We hear from the doctors and the image gets enforced in movies that lying down on the hospital bed is the way to labor and have a baby. Best for who? Best for doctor, of course. Because he's the one who has it so hard, right? Not the laboring mother. How wrong is this? We need to be in the best position for us.
Having a baby isn't about making your doctor comfortable, it's about having the best birth and the best baby having experience you can with the greatest outcome. Which means, there are some better positions to be in when you are having your baby.
It's all about gravity. Lying down flat on your back could make baby just want to stay in the belly, and make pushing baby out that much harder, not to mention more painful. Lying flat just isn't natural for most women and it's been found that being upright shortens the duration of labor and decreases your chances of having an emergency c-section. Being upright in some way made women have a 19 percent less chance of having an epidural. Meaning, there wasn't unbearable pain because walking around and going with upright positions during labor makes more sense and feels right for many women.
The thing with hospitals is that the bed is the focus, so women are just more inclined to lay down. And doctors like it. But trying sitting up more, Mamas! Here are the best positions to labor in.
1. Semi-reclined. This allows gravity to help, but also gives laboring moms support on their back and neck. It enables them to relax, focus on their breathing, and let nature take over.
2. Walking around. In the early stages of labor, walking around helps you deal with the contractions and encourages descent. Try swaying your hips as you walk, with support from your partner or wall bar.
3. On all fours. Many women feel they can rock their hips well in this position to help bring baby gently down the birth canal.
4. Leaning or kneeling forward. This often helps with shifting the baby if necessary and can make contractions less painful and more productive. A birthing ball is often used, and it helps align your pelvis properly while using gravity.
5. Squatting. Your partner can help support your squat and like kneeling, this helps align your pelvis. You can also use a wall bar to steady yourself. Often good in the second stage of labor.
6. On a birth stool. Some really love this specially made chair for birth and some midwives and birthing centers have them. It's a good way to feel seated or in a squat position with the strength of a chair.
Of course the best position is always the one that works best for you, so try them all during labor and see what makes you feel most comfortable and helps your labor and delivery.
What positions worked best for you during labor? Will you try any of these?
Image via futurestreet/Flickr