Giving birth

11 labour positions you should try

From slow dancing to lunging, try experimenting with any of these labour positions to find what works for you.

By Jennifer Elliott

11 labour positions you should try

All too often our image of labour is of a woman in bed. Here are some better ideas from doula and childbirth educator Jennifer Elliott.

Different positions in labour can make you a little more comfortable, encourage your baby to move into a better position for birth and even help your labour to progress. Experiment with different positions, as you move through labour, to find the ones where your body feels and works the best.

1. Try being upright One of your biggest allies is gravity. When you are upright—standing, sitting or kneeling—the weight of your baby presses on the cervix, encouraging it to open. An upright position may also help get your baby into the best position for birth.

The one position a labouring woman should not adopt is lying flat on her back, because the weight of the baby puts pressure on a major artery, restricting blood flow to the baby. Prevent this by putting a small pillow or wedge under one side of your back so you’re lying slightly to the side.

2. Lying down on your side Your partner can rub your back to help you relax. You may even drift off to sleep, at least between contractions. Rest until you need to be up to meet the intensity. Also try: rocking in a chair or glider.

This article was originally published on Nov 06, 2015
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