Positions You Should be Birthing In
In my reading yesterday, I came across The World Organization Practices that Promote Healthy Birth, and the one practice in that list that stood out to me the most was : “Women should not give birth on their back”. Something that high profile professionals like Michael Odent, Ina May Gaskin, and Marsden Wagner have been saying for decades, yet the practice of putting a woman on her back for birth has not changed.
Another part of this is that movement is instrumental in labor. Staying in bed, on your back is not going to help labor progress or make labor manageable for most women.
Our whole pregnancies we are told to stay off of our backs, not sleep on our back for fear of harming the baby, or compressing blood flow to the baby, but the first thing they do when you check into the hospital is put you on your back. Doesn’t seem like a common sense thing to do. Unfortunately for women this is the most convenient position for your provider to deliver your baby in, and that is why it was been implemented.
So I wanted to talk about a couple alternative birthing positions, and their pros and cons.
Standing Supported Squatting :
- This position helps to realign your pelvis which will increase it by up to 15 %.
- This position allows you to be supported by your standing or sitting partner, the wall, or a squatting bar allowing you several options.
- Standing supported squatting allows your body to take advantage of gravity.
- This may assist, or help your urge to push during the second stage of labor.
- Standing supported squatting helps make the contractions less painful, and more productive to your labor process.
- The movement and positions you can get into with this position will help cause changes in your pelvic joints which will in turn help your baby to come down into the birth canal easier.
- This position requires the help of a strong partner.
- May become a tiring position for both you and your partner.
Sitting on the Toilet :
- Sitting on the toilet during labor will help to relax your perineum.
- This position like the one above also utilizes gravity.
- You get used to an open-leg position and the pelvis pressure that comes with it.
- The pressure from the toilet seat itself may be uncomfortable.
Sitting Position :
- This position is good for helping Mom to rest.
- Like the other positions, this will help with the use of gravity.
- The sitting position can be used with continuous electronic fetal monitoring in mothers who have a need for that type of monitoring/intervention.
- This position for laboring or birth may not be an option if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Squatting Position :
- Squatting helps to encourage rapid descent by the baby.
- Again, like above, this position encourages the use of gravity in birth.
- Your thighs will help to keep the baby aligned.
- Descent is encouraged by the position.
- Squatting may increase the rotation of your baby.
- The Squatting position is helpful for fetal circulation.
- This allows freedom to shift your weight to stay comfortable without much movement.
- Requires less bearing down effort for giving birth.
- Squatting may increase your pelvis diameter by as much as 2 full centimeters.
- Squatting allows for extended perineal access.
- This position can often be tiring.
- May be hard for you to assist in the birth yourself if you have the desire to.
- Sometimes hard for health-care providers to hear fetal heart tones.
Those are my first couple positions I plan to cover in the next week or so. I don’t want to make the post too long, or bombard you with too much information at once.
I am really enjoying the chance to share all I am learning my my journey to become a childbirth educator through my blog! If you are a childbirth educator, or just interested, check out our Childbirth Educator party on Twitter tonight! 10pm EST and it will be under the hashtag #CBEParty I hope you come join in!
- Positions You Should Be Birthing In (Part 2) | Momotics
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- Natural Birth at a Hospital: Making it Work for You — Giving Birth with Confidence
- Do Everything in Your Power « Mother's Advocate Blog
- Why Aren't More Women Choosing Natural Childbirth? | Being Pregnant
- Why Aren’t More Women Choosing Natural Childbirth? « princesspipersmama
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