When you think of birthing in the hospital, you most likely think of a woman lying on her back in a hospital bed. Most women labour on their backs because they don't know what else to do. They arrive in their room and are asked to lie down so the doctor can check their cervix, and there they stay.
A woman's position in labour can either help or hinder the baby's descent into her pelvis. A woman that moves her body during labour will give that baby opportunity to wiggle towards the light. Although hospital rooms are tight quarters, there are plenty of ways to labour off your back. Try a few of these positions next time you have a baby and cut down your labour time.
Be sure to comment below to let me know your favourite labouring position.
(1) Walk the halls. During a contraction you can stop to lean against a wall, door frame or your partner.
(2) Birth ball. Sway from side to side, bounce, or move your hips in circular motions.
(3) Place birth ball on the bed and lean on it. It's soft. It has motion. It's easy to sink into.
(4) Standing. Lean on the bed or sway from side to side. This also give people great access to rub your back.
(5) Sitting. When you are sitting you are still upright. Keep your hips open to give baby as much room to descend as possible.
(6) Hands and knees. This is a great position to turn baby if baby is posterior.
(7) Over the bed. This is a variation of hands and knees and offers more support.
(8) Water. A bath or shower can help your muscles relax.
(9) Toilet. This is a very natural birthing position and spreading your hips gives baby room to descend.
(10) Squat bar. A bar attaches to the end of the hospital bed and allows women to labour or push in the squatting position.
(11) Pull and push. This is a deviation of the squat bar where a woman leans back and pulls a sheet against the squat bar as she pushes her baby out. This is very effective for final stages of pushing.
(12) Side-lying. When you are tired and need a much needed rest, opt for lying on your side vs. your back. Start by lying on your left side which is optimal for blood flow and switch sides at least every 30 minutes.
Comment below to share your favourite birth position.
Jaydene Freund is a birth photographer located in Vancouver Fraser Valley, Canada.
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