Positions For Labour And Childbirth

(Q6 on my birth plan – positions for labour)

(Q9 I would like to be in the following position to give birth:)

I sat in a hospital waiting room during my first pregnancy, waiting to see someone when a couple came in looking for labour ward. Her waters had broken and they were trying to find out where to go. They waited for the receptionist, and while doing so, were looking at the posters on the wall. The one just beside me had a whole variety of labour positions depicted in pictures. The woman said to her partner, “Hey, look here. You can have the baby in all these positions. You don’t have to lie down.”

My jaw dropped.

I’m sorry if this sounds judgemental, but I struggle to fathom how you can get to that point in one of the biggest occasions in your life and not know something as simple as labour positions.  Especially when your position during labour can have such a huge impact on your experience of childbirth.

Humans are the only mammals that try to give birth on their backs. It’s illogical as it defies gravity.

In The Business of Being Born, Michael Odent, the reknown doctor from France, explains why doctors want women on their backs – it makes their job of observing and interfering much easier.  He shows, in the video, the best position for a woman, which has him low down –hard on his back, but better for the labouring woman.

In reality, the best position for a labouring woman is the one she’s comfortable in. I spent most of my pregnancy with Ameli practicing squatting so I could give birth in that position. When it came down to it though, I found having my back out of the water to be excruciating and ended up delivering in the pool, sitting bolt upright. An illogical position, but a perfect one for me.Read more: Positions For Labour And Childbirth