Awe-Inspiring Photo Shows Mum’s Bones Moving During Birth Of Her Baby

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 01 Oct 2019 08:31
Awe-Inspiring Photo Shows Mum's Bones Moving During Birth Of Her BabyAwe-Inspiring Photo Shows Mum's Bones Moving During Birth Of Her BabyNorth Dallas Doulas/Instagram

A photo made headlines recently, depicting the amazing way women’s bodies change and adapt during pregnancy and childbirth.


The photo shows a woman standing up in a birthing room during childbirth, hunched over the hospital bed as a number of nurses and midwives look on.

What many people have commented on, however, is the visible bulge at the woman’s lower back, demonstrating how a woman’s body, particularly the pelvis, can adapt and move during pregnancy.

Pregnant mumPregnant mumPixabay

The photo was originally posted to Instagram by North Dallas Doulas, who wrote:


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

They then explained the bulge is an area called the rhombus of Michaelis, which includes three lower vertebrae that move backwards during the second stage of pregnancy, hence the bulge making it look as if the bones are protruding.

Pregnant woman sitting on bed at home holding her bumpPregnant woman sitting on bed at home holding her bumpGetty

The post, written by Dr Sarah Wickham, continued:

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’.

Check it out:

Dr Wickham continued:


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.


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This story has been reposted and is not contemporary news.

Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Science, Baby, birth, bones, move, mum, Pelvis, pregnancy


North Dallas Doulas/Instagram
  1. North Dallas Doulas/Instagram