If your wish is to give birth naturally, then finding ways to ease the discomfort of labor is exactly what you need.
Even if you’re thinking of a hospital birth but would like the least amount of intervention possible - these birth positions can benefit you tremendously while holding off on any pain meds.
Not all of these positions below will come in handy for you, some may not even touch the discomfort while others may take it away almost altogether. Finding what position works best when the time comes for your labor is key.
1. Hands and knees
When you’re on all fours, you’re shifting the baby’s weight off of your back and spine - hence why for women who experience back labor, the hands and knee position seems to be a favorite of theirs.
This labor position is also great if you’re delivering a baby on the larger side as it gives you the ability to control how far to open your hip area to let the baby out.
2. Sitting positions
These can include using a birthing ball, utilizing a rocking chair, or sitting on a toilet.
Sitting positions help to engage gravity, take stress off of the perineum, and can be used to help shift baby further down the birth canal.
3. Squatting positions
Perfect for opening up your pelvis region, squatting positions can include the use of a squatting bar, a birthing stool, or your spouse, midwife, or doula to help you get into a comfy position while you hold on to their legs for support.
Squatting positions tend to be the most comfortable when you’re in active labor and ready to push as they use gravity to their advantage to help coax baby out almost effortlessly.
4. Side-lying positions
These positions work well in long labors. They help you to relax more in between contractions which can help lessen fatigue.
Side-lying positions don’t use gravity to their advantage, however, so do keep that in mind.
Lying on your side also helps to take the pressure off of your uterus since the baby will move to correspond with your side-lying choices.
5. Standing positions
These can include any variations of standing - think leaning, rocking, walking, bending over, or holding on to your partner or birth attendant for support.
Standing positions are beneficial for any stage of labor and enlist the help of gravity to guide your baby further down the birth canal and take pressure off of that can become concentrated in one particular area.
→ While these are the most used positions when it comes to labor, they’re not set in stone. If you find one or multiple positions helpful at different stages of your labor then, by all means, utilize them.
→ Do your own research both online and offline to familiarize yourself with these positions and others. Talk to your doctor or midwife to experiment with them prior to labor so that you learn how to move through them in the safest way possible both for your own safety and that of your child’s.