Archive | September, 2016

Prepare for positions in birth

Prepare for positions in birth

Posted on 19 September 2016 by Kristrun

birthballIt may not have occurred to you to practice birthing positions in different places before the actual day of the event. And why should you? Normally we only attend hospitals when something is wrong and then we are so used to be being told what we SHOULD be doing and how and where we SHOULD be. If you are unprepared, you may end up tethered to the bed – on your back, with feet in stirrups. It can be that this is normal protocol in your hospital – the staff are just doing their job and if you don’t object or have any better ideas, this may be where you may be throughout your birth.

Take some time to understand your options and practice your positions BEFORE going into the hospital on the day of your baby’s birth. The more we learn about labour and birth, the more health professionals, as well as pregnant women, are aware of the importance of being active and upright to help the labour progress. We can describe the advantages of upright positions during labour in short as follows:

Upright positions may:

  • Increase the strength of contractions

  • Speed up the labour process

  • Open up the pelvis

  • Increase space for the baby’s head (around 2-3 cm)

  • Help you to feel in control

  • Make you relax

  • Increase the blood flow to the baby

  • Decrease risk of interventions

  • Decrease use of drugs in labour

  • Relieve back pain

  • Greatly increase your chance of a natural birth

If you have difficulties standing/sitting try to:

  • Squat for a few minutes regularly

  • Change positions frequently

  • Use a birthing ball/fit ball

  • Use pillows/bean bags to lean on

  • Lean on the bed or a chair

  • Sit on the toilet

  • Sit on a chair in the shower

You are stronger than you think:  

  • When you are upright in labour, YOU ARE GIVING BIRTH, a baby is not being delivered to you.

  • In the labour room the BED is usually the centre of attention, and you immediately assume the role of the patient – unless you act strong yourself. Create your personal headspace – and escape.

  • Women who labour alone will almost always use upright positions when they give birth, not lying down and certainly not on their back.


2011/updated 2016 – Annerley the midwives clinic


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