Image of woman giving birth as bones protrude from her back goes viral

A photo of a pregnant woman giving birth as bones protrude from her back has gone viral, generating comments from awestruck social media users.

Last month, Tangi Birth Services, a pregnancy care center in Ponchatoula, La., shared the image, which was originally posted on North Dallas Doula Associates's Instagram account in January. The photo shows the woman bent over as she prepares to give birth. A bulge can be seen on her lower back.

"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," North Dallas Doula explains in its Instagram caption. "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."

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Though the image caught the attention of a number of Instagram users, it almost immediately went viral on Facebook after Tangi shared it on September 19. While the photo may be unusual to many who are not familiar with childbirth, the center was quick to point out that it is, in fact, normal for women to experience a bulge.

"[It] is in fact an integral part of a physiological birth as it allows your baby the maximum amount of space to turn as they navigate their way out into the world," the center wrote. "In order to facilitate the opening of your back, you should use active birth positions where you are upright and leaning forwards."

As of Thursday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 51,000 times and received over 22,000 comments.

"I gave birth in my room all alone and this is exactly the position my body went in to deliver," one mother wrote in response. "Amazing. Our bodies are so powerful."

Others weren't even aware that they, too, had experienced a bulge while giving birth.

"My husband told me about this! I give birth on my knees and he said the base of my back pushed out. Fascinating to see a photo of it thank you," another wrote. "And ouch! No wonder I found labour worse on my back! I soon flipped over."

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