Our Favorite Birthing Position
When it comes to birthing positions, we tend to all think of the Hollywood version of a women lying on her back with her feet in stirrups. But is this the best position? Read on to learn about our favorite birthing position.
So, first off we should say that there is no best birth position. Your best option is too know that there are many birthing positions, and to feel comfortable asking your birth team to help you move from position to position as needed. Lots of times, we hear from women that they really want to birth in a squat, for example, but then during labour so much can change. We encourage women to investigate different options for positions.
Now, sometimes you do have less choice. For example, if you have an epidural (an injection of numbing medication into the nerves of the low back to dull pain) it will likely have an effect on your ability to move your legs, so holding yourself in a squat to push will not work well. Also, if the doctor or midwife needs better access for safety reasons, then you might have to lie on your back. And that’s ok.
While there are lots and lots of birthing positions, one that we’re certain to teach is lying on the side, usually with pillows, a partner or peanut birth ball supporting the top leg. Why? Let us explain!
Reasons why side-lying is one of our favorite birthing positions:
- It takes pressure off the back of the pelvis and tailbone. When women recline with weight pressing against their tailbone, this pressure can often lead to soreness after birth. When you lay on your side, the back of your pelvis and tailbone are free from pressure.
- It has a built in ‘rest’ position. Pushing is a lot of work, but it’s not constant. During contractions we want women to be pushing, but when the contractions stop there is a small rest period. And we want women to be taking advantage of this rest period. Positions like squatting can be difficult to hold for longer periods of time, and during rest periods women will often move into a crawl position or sitting. In side-lying the body has support and doesn’t need a big position shift to relax.
- Even women who have had an epidural can use this position. Many of our clients are surprised to learn this. Now, you might need help getting into this position, but because the body and legs are supported it’s a pretty easy position to hold. During the contraction and pushing phase, a birth partner or a peanut birthing ball can help gently lift the top leg to make room for baby.
See why this is our favorite birthing position? So much to like! So, do you think you’ll give side-lying a try?
If you are looking for more information about birthing positions you can check out our online prenatal pelvic floor course. It has over 4 hours of information helping you prep your core and pelvic floor muscles for vaginal or cesarean births. Check it out here.
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Katie & Eryn
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