This photo of a real-life labour might help explain things. Originally taken by North Dallas Doula Associates and shared by the Facebook page Tangi Birth Services, it shows a mother in the midst of a contraction. So far, so normal. Until that is, you notice how her bones have moved to make way for the baby.
"Can you see that bulge on her lower back? That is the rhombus of Michaelis,” the caption reads.
“During the second stage of labour, a combination of bones including your sacrum actually move backwards and in doing so, increases the diameter of your pelvis.”
Btw, this is a totally normal process that’s known as the “opening of the back.” It essentially gives bub more space to turn as they venture their way out the birth canal and into the world.
“In order to facilitate the opening of your back, you should use active birth positions where you are upright and leaning forwards,” the caption continues. “Your body was made to do this! And your body and your baby work together. Birth is not something to be feared… it is something to be understood!”
The post has racked up more than 51,000 shares and 14,000 comments, leaving so many mums feeling empowered by the crazy things their bodies are capable of.
“My husband told me about this! I give birth on my knees and he said the base of my back pushed out. Fascinating to see a photo of it. And ouch! No wonder I found labour worse on my back! I soon flipped over,” one wrote.
“The more I read about childbirth and labour the more new things I learn about our bodies as women. It’s truly an amazing experience. Powerful, exhilarating and I truly feel like the goddess I am to bring life into this world,” added another.