Limp and Loose in Labor - 8 Practical Tips


8 Practical Labor Tips The muscle at the center of labor is the uterus and the cervix is the passageway between the uterus and the vagina.  I like to think of the cervix like doors that have to open up before the baby can exit. The role of each contraction is to gently open the cervix or open up the doors. 

The cervix should open more effectively when the laboring woman is limp and loose. This isn't easy! During contractions it is common to want to brace against the sensation. Women are often seen squeezing their partner's hand, grabbing onto bed rails, clenching their bum and even closing their eyes with a good deal of force. 

 8 Tips on staying Limp and Loose for Labor: 

1. Open mouth and let lower jaw hang.
2. Shake out arms and hands.
3. Blow horse lips
4. Rest hands with palms facing upward
5. Move shoulders up and down noticing any tension
6. Have support people use phrases like "limp and loose", "rag doll", and "go boneless"
7. Check in with your bum. No bum clenching!
8. Wiggle it! If any areas seem tight try to give them a wiggle to release the muscles.

Not only should staying limp and loose help contractions be more effective but reducing tension also helps reduce pain! 

 Check out the image that we created with these tips.


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  • Alice Turner
Comments 6
  • Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach
    Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach

    This is great. I’m
    Working with a mama on pitocin with an OP baby who is pretty defeated with the course her labor
    Has taken. This really helped!

  • Vivian Keeler
    Vivian Keeler

    Great advice! One of the components of Mongan Method HypnoBirthing is helping Mom’s remain loose and limp for calmer, more comfortable birth.

  • Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, Cht, CI
    Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, Cht, CI

    This is a great post! In Hypnobabies this is all entrained automatically into our moms through deep, somnambulistic hypnosis, and they instantly release any tension during their birthing waves. Deep, full body relaxation is actually an automatic, much-loved side-effect of our hypnosis techniques. : )

  • Tracy Donegan
    Tracy Donegan

    Great practical tips! In GentleBirth I also encourage partners to do a ‘mini’ body scan talking mom through it

    “Relax your forehead, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders, relax your hands” As mom moves her attention to each area she’s diverting attention from the sensation and by the time she’s reached her hands the surge has usually peaked.

    Tracy Donegan

  • Linda Aileen Miller, LMT, Doula
    Linda Aileen Miller, LMT, Doula

    Love this! I have a 41 week Mom not-so- patiently waiting! I love these suggestions-some I knew-some I didn’t! Will be sharing soon! Thank you!

  • Rae Davies
    Rae Davies

    LOVE this!! Relaxation is the missing link in birth today – it’s not being taught in childbirth classes. All of the above tips can be done sitting or leaning over the ball. Relaxation can be done in bed with the peanut ball too which allows the body to be fully “limp and loose.”

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