It used to be that all babies were delivered with
mom flat on her back, feet in stirrups. This was thought
to help childbirth. Actually, when you labor on your
back, your uterus places pressure on your inferior vena
cava, and important blood vessel, and can cause decreased blood
flow to the placenta.
Many women now find that movement, and varying positions help
not only with the progression of labor, but with the discomfort
as well. There is no best position that works for every woman.
Listen to your body, and you’ll be able to find what works
best for your labor. Here are some different positions to try.
Standing or Walking – Walking is usually most comfortable in
the early stages of labor. You can lean against your partner
for support during contractions.
Squatting – Squatting helps to open up your pelvis, giving
baby more room to move into the birth canal. Again, use
your partner for support.
Side lying – If you have to be in bed for monitoring, you may find that
lying on your side is a comfortable postion. This will allow your
partner to apply pressure to your back for back labor, or to gently
massage to help you relax. Many women find that placing a pillow
between their knees helps increase your comfort level.
Kneeling over a chair – Place a pillow on the floor to kneel on, and
one on the chair, stool, or other study surface to rest your head
and shoulders on. This position is great for back labor, as it allows
the baby to *fall* forward, relieving some of the pressure on your back.
Birthing Balls – Birthing balls are large excercise balls. Most hold up to
300 pounds. The are helpful for sitting or leaning onto during labor.
When you sit on one, it helps to open up your pelvis, it’s easier than
squatting for long periods.”