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When it comes to the position of your body, there is more than one way to give birth. Women around the world have long used different positions to deliver babies in a way that is safe for both mother and child. The most important things are your comfort as well as the safety of you and your child.

If you think sitting halfway up with your feet in the stirrups is the only way to go through labor and deliver a baby, then think again, we have seven much better options for you to consider.

No. 1: Squatting
Squatting down with your feet turned out and your knees bent past 90 degrees utilizes gravity and helps to open the pelvis. You can also try using a birthing stool to hold this position.

No. 2: Lying On Your Side
This position is ideal for resting and helping to relieve the discomfort of contractions. It may also help bring down your blood pressure to keep you and the baby safe while pushing.

No. 3: Standing
Some women choose to stand and even walk around their hospital room or home to help bring delivery on. This position can also reduce pain. You can also deliver the baby standing as long as your physician has proper access to the baby. (Note after having baby #1 on my back with complications, I went on to deliver babies 2 and 3 standing up)

No. 4: Knees to Chest
While lying on your back — but never flat — remains the most common way for women to give birth this tighter position helps ease delivery for a larger baby and can help you avoid tearing, which nobody wants and which will prolong your recovery time.

No. 5: All Fours
Kneeling with your knees and hands on your bed is a wonderful way to help alleviate the back pain you may experience during labor and delivery.  It also makes it easier for you to have your back massaged, and that is highly recommended. Use sweet almond oil with a couple of drops of geranium and clary sage essential oils once labor is established.

No. 6: Leaning Forward
If your arms get tired or feel strained, you can stay on your knees but rest your forearms on a ball, pillow or other support. If you’re on a hospital bed, you can also raise the back of it.

No. 7: Sitting
Whether you sit with your back against the chair or away from it, sitting with your legs open will reduce pressure and pain in your back and allow gravity to do its job to help you along. You can also sit on the toilet as well, but move to a flatter surface if the seat becomes uncomfortable.  This position is similar to #1 but requires less upper leg strength.  (Note my second baby was almost born into the toilet!. It seemed such a natural and comfy position. Gravity worked it’s magic and my son’ head actually started to emerge. If someone else had been with me to catch the baby I would have stayed there!)

It’s important to remember you may need to change positions several times during the labor and delivery process to best safeguard your health and the health of your baby. Go over all the options you’re interested in with your partner, doctor and anyone else involved in your birth plan so they’re prepared to make you as comfortable as possible for a smooth delivery. Yes, put your trust in your physician to adjust you as needed to keep delivery on track and safe, but also remember that your body is designed to cope with childbirth, and in all but emergency cases, your body and your baby knows instinctively what it needs to do.

Not well known in the USA, but readily available on Amazon at an almost giveaway price, we highly recommend the book Stand and Deliver by Emma Mahony.

 

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