The positions that you choose for labor and birth are important. They will help you be more comfortable during the labor process. Some positions will also help speed the process of labor. Many of these positions can be done with or without the help of your partner, husband, doula or nurse. Practicing them prior to labor will also make them seem familiar and more comfortable and natural.
Walking in labor is a great way to help not only speed labor but make you more comfortable. It is also a great way to spend early labor. Some women will choose to walk through their neighborhoods, or even the mall on colder days. No matter where you choose to walk, even if it’s simply the halls of the hospital, walking can help your pelvis move about more freely and help gravity assist your baby in moving down into your pelvis.
During the later stages of labor, you may not feel like walking during contractions.
You can use any type of chair, from a kitchen chair, to a rocking chair. Many hospitals and birth centers have chairs available for you to use in each labor and birth room. You can also sit on a ball.
You can also sit in a bed, or in a birth tub. If you only have access to a shower, consider sitting on a shower chair in the shower
3. Sitting in a Chair Backwards
4. Tailor Sitting
Tailor sitting is a relaxing variation of sitting. It can be done in bed or on the floor, depending on where you are most comfortable. Again, this is an upright position for labor and allows gravity to help. It is also very relaxing and provides a nice stretch of the inner thigh and back.
6. Side Lying
The side lying position is a gravity neutral position, meaning that there are no benefits of gravity in this position. This is a great position for slowing down your labor or birth. It can also be used for taking pressure off of the perineum during birth.
Many hospitals will use this position in conjunction with epidural anesthesia or other medications. It can also be used to alter positions from semi-sitting. It may be used for laboring women with blood pressure issues or if your baby is showing signs of fetal distress.
Squatting is a great way to increase the diameter of your pelvic outlet. This position should not be used until your baby is engaged in your pelvis. This is also known as zero station or lower (positive numbers). Once engaged this is a great position to help encourage the descent of your baby further into your pelvis. It is also a great position in which to give birth.
The squatting position helps protect your perineum making it less likely that you would tear or require the use of an episiotomy during your birth. It is joking called the midwives’ forceps because of its ability to speed the pushing phase of labor.
8- Hands and Knees
If your baby is posterior or you are experiencing back labor, this position can be comforting.
9. Leaning Forward
Leaning forward can help take the pressure off of your back in labor. You can stand and lean forward over a ball or stack of pillows. You can be on your knees and lean over something or someone one. Or you can hang over the side of a labor tub if you have access to a tub while in labor. This often feels like a really relaxing position in labor, particularly between contractions.