The Miles Circuit
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
If you’ve hung around our Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about the Miles Circuit. It’s one of my favorite tips for pregnant moms because it:
Helps baby engage
Speeds up slow/stalled labors
Can help with prodromal labor
Encourages baby to be in an optimal position
Stretches out your muscles
So yeah, it’s pretty awesome!
What is The Miles Circuit?
The Miles Circuit was created by a doula, Megan Miles. You can read more about her and the circuit itself by visiting their website: Miles Circuit Website. They also have a great handout that you can print or have on your phone: Miles Circuit Handout
The Miles Circuit is a set of 3 steps to encourage your baby into a good position, hopefully LOA (Left Occiput Anterior). The steps are:
Open Knee Chest
Exaggerated Left Side-Lying
Curb Walking (or Lunges)
Before You Begin:
We don’t recommend doing this circuit until you’re 37 weeks.
It’s recommended to do each step for 30 minutes, but even a few minutes is better than none. Start with 10 minutes per move, and work your way up. I’ve heard many moms have a hard time staying in Open Knee Chest for 30 minutes, so I’ll give some tips below to help!
Be sure to empty your bladder before starting. We want your baby to be able to move around as much as possible, and a full bladder makes that hard to do.
Gather pillows for Step 2.
Even if you’re having contractions, you can and should do this circuit. Don’t forget that contractions are your body’s way of moving your baby around & down! They are a good thing.
Let’s get started!
Want to learn more about how to prepare for labor? Sign up for The Birth Class for Couples! It's an online & on-demand birth class that will teach you and your partner what to do to best prepare for labor.
Step 1: Open Knee Chest
This first position is easier to get into if you start on all fours. You may also want to put a yoga mat or carpet underneath you for comfort. You can even do this on your bed!
From all fours, you’ll lower yourself onto your elbows, then all the way down while keeping your bottom as high as possible. You may need to adjust yourself & use pillows to get comfortable in this position.
Try to stay in this position for 10-30 minutes. You may also have your partner support you as shown in the picture. When you’re done, sit up to a kneeling position for a minute or two to encourage your baby to drop back down into your pelvis (and to help you regain your balance).
The Purpose: The purpose of this position is to stretch out your ligaments & tissues that are attached to your uterus. Sometimes those tissues may be tight due to our posture. Tight tissues = hard for your baby to get into the best position.
Step 2: Exaggerated Left Side-Lying
You’ll want to be in your bed for this one, with lots of pillows!
Roll to your left side and extend your right leg out 90 degrees. Place a pillow under your right leg to keep it higher than your hip (and to give your baby plenty of room to scoot around). You’ll notice that the woman above is rolled over quite a bit, which is to make even more room in the pelvis for your baby to move to LOA.
You’ll want to hang out in this position for 30 minutes. This is a great time to take a nap!
The Purpose: The purpose of the exaggerated side lying position to the left is to encourage your baby to move to LOA, with its back facing mom’s left side. LOA is one of the best positions because as a baby moves down and out of the pelvis, a baby in LOA will be able to tuck its chin, curve its back and move down and out the pelvis easier.
Step 3: Lunges or Curb Walking
Wake up from your nap & put on your shoes for this one! You can count Step 3 as your daily exercise, too 🙌🏼
This step is pretty simple. You have three choices depending on your weather & location:
Curb Walk - Go outside and walk near a curb on the street. You’ll step with one foot on the curb and one foot on the street. It doesn’t matter which direction/foot you begin with, but you’ll want to switch sides after a while to ensure your body stays balanced.
Lunge or Stairs Walk - These can be done inside and are basically the same idea.
Lunges: You’ll want to do the lunges facing sideways (see pics above)
Stairs Walk: you’ll want to also walk the stairs sideways.
The Purpose: Lunging or stairs walking sideways opens your pelvis. If you lunge or walk up stairs normally, you’re closing off your pelvis. We want to stretch out your ligaments & muscles to give your baby plenty of space.
A note about lunges: the lunges we are talking about here are not full-out HIIT lunges. A simple bend in the knee until you feel a stretch is all you need to do. Also, don’t forget that your ligaments are loosey goosey right now due to all those wonderful pregnancy hormones. Don’t overdo it with the stretching!
Bonus: If you are unable to do either one of those, you can also sit on a birthing ball and circle your hips. I also recommend doing plenty of stretches to open your hips, stretch your thigh & glute muscles, and cat/cows to help relax your abdominal muscles.
Again, it’s recommended that you do this for 30 minutes. If that’s difficult for you, start with 10 minutes and work your way up.
You can do this daily starting around 37 weeks to encourage your baby into the best position. It’s especially helpful if you’re experiencing a lot of “practice labor” (that never seems to progress) - oftentimes these contractions, that really are painful, are your body’s way of trying to get your baby to engage or even switch positions. The Miles Circuit can help with that!
The last thing I’ll say is that while The Miles Circuit can be really helpful, it’s not a foolproof plan to put you into labor. Your baby and your body know when it’s a good time to go into labor, and unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it. I like to think of this as nature’s way of helping you practice patience to prepare you for the toddler stage :)
Photography Credit: Emily Weaver Brown at emilyweaverbrownphoto.com