Hopefully for most of you, the idea of birthing flat on your back brings up facts about how that's the least effective position short of hanging from the ceiling by your ankles, how it closes up the pelvis by approximately 30 percent, and how in some other countries, it's actually illegal for a provider to suggest a woman birth on her back unless it's necessary or of course, unless she actually wants to.
No? That's not what you were thinking?
It's because women rarely see anything other than birthing flat on the back (which isn't okay for your whole pregnancy but is for 5-10 hours in labor?), it can be hard to think of other ways you could give birth, and that's where I come in.
There are many other positions to labor or give birth!
These are just some suggestions. During your labor and delivery, move around (or get help moving around) until you find what feels best and right to you, whether it's standing with one leg up on a chair or laying on your side with a leg held up. Moving and walking, swaying and squatting all can not only help alleviate pain, but can aid in a speedy labor with minimal trauma to your vaginal area, prevent the baby from getting "stuck" and make your birth experience much more pleasant in general.
Even if you don't want a water birth, sitting in a fairly warm bath or standing in a hot shower can not only help ease any discomfort but have been shown to help almost as much as pictocin in early labor. Your blood pressure CAN drop from these, but not in a negative way, but be aware of that in case your doctor tries to freak out when you step out of the tub.
Try packing a rice pack and ask a nurse to pop it in the microwave, bring a birth ball (if your hospital doesn't already have one), and buy a cheap, battery-operated massager at the store in case you have back pain. Even if you're not opting for the hospital, obviously these all still apply.
If you feel you have to lay on your back, try to either sit the bed as upright as you can handle, or consider laying on your side, even with pillows propped behind you. Get creative! Don't let hospital procedures ruin your birth.
What position do you feel is best for you in labor or delivery?
Image via wickenden/Flickr