If this is your first time giving birth, you probably think that labor and delivery can only take place while lying on your back with your legs spread wide open. Actually, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many labor positions you can try during the first stages of birth that can help relieve the pain, move the baby down through the pelvis, ease pushing, and reduce the labor time.
There is no perfect position for labor. Each woman and each labor case require a position that will help soothe the pain and make her in control. You might need to experiment during labor to find the most comfortable position. Here are seven of the best labor positions which can help you during delivery.
7 best labor positions:
- Kneeling with a birthing ball
- Lying on side
- On hands and knees
- Squatting using a chair
- Swaying with your partner
Kneeling with a birthing ball
This position is perfect if you feel back pain during labor. Kneeling, while leaning forward, will help you feel better and open your pelvis as well. Use a rubber ball or a pile of pillows for support.
During labor contractions, a rhythmic motion can help soothe the pain especially if your baby’s weight is bearing down. Gently rock while sitting on a rubber ball, sturdy chair, or the edge of a bed. This position is not recommended if you have suffered from high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Lying on your side
This is the easiest and most comforting labor position which you can try in between other positions to give yourself some rest. It’s better than lying on your back because it doesn’t compress the major veins in your body which could compromise the blood flow to your baby. Lie on your side, keep one knee or both bent, and place a pillow between your legs.
On your hands and knees
This position takes the pressure off your spine. Thus, it soothes the back pain and helps open your pelvis. A hand-and-knees position also boosts your baby’s oxygen supply. Try this position on a mat or bed.
Squatting using a chair
Squatting during labor has many benefits:
- It opens your pelvis.
- It gives your baby more space to rotate.
- It helps you push more effectively.
Lunging works best for lower back pain during labor. When you feel a contraction, raise one foot on a sturdy chair. Then, gently lean towards the raised foot during the next contraction. If the height of the chair is inconvenient, use a footstool.
Swaying with your partner
Your partner is the closest person who can help and support you during this hard time. Swaying labor position requires your partner’s help. Standing during the first stage of labor can speed it up. Lean on your partner during contractions or wrap your arms around his neck and start swaying.
- Signs and Symptoms You Are Going Into Labor
- Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
- Everything You Need to Know About Giving Birth with a Doula
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