Labor and Birth Positions

Laying on one’s back is most often not the most powerful or efficient and comfortable way to have a baby.

Women around the world give birth in many different positions. It can be easier to be assisted by gravity, by pushing the baby downward, instead of with the pelvis tilted up. Experiment in labor, move your body to find positions most comfortable for you

Here are some ideas to try as you labor and birth your baby.

standing-leaning

Standing uses gravity to help bring the baby down the birth canal.
When combined with leaning against a partner, it can also be a good way for the mother and partner to connect and bond during labor.

hands-and-kneesWhen labor fails to progress in other positions, turning on to the hands and knees can allow things to shift and help stimulate labor.
For example, the hands and knees position can help move a baby that has become stuck from shoulder dystocia.

side2Side Position, assisted by a midwife, doula, or partner

squatSquatting is the position of choice in many traditional cultures, naturally widening the pelvis, providing more room for the baby to come out.

kneeling_forwardUsing the birth ball or chair to facilitate the hands and knees position.

 

sitting The birth ball is both comfortable and provides a good resting place so that the mother to relax between contractions.

birth-chairBirth chairs provide back support, but have an opening in the seat, giving the care provider a space for catching the baby.

Note that while the mother is on her hands and knees, the midwife is using a "rebozo," a shawl popular in Latin cultures to assist during labor.

Note that while the mother is on her hands and knees, the midwife is using a “rebozo,” a shawl popular in Latin cultures to assist during labor.

The birth chair puts the mother in an upright position, using gravity to carry the baby down the birth canal. It also allows the midwife to be in the perfect position for catching the baby. Note the birth ball in the lower left corner of the foreground.

The birth chair puts the mother in an upright position, using gravity to carry the baby down the birth canal. It also allows the midwife to be in the perfect position for catching the baby. Note the birth ball in the lower left corner of the foreground.

photo by Jefferson Rudy

photo by Jefferson Rudy


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