Fewer interventions, a shorter span of labor, good oxygen transfer to the baby, increases the pelvic space, reduction in pain, widens the birth and no compression of muscles are the benefits of giving birth upright.
Giving birth is a magical process which makes a woman go through extreme pain. But the right position can ease the labor pain by a certain extent making post-birth bodily conditions a little better. Historical traces state that there were many positions especially upright which women opted to deliver the baby but since the 1700s lying down positions are being preferred accompanied by all the modern means. These made the medical examination easier and enhanced the treatment procedure after delivery.
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In this article:
11 Huge Benefits of Giving Birth Upright
Below listed are the significant benefits of giving birth upright:
Giving birth upright helps to use the muscles due to gravitational force and therefore, fewer pieces of equipment are required like forceps or episiotomies. Lying down would work against gravity while causing more pain and need for machines and different types of equipment.
The assistance of Gravity
Upright position makes it easier to deliver the baby as uterus contracts and expands without the use of much force and baby moves down due to the work of gravity. Lying down makes the women bear the burden of weight and force which is totally against the function of gravity.
A shorter span of Labour
Work with gravity makes it easier to deliver the baby while also decreasing the time of labor pain. Weight against the back in the lying position causes more pain and takes a longer time. Delivery takes lesser time and therefore, eases out the pain as well.
Good Oxygen Transfer to the Baby
Lying down to give birth places a lot of pressure on uterus, placenta, and baby which decreases the important blood supplies within the body and thus, to the baby as well. Compressed blood supply also compresses the oxygen supply. Whereas, by giving birth in an upright position blood and oxygen supplies would not suffer. Chances of fetal distress also decrease which promotes the ability for normal delivery.
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Increases the Pelvic Space
Upright birth opens up the pelvis thereby increasing its diameter by 30% which is eventually reduced by lying down to give birth as it does not allow the body to open up. Scans are usually inaccurate if taken in a lying down position as the pelvis’ ability is not clear.
Reduction in Pain
Staying upright causes less pain. Upright position can ease out the labor pain due to gravitational force. It also helps to ease the back pain which worsens on lying down while giving birth. Moving around and squatting helps to alleviate the pain by a major extent.
Widens the Birth
Standing or squatting widens the pelvic space, making it easier for the baby to move inside the womb. During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called Relaxin which not only relaxes the body but also helps to stretch out the ligaments making it easier for the baby to move out. This also reduces the possibility of Episiotomies.
During upright birth, the woman has to push downhill as opposed to the uphill push of lying down birth. This makes it easier for the woman to deliver the baby while reducing the pressure on the back and widens the uterus.
Natural Urge to Push the Baby
The law of gravity provides a natural urge to push the baby out. Upright position expands the uterus and helps to push the baby out smoothly. It also aligns the pelvic curves and provides for a safer birth.
No compression of Muscles
Upright birth allows for better oxygenation to the uterine muscles as vessels are not compressed. Vena Cava vein and aorta are not suppressed by the pregnant uterus. This makes the delivery safer and better than the lying down birth.
Mother’s Overall Satisfaction
Mother is overall satisfied with the birth due to the above mentioned reasons as a female wants less pain during delivery and wants to increase the relaxation factors post-delivery.
Managing the Upright Birth
Following are the ways to manage the Upright birth efficiently:
- One should move around freely during the first stage of labor with a few rest breaks involved to comfort the baby and oneself.
- Take proper support of some wall or nurses to allow for the muscles to put out the pressure easily.
- During the second stage of labor, one should try upright positions like standing, squatting or kneeling to make deliver fast and easy.
Disadvantages of Upright Birth
Below listed are the cons of giving birth upright:
- Upright positions like standing or squatting might be a little tiring for the mother and therefore, hard to sustain during the entire process of delivery.
- Tendency of tearing perineal tissues increases during the upright delivery.
- It becomes difficult to stand or walk around if the woman is getting intravenous fluids which requires continuous fetal monitoring.
- Risk of blood loss increases which is detrimental for the health of mother and baby.
- It becomes difficult to manage the baby due to limited access to the perineum. Therefore, upright birth becomes harmful.
Five Upright Positions for the Upright Birth
Below given are the best 5 Upright positions for the upright birth:
The law of gravity works best in this position. The head of the baby puts proper pressure on the cervix which helps in dilation. In this position contractions strengthen which results in better delivery.
This includes leaning forward over a birth ball or a pile of cushions. It allows for enough movement of hips which can increase the comfort.
It is one of the most powerful positions for pushing the baby. Therefore, it’s advisable practice squatting during pregnancy. The position helps to push out the baby in the easiest way.
Sitting on the birth ball during delivery is relaxing and helps to sway through the muscle contractions. The position helps to keep the legs wide open and expand the hips. Sitting with proper support can help relax the pelvic floor muscles.
This position helps to relax while giving birth without increasing the strain on major blood vessels. Lying on the left side will provide a perfect fit for upright birth. A major benefit is that the delivery is faster and smoother.
Labour is a tiring yet magical process which requires a lot of patience. But with proper medical assistance and support to the mother, it can become easier. A woman needs to save energy to assist this natural process of giving birth to a new life. These ancient means of giving birth are lesser practiced now but are important to know about.