The Captain Morgan maneuver

I mentioned that a midwife friend of mine described using a foot-on-a-chair technique to resolve a shoulder dystocia during a homebirth. This was after they had already tried the Gaskin manuever (or, the woman had already been on her hands and knees. Not sure if she was flipped from lithotomy to hands and knees, which is what I understand the Gaskin maneuver to be).

I nicknamed it “the Captain Morgan maneuver”, much to my commenters’ glee. Has anyone else heard of or experienced an upright delivery with a foot elevated?

ETA: Jill said it first, here in her birth story.


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15 responses to “The Captain Morgan maneuver

  1. QoB

    Jill @ Unnecessarean describes one of her births exactly the same way – even the same image!

  2. “….with a food elevated”

    Like a sandwich? The image made me laugh.

    Is this the natural birth version of hanging an IV bag? 🙂

  3. Here’s a scholarly account of using the Captain Morgan Maneuver in a birth of a large baby.

    Just kidding. I was in a pub with a pregnant friend.

    In this case, there was no SD. I was squatting at the front a jacuzzi tub in the birth center and my midwife couldn’t see anything. She had my husband help support me as I stood up with one foot on the edge of the tub and my baby (5131g) was born immediately.

    Seriously, though. If you can work to replace all of the exoticized yoni pictures with pirates, you will die an accomplished person one day.

  4. Oh funny! In the time it took me to post that, it was already posted. Word.

    • MomTFH

      I know, and as soon as it was posted, I said “Duh, I read that story!” I remembered the spinning part.

      I have absent minded professor syndrome. Except that I’m not a professor.

  5. Yehudit

    This is usually what happens if you have a shoulder dystocia in the pool. On getting the woman quickly out of the pool, she lifts her leg high over the side (Capatin Morgan stylee) – and you better have hands poised to catch the baby, because the shoulders often come at that point.

  6. Katie

    My second baby was born with me standing with one foot on the toliet. No SD, that was just the easiest position for me to get into after laboring on the toliet! She literally fell out… was great!

  7. A midwife I worked with described this exact thing for a shoulder dystocia that wouldn’t resolve any other way. It worked like a charm and the baby popped right out.

    This is just about how I gave birth to Zari, only it was a “kneeling Captain Morgan.” One knee on the ground, the other foot planted on the ground. Quite a nice way to have a baby, I think.

    Anne Frye describes lunging as one in a series of maneuvers and position changes to try when you have a SD. It’s really good at opening up the pelvis asymmetrically and shifting the internal diameters of the pelvis.

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  9. I really hope we start seeing scholarly accounts of the captain morgan maneuver. I showed the maneuver to my students just a couple of days ago but totally forgot it was the Captain Morgan maneuver (sort of like me forgetting what the Ferguson’s Reflex was when asked on the spot! 🙂 )

    I had a great birth with the CMM. No SD but a multip with a strong premature urge to push (6cm). No progress x about 2 hours in hands and knees and various other positions, then went from 7cm to baby in her arms in about 5 minutes after going Captain Morgan style.

    I had another one like this that I recall easily but it was inadvertent Captain Morgan when she decided she wanted to get back into bed.

    • MomTFH

      Thanks for adding your stories! Yeah, named medical signs / procedures / syndromes can be a pain. As long as you know what it is and what it does, who cares who it’s named after? Well, unless it’s a famous midwife (Gaskin) or a pirate (Capt. Morgan)!

      It seems like, based on the anecdotal reports, it may be more common for the woman pushing to find herself naturally assuming the Capt. Morgan position, either getting out of the tub or changing from kneeling to standing next to a bed, than for a practitioner to say – hey, you should try this out, as it happened with my midwife friend and her SD experience.

      Just like with hands and knees, I hesitate to call it a “maneuver” when it seems to be spontaneous on the part of the birther, not a technique used by the practitioner. I think hands and knees position is the same thing – it can be a spontaneously chosen position or a maneuver, depending.

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