|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 1, 2021 at 9:05 AM|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
walking. There’s a great reason to get vertical: It helps you work with gravity, allowing your pelvis to open and your baby to move down into your birth canal. Walking is something you'll be more likely to do early rather than later in labor since it'll be harder to head for the corridors for a few laps once the contractions are coming one right after the other. Standing, however, is something you can do at any point during labor. Leaning against a wall or your partner for support during contractions is best, since it's not that easy to stand up straight when you're getting squeezed down below. Can you stand up and deliver? Gravity aside, that would be tricky — but you can squat (see below).
Rocking. Rocking, either on a chair or swaying back and forth, allows your pelvis to move and encourages the baby to descend (down, baby, down!). And the more upright you are, the more gravity is able to help you out.
Squatting. You’ll probably use this position only late in labor or during delivery itself. Like standing, squatting also employs Newton's finest while opening up the pelvis to give your baby more room to move on down. You can use your partner for squatting support (you'll probably be a little wobbly, so you'll need all the support you can get), or you can use a squatting, or birthing, bar, which is often attached to the birthing bed (leaning on the bar will keep your legs from tiring out as you squat).
Sitting. Sitting — in bed, in your partner's arms or on a birthing ball — can ease the pain of contractions and allow gravity to assist in bringing your baby down into the birth canal. Sitting also helps to open up your pelvis, and it's a lot easier than squatting for long periods.
Leaning over or
kneeling. Leaning forward — over a stack of pillows on a bed, for instance — or kneeling over a chair or birthing ball can be super helpful when you have back labor (when the back of the baby's head is pushing against your spine) because it encourages the baby to move forward, taking the pressure off your back. Alternatively, you can lean over your partner's shoulder to relieve some of that pressure.
Hands and knees. Going on all fours is another way to cope more comfortably if you're experiencing back labor. This position allows you to do pelvic tilts for comfort, while giving your partner great access to your back for massage and counterpressure (you'll want it, big time). Many moms like to deliver in this position no matter what kind of labor they're having, since it opens up the pelvis and uses gravity to coax baby down.
Side-lying. Better than lying on your back because it doesn't compress the major veins in your body (which could compromise blood flow to your baby), side lying is a good option if you’re too tired for squatting or sitting. Lying on your side also puts your partner in a good position — he'll be better able to put his best massage techniques to use. Side-lying can also be a good delivery position — it can help slow a too-fast birth (yes, there is such a thing), as well as ease the pain of some contractions.
Do any labor positions make childbirth easier? An analysis of medical studies shows that upright positions — standing, walking, squatting and sitting— may shorten the first stage of labor by approximately one hour and 22 minutes. Studies also show that women who spend part of labor in an upright position are less likely to end up with a cesarean delivery.
Don't feel compelled to squat when semi-sitting's doing the trick (and making you less inhibited about pushing). Read up on the different positions ahead of time and even give them a trial run, but remember that until you're actually in labor, you won't know what'll best bring you the relief — or the results — you're looking for.
If you have back labor: Leaning over, kneeling, or getting onto your hands and knees can help relieve the pain that comes from back labor.