Birth Positions To Reduce Labor Pain & Time

birth positions
Have you started to think or worry about giving birth yet?

Choosing the right birth positions can both reduce labor pain and the time it takes to give birth. Read on...

Having a baby is an exciting journey and experience. From the day you conceive, until the day you give birth, your body is ever changing. What your body is doing is preparing to give birth to that yet unknown, wonderful being created inside of you.

Many people talk about birthing positions and how they are beneficial when in labor. There are many different types of birth positions that can help you with the labor pains and in getting the baby out faster with the help of gravity.


Birth Position Tips

Why care about the birthing position?

There are many reasons why you would want to care about what type of birth position you're using.

By simply changing positions and moving your body around while you're in labor, will help make the entire process a bit easier. You can help reduce pain and give increased comfort as well as get a better sense of control over the situation. This also helps with how often and how long the contractions are as well as how effective each contraction is. You will also ensure that your baby is getting a steady supply of oxygen. Different positions can help you use gravity to getthe baby to move into the birth canal faster so this can reduce your time in labor.

Positions during the first stage of labor

Many women that are in the first stages of labor prefer to lie on their side. You can even place pillows between your knees for extra comfort. This helps to alleviate some of the pain from the contractions.

Some women opt for a semi-sitting position. You can do this on a couch or even in a bed as well as with your partner because you can lean against your partner with his arms around you. If you want to help enlarge the pelvis to helpthe baby get the best position possible, then you may want to sit with one foot up. You partner can help by massaging your back to help relieve some of the pain from back labor.

The key during this often long stage of labor (from first contraction until fully dilated) is to focus on helping yourself to relax as much as possible.

In the very beginning, before the contractions have become really painful, it can be good to try to simply ignore them. Try walking around a bit, read a book, have something to eat, or do what ever that helps you feel normal.

As contractions become stronger and you can't ignore them any more, find birth positions that help you relax and focus on breathing. Personally, I've preferred standing on my knees leaning towards a couch or an alleviated part of the bed. If also placing a really large pillow or something similar in front of you, you can then simply fall back almost sitting on your feet and rest your head and body on pillow when contractions get really bad. All to help you relax.

Lying on your side can also be comfortable when contractions are strong. Lying flat on your back is usually not very comfortable, in such case, sit up in a reclining position instead.

Positions during the second stage of labor

When you get into the second stage of labor that means the baby is ready to come and you are about to push. One of the most common positions for this part of labor would be to lay on your back with the pelvic outlet open as much as possible. This allows the doctor to get where he or she needs, but that is where the benefits of this position end. Lying on your back to push, means that you push the baby upwards; not very efficient! Pretty much any other position will be better for you. Relaxation and help from gravity are extremely important now to get your baby out fast and minimal tearing of your tissue.

You may want to try semi-sitting. This is where you can put pillows underneath your back, arms and knees. When you are in the middle of a contraction, you can put your hands around your knees using this position to pull up like you're squatting. If you have problems with high blood pressure then your doctor may require you to lie on your side during labor as this helps to lower your blood pressure and make things more comfortable for you.

Side-lying as well as using a birthing stool are other good, relaxing positions while pushing. If you can stand on your hands and knees, or only on your knees during this stage, these positions are also great for gravity. But if you can't relax, try another position.

For some birth video clips showing alternatives to lying on your back, click here.

Talk to your doctor about your options for birthing positions and try each position to see which one you feel most comfortable with. Only keep in mind that when your actually are in labor, these positions may feel different so go with what feels best for you once you're giving birth.

For an in depth guide to giving birth, check out these online childbirth classes.

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