Labor PositionsThe Best Labor Positions for You and Baby

There is no match for the excitement, anticipation, and reward of childbirth. However, there is nothing there in comparison to the pain, stress, and discomfort during childbirth and that is the reason many women go for birth plans to take control of birthing positions during labor and delivery. Among many reasons, it has been shown that having uterine fibroids can increase the risk of complications during labor because the presence of fibroids can restrict the uterus from contracting or even block the birth canal, thus slowing down the progress of labor and making it more difficult for the woman. On meeting the best gynecologist for fibroids removal in Chennai, subject to her symptoms, a woman should be able to seek the best treatment before pregnancy and thereby avoid the complications during pregnancy and labor.

Positioning during labor should be a choice 

In times when western medicine was not in existence, women gave birth in an upright position either by sitting, squatting, or kneeling. Ropes or trees were used to hold as a way of gaining strength and stability and that enabled them to push the baby with sufficient force. Despite supportive evidence that an upright position is beneficial to the woman and her unborn child, the supine position seems to be the consistent position that most healthcare facilities promote to be used.

Most women take the most traditional but unnatural horizontal position during labor, as they are instructed to do so by the midwife or the nurse. It is a common belief among the maternity team that the supine position is the universally known and practiced birthing position. It is preferred so because of the flexibility that the position offers for them to continuously monitor the progress of labor and assist delivery most efficiently.  Many women who are preparing for delivery do not know that they have a choice in adopting their most comfortable and desired position during labor. Women in labor should be given to choosing positions that may be more easy and comfortable. The birthing position has a lot of influence over the laboring woman’s level of comfort during delivery and hence they should be allowed to take control of their labor experience.

Chosen labor position may not favor delivery presentation

The delivery presentation describes the way the baby is positioned to come down the birth canal for delivery. In a vaginal birth, the baby has to pass through the pelvic bones to reach the vaginal opening. The baby’s position decides the ease at which this passage will take place during delivery. Headfirst is the way the baby comes out of the birth canal in normal birth. If the baby’s butt or feet comes out first, it’s called a breech birth. It is best if the head-down position of the baby is with having the head and body facing towards the mother’s back. This position is called occiput anterior (OA). Other common delivery presentations include occiput posterior (OP), transverse presentation, and breech presentation where vaginal delivery can have certain risks. There are few rare delivery presentations such as the brow presentation and face presentation as well with associated risk factors. The force of contractions usually causes the baby to be in these unusual positions. Vaginal birth is possible in some of these presentations but labor will generally take longer and difficult. In such instances where an epidural may be needed or if there are complications, the baby needs to be monitored and so a chosen position may not be used. Building in a contingency plan will help things to still go the desired way, but whatever is best if the baby is at risk, should be the objective.

Popular desired labor positions

There are many positions that are more desirable as they are more comfortable than lying on the back. The urogynaecologist in Chennai is a pelvic floor specialist who says that lying on the back while in labour, puts the woman at a disadvantage. The supine position that is easier for physicians to inspect has become common practice despite the fact that it is not desired by most labouring women. The drawback is, that this does not make the experience better as lying on the back is working against gravity. While going through labour on the horizontal position, lying on the back, makes the baby journey through a dip and then up the hill of the natural canal. Popular labour positions that are desired by women include standing up, where the natural gravitational pull works to help the baby descend. A pregnant woman may have to know about other popular birthing positions as recommended by mothers and experts. Some of them are:

  • On hands and knees position can give an incline for better descend of the baby.
  • Squatting position expands the pelvis, allows gravity and adequate muscle recruitment to play a larger role.
  • Rocking on a chair or swaying back and forth, keeps the pelvis moving and encourages the baby to descend.
  • Side lying opens the pelvis more easily and gives control over pushing.
  • Leaning forward or kneeling over an object while going through back labour encourages the baby to move forward, taking the pressure off the mother’s back.

Birthing positions can help in feeling under control, reduce pain and open up the pelvis to help the baby come out. A mother can choose the position that makes her most comfortable unless there is a medical reason not to. The birthing mother can choose to move around and into different positions throughout the birthing process. It is the prerogative of the mother and she is not bound by any rule that says that birthing has to be on the back. In fact, lying flat on the back is the least effective delivery position of all. Urogynaecologist in Chennai suggests that any position that enlists the aid of gravity is likely to yield faster and painless results. Many women find positions instinctively during labour and birth. Women may choose to practice some of the laboring positions before having the baby.

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