View Full Version : Birthing Positions
Hi. I'm wondering what positions people have used to deliver, and what they found comfortable.
My obstetrician said he only delivered babies if the mother was on her back or side. I really wanted to be standing, squatting or on fours. It was really difficult on my back, and I'm thinking about finding a different obstetrician for my next one.
I spent most of my labour with my first son on my back. Toward the end of the proceedings however my midwife said I really needed to get upright if possible. So she raised the bedhead and I turned around with my chest against the bedhead in a kneeling position. It worked brilliantly. It helped relieve pressure off my back and gravity helped moved bub along a bit too. It was great when it came to pushing as I could push downward and outward. I managed to push out a 4.77kg baby with only mild shoulder distorcia (which is where the baby's shoulders get stuck - this was only because of his size and not the position I was in.)
That's probably other point to my posting as well - It was a midwife that actually delivered my baby. The doctors came in right at the end but really only to assist and "mop up" so to speak.
I hope you find a position that works for you (and an obstetrician!). In the end do what feels comfortable - I'm sure that if you got up on all fours during labour that the obstetrician wouldn't just say well that's it then I'm not doing this now!". He would have to deliver your baby whether he liked the position you were in or not.
Good luck to you in your pregnancy and birth of your bub.
Mum to Alec and Zak:)
Like Lalla's mum I also gave birth kneeling holding on to the bed head and found this great. My first birth I was on my back and I definently found kneeling much easyer. Its your decision don't let any of the Drs or midwifes try to tell you wich position you should birth in. Good luck
Hey, I gave birth standing up and it was fantastic. I piled up pillows on the bed and just kind of bent over the bed into them and the midwife sat behind me and caught Ben when he came out! Would definately reccommend standing!
In our antenatal classes they told us the WORST position for giving birth is lying on our backs, so I don't understand why Dr's and midwives continue to try and tell us this is how we need to have our babies. They were trying to get me to get on the bed when I was in labour with Ben but I just physically could not move so had to give birth standing where I was! but I don't regret it at all. Will be telling them thats how I intend on having #2 as well! :)
I had to have a caesar but had planned as active a birth as possible and always thought i'd be at least sitting up if not actually squatting or leaning on something. A word of warning, if you want actually squat be sure to get your body ready for it by practicing ahead of time - it's hard on the legs and knees. Variations where you get some support from behind would also be an option.
I delivered on my back but spent most of the labour on all fours. I found this to be the least painful position (although is any position least painful?!). :eek:
I would recommend on all fours and wish I had of but I had exhausted myself by the time it came to pushing and had also taken a sleeping pill to calm me down that I really didn't have the strength to be on all fours. I think the positioning of everything when you are on fours helps with the delivery. The gravity, positioning of the pelvis etc.
You doctor should respect your wishes for your delivery. I wish you all the luck and have a good birth! Enjoy!
I gave bith standing upright in the shower (the water was turned off before bub arrived). I hated lying on my back for any length of time - it really made my pain level go through the roof.
The mind boggles at why doctors insist on women birthing in one of the least comfortable positions (ie on their backs) - it shows an extreme lack of knowledge of women's anatomy - our pelvis's can expand so much more to give baby more room to come out if we aren't forced to birth on our backs.
Good luck with getting your Doctor to get with the times and coming out of the "dark ages"
I gave birth leaning over a bean bag and laboured on an optiball, wouldn't do it any other way. Being active as much as possible is the best. I can't believe your ob won't deliver unless you are on your back, he is definetly living in the dark ages, hasn't he heard of gravity. I also did pregnancy yoga and found this to be fantastic, I learnt so much and it gave me confidence in my birthing choices. I would definately look for another ob if you don't want to give birth on your back, it's your choice how you birth not the doctors or midwives.
I've given birth in different positions for each of my three - I'd say that lying down was most definitely the most difficult (this was the first). For the second is was on all fours and for the third I was standing up (mainly because the need to push caught me off-guard and I had no time to move to any other position).
I found sitting or lying down far more difficult during contractions and found standing up - leaning over the bed the best position for both contractions and the birth.
i've given birth lying on the bed twice :eek: - not flat on my back, but sort of semi-reclining. both of my babies were posterior and with my first, i was in too much pain to get up and move around - stupid huh ? i know it was the worst possible position for a posterior bub, but i just couldn't get up. anyway, 2 hrs of pushing, feet in stirrups and a ventouse extraction made me determined to do it differently the next time around. i had a very active labour with # 2 but he was still posterior when the time came to push. i tried on all fours and leaning over a beanbag but found that i just couldn't push too well. my midwife suggested "the stranded beetle" as she called it, on the bed and pulling my legs right backwith each push. it was a pretty effective method and i could actually feel archer moving through the birth canal with each push. i would have loved to try standing up, but i trusted my midwife and managed to have a natural birth with no intervention.
so the bed worked for me :D
My dh was also posterior and I too wanted nothing more than to NOT have bub on my back. I spent most of the labour in the bath sucking on the gas until an exam showed i was fully dialated. After that i just couldn't move due to pain and it felt like everytime i did move i'd have another contraction. Like shellbell was kinda reclined pulling my legs back with each contraction and it really helped to push MJ out. It worked a treat for me though being my first AND posterior, i came out of it with no damage save for some very slight grazing, and no intervention.
hi like lallas mum and rell i had matilda kneeling on the bed and it was by far the best labour i had, so much easier than on my back like i did with the first to, i would recommend kneeling, standing etc over lyeing down any day, i ve done it both ways and it was so much easier and quicker, i hope you find another ob too, how dare some man tell you how you can give birth, maybe someone should shove a watermelon up his butt and then tell him he has to push it out whilst lying flat on his back! good luck :)
I spent the majority of my time in a bath tub, and then delivered squatting. I could not lay on my back the pain was much to intense I lay curled up on my side to relieve the pain
Thanks, I think I'd be much happier delivering standing next time. It's great to hear your stories and opinions.
