11 Best Positions to Give Birth

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Pregnancy is a time when the mother will lose most of the mobility because of the baby growing inside. During this time, it is important to prepare yourself for the process and try different positions in order to get used to the feeling.

In this article:

How are Labor Positions Handled in the Delivery Room?
What Labor Positions Might a Pregnant Mom try when Delivering her Baby?
Comfortable Labor Positions
Why Do Most Women Give Birth on their Backs?
Positions that Make Childbirth Easier
Risks

How are Labor Positions Handled in the Delivery Room?

No need to take labor lying down anymore because these days, the mother is encouraged to labor any way in which they feel comfortable, change positions as often as they like and deliver in positions far different from the traditional flat-on-the-back position. Also, for good reason, lying flat on the back is the least effective delivery position of all. However, any position that enlists the aid of gravity is likely to yield speedier results. Barring a high-risk condition that might keep a woman in bed or keep her from trying certain positions, today’s laboring women even those with an epidural or continuous fetal monitoring can choose from a variety of labor positions for safe delivery.

best position to give birth

11 Best Labor Positions for a Comfortable Delivery

The best labor positions to ease labor pain are –

Standing and Leaning

This position allows to support yourself with the help of the spouse or a wall and makes labor less painful. The standing position helps the baby move through the birth canal because of the change in the pelvis. This increases the chances of moving into the second stage of labor. This position is more tiring to take help from a spouse.

Read More: Water Birth: Benefits and Precautions

Squatting

This position encourages the descent of the baby by increasing its rotation. It helps increase the pelvic diameter up to 2 cm. This position may be a little more tiring though.

Lying Off the Left Side

This is a resting position which can make the contraction more effective and slows the birthing position.

Read More: Things to Expect Before Vaginal Birth

Kneeling with the Birthing Ball

Choose to lean against a wall, desk with knees or use an exercise ball on a higher surface slightly bending the knees. Use a ball then to try the birthing ball positions, lean forward into the ball with the head, arms, and upper chest. This is considered one of the best ways to practice sitting positions to induce labor.

Hands and Knees

Kneeling with legs spread wide apart and lean forward with the support of the hands. In this position, sit on the ankles and let the belly sink down gradually between the knees. Use some pillows to rest the chest and hand if required.

Flexing

Flexing the muscles of the legs during stretching the legs helps to relax and also makes sure that the baby has space to move around.

Swaying

Sitting on the birthing ball helps relax the legs and lower back. Swaying from side to side and back and forth also helps. It helps opens the pelvis and rotates the baby.

Raising Feet

Sit in a chair and elevate one foot and with each contraction lean forward into the raised foot. This helps the progress of labor.

Lying on the Side and Raising the Upper Knee

Lying on one side with the lower leg straight and upper leg bent as much as possible by resting it on a pillow. This is another position that opens the pelvis and encourages the baby to descend.

Lunging

Start with facing forward placing one foot on a stool and rotate the standing foot opening the knee slowly. Then keep lunging in between contractions.

Rocking

This position helps to concentrate on labor with eyes shut and doing a pelvic movement by sitting down. This helps the baby rotate and descend.

Comfortable Labor Positions

  • If having back labor – leaning over, kneeling or getting onto the hands and knees can help relieve the pain that comes from back labor.
  • If having an epidural – walking in epidural is not possible but there are plenty of labor positions that can be assumed including sitting or lying on the side.
  • If being continuously monitored – try rocking, squat, sit or lie on the side during labor even if being monitored for contractions and fetal heart rate.
  • When delivering the baby – semi-sitting or side-lying may be the easiest delivery position but it may be more comfortable to deliver while squatting or on hands and knees.

Why Do Most Women Give Birth on their Backs?

It is because of the ease of the doctor being able to sit at the feet of the woman and the way in which hospital beds are designed to transform into a semi-reclined or flat laying position. Also, the preference for women to give birth on back by hospitals is because of the drugs given during labor like epidurals.

Positions that Make Childbirth Easier

An analysis shows that upright positions like standing, walking, squatting and sitting may shorten the first stage of labor by approximately one hour and 22 minutes. Studies also show that women spending part of labor in an upright position are less likely to end up with cesarean delivery.

Risks

Lying on the back with a full-term baby inside the uterus may put pressure on important blood vessels which possibly compromising blood flow to the baby that is why the flat-on-the-back position isn’t recommended. Still, prefer to be in bed during labor? Semi-sitting or lying on the side can reduce any risk and complication while still keeping the mother comfortable and baby safe.

Conclusion

Different positions are available which can be tried out before going for a delivery. By practicing these, it will prepare the mother physically for the baby’s entry.

References

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