Active birth positions for each stage of labour to help you have a better birth.
We all want a quicker, easier birth. And the great news is that being in upright positions and moving around during labour can really help. Here are positions for each stage of your labour, and the benefits they can bring you. And don’t worry if you need to have continual monitoring of your baby; there’s no reason you can’t adopt any of these positions close to the machine.
There are huge advantages to lying flat during the first stage of labour. If you’re in an upright position, your baby’s head puts pressure on your cervix, helping it to dilate, and it encourages him to move lower into your pelvis.
It can also help your baby to rotate into the best position for birth– particularly if you can lean forward with the contraction.
Sit facing the back of a chair with a pillow in front of you, leaning forward.
Put your arms around your birth partnerand lean forward. If you don’t want to be touched during a contraction, lean over a work surface or bed on to a pile of pillows.
Sit on a birthing ball with your knees open, or lean over the ball with your knees on the floor. You may find you instinctively rock your pelvis with the contraction, encouraging your baby to move lower.
“I found sitting on a chair much more comfortable than the bed. My husband sat in front of me, stroking my hair and wiping my neck with a cold flannel. It felt more intimate sitting together – I didn’t feel like I was on display!”
Christine, 32, mum to TJ, 4 months
“The ball kept me active, bouncing gently between contractions and rocking with them. My midwife said getting a baby through the pelvis is like getting a table through a door – it needs to be rocked from side to side!”
Shulah, 26, mum to Nik, 6 weeks
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