Choosing a Labor position

For those of you who didn’t already know, yes here are different positions for you to choose from for when you are in labor. The labor position you choose beforehand should be one with which you are comfortable and help ease the process as much as possible.

What are the pros of changing positions during labor?

During labor what position to you imagine yourself in? It is very essential that you choose the position carefully as it may be the difference between a normal delivery or a less comfortable one. You sit down well before hand and discuss your options with your doctor or midwife.

In the U.S. Most women stick to the cliché, woman-flat-on-back kind of labor. Although this is the most commonly used position during labor there are various benefits to getting off your back and being in an upright position.

Some of the benefits of the Upright position are:

  • You will need relatively less medication during labor.
  • This position also grants better self-confidence and control, both of which are essential in a delivery
  • You will have a relatively shorter labor period, which is a big plus.
  • This position also helps in dilating your cervix and widening your pelvic opening.
  • You will experience stronger and then more efficient contractions.
  • This position causes less stress on the baby.
  • This position helps the decent of the baby through the birth canal.
  • The position is an advantage as it help bring oxygen to the muscles in the uterus and also to the baby both very essential factors.
  • The chances of needing an episiotomy or caesarean section are considerably reduced.

 

Some of the best positions we recommend for labor are as follows:

 

  1. Standing: The more upright your choice of position is the more you allow gravity to help you do your work of pushing. During the first stage of labor even walking around can help in progress of the labor, but make sure you don’t end up tiring yourself too much while walking because you are going to need the strength to push later.
  2. Kneeling: If you have decided that being upright is comfortable and something you want to continue to do then kneeling an also be an option as eventually walking will tire you out. This position can help especially if the baby is pressing against your spine
  3. Squatting: This is a good choice for the second stage of labor, but it may be hard to maintain this position without support. Many women find it comfortable to squat on a toilet. Make sure you have a steady support like another person, a low stool or even a bean bag.
  4. Sitting: You can try sitting with one knee bent and the other relaxed. You shouldn’t lean to far back as you sit. This position too helps in increasing the blood flow to the muscles in the uterus as it drops forward thereby releasing the pressure on the diaphragm.
  5. Lying sideways: A sideways position can be beneficial if you are exhausted or have had an epidural. This position helps take weight off, what is the main blood supply to the baby and also relieves the tension on your perineum.
  6. On all fours: If the upright positions have exhausted your reserve of strength, or if the contractions are not too far apart then being on all-fours is beneficial. This position brings gravity on your side and get it to do your work for you. This position can help slow down the contractions and it also a good position is the baby is positioned with the back of his/her head pressing against the rear of your pelvis.

 

Finding a position beforehand which you are comfortable with, is essential but it is more important to improvise as your body responds to the labor as it progresses. As you change and find the best positions your baby will find the best way to fit through the birth canal.

 

If you practice the squatting position when pregnant it will be relatively easier for you to get into the position during labor. In the squatting position the leg bones act like potential levers to help widen the pelvic outlet but an additionally 20-30%. You can try these positions in the privacy of your home and find out which of the many positions you are most comfortable in.

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