There is so much information to learn and remember when it comes to birth. This simple printable shows six common labor positions. This has been a valuable resource for our clients and we hope you find value in it too. Print a copy and stick it in your ‘go-bag’!
The first position is side-lying. You will see she is laying on her left side with her right leg over pillows, bent and raised as close to her belly as possible. Keep in mind, how close you can get it really depends on how flexible you are. Her bottom leg is straight and a bit further behind her. This is also a fabulous position for sleeping. For an additional sleeping tip, see our Sleeping On Your Back blog.
The second position is side-lying with a very open pelvis. We used a yoga ball, and most hospitals and birth centers have these. You should not have to worry about bringing your own, but it's always good to check with your birthing facility to be sure. The reason we love this position is that it is great for getting rest while also keeping your pelvis very open. This position is useful if you are restricted to the bed or just need some rest.
The third position is seated kneeling. Your knees are spread wide and your bottom is seated on your feet. Using a yoga ball is excellent to help you stay comfortable in this position. We love this position because it is so flexible and you can do so many variations of it. This is also a really great position for being able to have counter pressure or a back massage.
The next position is squatting. You can use a squat bar at the hospital, yoga ball, chair, or your partners hands. This position is really awesome for opening up your pelvis and helping baby move down. Pro tip: walk in-between contractions and when a contraction sets in, drop into this squat. Make sure you are holding on to something for balance so you do not fall. If you are at a hospital, they will have handrails down the hallways to hold on to while doing this position for support.
Next position is hands and knees. This position is awesome because you can do this pretty much anywhere: the bed, floor, bathtub, or shower. This position is awesome for being able to get some rest from being upright. Hands and knees is also good for being able to sway left and right to keep your body moving. Again, this position is good for having your back in an easy to reach place, so you can get a back rub or counter pressure.
The final position is upright. Whether you are walking, slow dancing, or leaning against the bed or wall, it is very important to be upright and moving. Gravity is our friend during labor! Being upright is going to help encourage the baby to move down. There are so many different options for being upright. This particular one is great because the mom can rest while leaning onto the bed or the wall. A doula or birth partner can then stand behind her to help her sway her hips and give her counter pressure, either on her sacrum or her hips.
What positions did you find most helpful while you were laboring? Let us know!