📸 North Dallas Doula Associates #chiropractor #chiropracticadjustment #chiropractic #bestdoulasindallas #northdallasdoulas #ndda #childbirth #unmedicated #naturalbirth #birth @TLC @Discovery @taprootdoula @birthwithoutfear
The rhombus of Michaelis, also known as the Michaelis-Raute or the quadrilateral of Michaelis, is a rhombus-shaped contour that is occasionally visible on the lower human back. The Rhombus of Michaelis is named after Gustav Adolf Michaelis, a 19th-century German obstetrician.
The center added that this movement is absolutely normal and is an integral part of a physiological birth since it enables the baby to enjoy the maximum amount of space to shift as they make their way out. The center recommends that to ease the opening of the back, women should use active birth positions in which they stand up and lean forward. As the pelvis expands, the baby's head is molding, or altering its shape to squeeze through the pelvic bones.
The center reiterates that this process is completely normal and that it is simply the body and the baby working together to facilitate childbirth. One woman commented, "My husband told me about this! I gave birth on my knees and he said the base of my back pushed out. Fascinating to see a photo of it. Thank you. And ouch! No wonder I found labor worse on my back! I soon flipped over."
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I'm posting a Spotlight on Rhombus of Michaelis, and this image, reposted from @fpc.nyc is just perfect for helping us see how the pelvis opens and creates the phenomenen seen at birth. See the next post for the gen! #hypnobirthingsunshinecoast #rhombusofmichaelis #birth #openpelvis #birthisamazing
Another wrote, "When my bones shifted for birth I felt a pop like when you crack your knuckles and it felt SOOOOO GOOD!!! I had been having terrible back labor and then POP and just this extremely wonderful release and the pain was gone. So amazing."
The rhombus of Michaelis, which comes into play during the second stage of labor, is a kite-shaped area of the lower spine that includes the sacrum and three lower lumbar vertebrae. Midwives working with mothers giving birth on all-fours or kneeling will observe a large lump that suddenly appears on the mother’s back. Some believe the baby’s head pushes the sacral prominence outward, however, it is simple the rhombus of Michaelis moving back up to two centimeters.