Learn Some Ways To Help You Birth That Baby!

There are many different positions that can be used when pushing the baby out. Which ones are most effective will depend on the circumstances of your birth. Childbirth Educator Kira Smith (ICCE) offers some information on various birthing positions.
Kira Smith , ICCE

Your question
What are the most effective ways to position myself when pushing the baby out? - Janet in Toronto, Canada

The expert answers
One of the most common positions for pushing is semi-sitting, with the spine curved like the letter c, and legs pulled up and back. The advantages of this position is that it makes some use of gravity to help the baby descend and it is convenient for the caregiver. On the other hand, it may make it harder for the baby to fit under the pubic bone.

Another common position is side-lying. This position does not make use of gravity but it may decrease chances of a tear or episiotomy, reduce backache and make it easier to relax between contractions. It is also a good position to use if you have high blood pressure or need to slow a very rapid birth.

Giving birth on your hands and knees can help relieve back pain by helping the baby rotate into a more favorable position for birth. It also may decrease the pressure on the perineum and hemorrhoids. On your hands and knees you can move more freely than in the semi-sitting or side-lying positions.However it may be tiring to stay in the position for a long time. Being on all fours can also help slow a very rapid birth.

A squatting position really takes advantage of gravity and helps open the pelvis. It may also help the baby to rotate to a more favorable position for birth. Squatting can be very tiring and uncomfortable so it is a good idea to practice squatting while you are pregnant if you think you may want to use this position during the birth. It is harder for the caregiver to support the perineum in this position.

Each of these birthing positions has advantages and disadvantages. It is important for you to listen to what your body and your caregivers are telling you. Try changing positions frequently throughout your labor and birth to help you stay comfortable and help the baby navigate her way down the birth canal.

- Kira Smith, M.Ed, ICCEPregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: positions

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