Optimal Birth Positions
Lying on your back is probably the
worst position for a normal birth. It
tends to lengthen the time of pushing,
and increases the chance of a Caesarean
section or forceps delivery. This
position is also harder on the baby,
with an increased incidence of abnormal
fetal heart rate patterns, and higher
acidity in the umbilical chord blood
which reduces oxygen to the baby.
- Lying on the left or right side with
the leg supported.
- Sitting semi-upright.
- Kneeling or standing (supported by
- Using special birthing chair.
- Working with gravity.
- Shorter pushing stage.
- Less strain on the mother■s tissues.
- Less need for an episiotomy.
- Squatting increases the pelvic diameter
by 20 to 30 percent, moves the base of
the spine back, helps the baby■s head
- Research also showed a shorter second
stage, less pain and less forceps and
sections for squatting moms.
Birth Tips, There Is No Need ForMilitary Style Pushing
- After the cervix is fully opened up,
there may be no urge to push for up to
an hour. Rest and be thankful.
- Push only when the urge is
- Do not hold breath, but use quick
pushes for four to six seconds, with
mouth open and relaxed.
- Strenuous bearing down with long
periods of breath holding may
predispose to irregular fetal heart
rhythms and interfere with oxygen
getting to the baby.
- The baby's head and shoulders should
ideally emerge between contractions. To
stop pushing use short panting breaths
like blowing on hot soup to cool it
Find sympathetic midwife or doctor,
work out your birthing preferences
Find good prenatal classes that teach
breathing and relaxation techniques.
Some midwives suggest gentle massage of
perineum (area between vagina and
rectum) with olive oil daily for two to
four weeks before birth.