I think I'll be looking for another ob for the next one. The one I had was really 'highly regarded' but I'm starting to wonder by whom. Maybe by male doctors.
Meanwhile.....I'm off to buy a watermelon. ha.
I also gave birth standing with my legs slightly bent, leaning over the bed, while watching ds come out in a mirror on the floor.
It was great!
I'm so glad you are giving that Ob the flick, have they not heard of human rights?
It is the mothers right to labour in any position at all, geez I get so annoyed when I hear about these egomaniacs in the birth industry, probably a large part of the reason why I have homebirths with an independant midwife who actually respects me as an intelligent, informed woman who makes her own choices.
Enough ranting from me, but I'd dearly love to kick that Ob where it hurts, just thinking of the unnecessary pain so many of his patients had to go through, labouring how HE wanted them to - gets my blood boiling!!
Zoe & Troy
I gave birth to Jayden on the bed. It was the only time during the whole labour that I was actually on the bed. I laboured mostly in the shower on and over a opti ball. I got onto the bed for the midwife to check me and before I knew it i'd given birth.
This time round, I hope I can have an active labour again like I did with jayden. i will decide how to actually give birth when the time comes.
Zoe 21 Full time working mummy
Troy 26 Stay at home daddy
Jayden 1 Born 7th April 2004
Bub #2 Due 26th December 2005
My labour was only 2 1/2 hours long and I was in an upright position through all of it. I was alternating between standing, squatting and in the all fours position. Then when it came time to deliver, I moved onto the birthing stool, highly recommended! No tears and very straight forward. This time I'm hoping the delivery room has squatting bars, as I remember crying out for something above to hold onto so I could pull myself up during each push. I will definitely be opting for the birth stool again. There's no way I could have done it all in a reclining or laying position.
Gotta love that birthing stool !!
i'll be back on that with this next bub !!
our little treasures
My dd was also posterior and I was monitored and told not to get off the bed, so I lay half sitting up on my back for the whole 33 hr labour other than toilet breaks. I have since found out that this is the reason bubs wouldn't turn and that even though monitored I couldv'e had a shower and stood etc.
So I'm prepared this time and I'm going to try and do it standing or on all fours anything but on my back!!!
I think it helps dd is only 17mnths it's all still in my mind!!!!
I am going to have a little rant here, so I hope you don't mind? I know you say that men are the worst but my ob was female (both she and the hospital have a very good reputation). She was like a robot during the delivery. She said that because my blood pressure was getting higher that I would have to have and epidural or a CS or they wouldn't be able to help me. (I have a Huge Fear of surgical things like that because I once woke up during an operation and I was completely paralized and it freaked me out, all I could do was blink.)
So I was crying and vomiting and wanting to push (completely dilated, could see the head) at the same time when they put the epi in. I had been told before I booked the hospital that even with an epidural you can still move around. But I ended up flat on my back completely paralized through the entire thing. I couldn't push so they used the ventouse to get her out. They had to try twice because it popped of her head and covered the midwife with blood and goo - yuck! And then I had a haemorrage. Both of my legs were completely numb for four hours after the birth.
I hated being on my back! Absolutely hated it! I feel so mad as I am writing this, I would have given anything to be able to move around. My cousing had a water birth (deep bath on her knees) and she said it was great. She's had three kids and tried all the positions and trying to give birth on her back nearly killed her. I hope that I will be able to pick my own position for the next one ( we start ttc in august) because it's taken me nearly 5 years to even start thinking about doing it all again. I don't want to scare you, I'm just having a little rant, but make sure you find a great doctor and a great hospital. Best of luck to you. :(
Summerly you poor thing! i really felt for you when i read this, when i had my first the same thing happened to me, sometimes you dont have the confidence (or the ability, to much pain etc!) to stand up for yourself and state clearly what you want, it sounds like you were doing just fine on your own! Is there any reason you needed an ob to deliver your baby, have you thought of having a midwife instead? I love midwives, the rate on intervention is much lower and you will find that most are very supportive of you doing whatever you feel comftable with, i know there are times when a doctor is necessary, but i think for the majority birthing needs to be in the hands of us woman and midwives!
And remember at least your precious one arrived safely in the end :)
They kept the ob around because I was considered a high risk. I have CFS and a blood clotting disorder and they didn't believe that I would be able to do it on my own. I didn't know that you were allowed to have just the midwife. We are TTC this month and believe me, I would rather have the 2nd squatting in a paddock than go through all that again.
My suggestion is to trust your instinct and experiment with a number of positions. At the end of the day, this is your labour (which includes your preference for delivery position/s).
I wrote a birth plan and ensured my obs. and attending midwives had reviewed this.
I also prepared in the lead-up with lots of yoga, meditation and pelvic stretches. I went thru labour on all fours and found rocking from side to side during each contraction gave relief. Squatting and kneeling are the most logical positions - both positions maximise gravity to assist bubby's journey into the world. My partner also constantly massaged my lower back (clary sage, geranium & lavender in almond oil).
Best wishes for the birth of your bub.
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