Birth Biomechanics for Midwives, Doulas and other Birth Professionals

"Failure to Progress" in labour inevitably leads to intervention. All birth workers know that once interventions start it can be slippery slope that, at worst, can end up trundling through the doors of the obstetrics theatre and caesarean section with an exhausted and disheartened mother.

Many of us find section rates in our units is rising towards or even passing 30% of all births. With a WHO target of 10-15% alarm bells should be ringing, but many midwives see the rise of intervention as something beyond their control.

It's not. The most common reason for "failure to progress" is malpostion. Underlying most cases of malposition are a number of simple biomechanical issues that can be influenced by position and movements. I have been using these techniques in my own practice for many years and have to stop colleagues from saying "Oh there you are Molly, working your magic again".

The techniques I teach in this class are not magic. They are based on sound biomechanical principles. They are not a miracle solution, they don't work every time, and demand commitment and energy from midwives, but they are highly effective. In my own hospital many colleagues are using them in their own practice on a daily basis.

The course teaches uses of:

  • Rebozo (shawl)
  • Movement
  • Postures and positions that release muscle tension, tight ligaments and help align the baby
  • Upright positions
  • Birth balls
  • Peanut ball
  • Massage
  • Strategies to support neuro hormonal balance

These techniques help baby navigate the journey through the pelvis and birth canal in an optimal position.

They can help with:

  • Problems in pregnancy, like backache and pelvic girdle pain.
  • Troubleshoot problems during labour including a slow birthing stage.
  • Reduce the length of labour,
  • Reduce the need for pain relief
  • Increase positive birth experiences by supporting physiological birth.

For course dates and to book please call reception: 01603 514195

Molly O’Brien RM. BSc (Hons) AHBM. RCM

Midwife, antenatal educator and hypnobirthing practitioner, Molly has practised as a midwife for 20 years in both hospital and community settings, attending hundreds of women in labour. She is also been an associate lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Her area of expertise is physiological birth, hypnobirth and waterbirth, but she also has a wealth of experience in complex birth. She recently retired from full time clinical midwifery in an NHS midwife-led birth unit to focus on running courses for both colleagues and for women. She is an expert in normal, straightforward birth, and how to keep it that way. 

Molly chose to switch from nursing to midwifery after giving birth to her own children ignited a passion for the powerful and unforgettable experience of becoming a mother. In twenty years of clinical practice little has delighted her more than witnessing the calm, confident births of women who trust in their bodies and birth instinctively. A key element of such births has been a lack of fear. Molly understands through her work how fear interferes with normal physiology,  and how various factors, increased medicalisation, media sensationalism, and a less closely socially connected world have all helped bring fear into the birthing room.

Molly is an advocate of hypnobirthing, she trained as a hypnobirth practitioner on a course specifically for midwives because: “it’s an excellent tool, transforming fear into the calm confidence that gives women the best possible chance of a normal birth.”

In her practice she always took a "salutogenic" view of birth and throughout her career has studied and trained in techniques to help "keep birth normal". The techniques she learned and developed worked so well she started teaching them to students and staff in her hospital - this has evolved into a one day "Biomechanics for Birth training day for midwives and other birth workers that she regularly takes to Spain and has gone as far afield as Chile as well as venues across the UK. 

She also teaches "Moving for and Easier Birth" for women - demonstrating a series of "tricks of the trade" that can help get labour moving and keep labouring women more comfortable in pregnancy as well as whist giving birth and has just added one to one debriefing sessions for women who are struggling to come to terms with their birth experiences

 Molly Offers
Duration Cost
Hypnobirthing Course 10 x hours


Moving for an easier birth class

2.00 hours

Birth Stories Matter

1.00 hour


To book an appointment with Molly, please call: 01603 514195

To find out more about molly's work visit her website