geburts abc

Moving in birth

Being mobile in labour is critical to helping your body open and helping your baby make its way down and out of your body. Being mobile also helps you to cope with labour waves and find positions where they are more bearable, which means that you will be able to cope without medical pain relief.

Do you really want to be on your back?
Labour on television and films usually shows women who are lying on their backs. This is not the position most women would choose for labour and birth though, given the choice, because this position makes your pelvis smaller and puts your tailbone in baby’s way as it moves through the pelvis. It puts pressure on your back that can be very painful during labour waves, and means gravity is working against you instead of helping you help your baby to move down and out of your body. On the other hand, being upright helps the uterus to contract more strongly and helps maintain good flow of blood and oxygen to your baby. Being upright also makes the first stage of labour shorter and makes it less likely that you will need a caesarean.
That said, there is a small number of women who feel best on their backs - and if your body is telling you that’s the position it wants, listen to it. However, know that there are so many other (easier) positions to try.

Moving in birth

There is no perfect position
The best position to take is the one that feels good for you at any given moment. It may be helpful to try out a few different positions and see what works for you at a certain point - what works during one point doesn’t always work during another. The furniture available in your birthing space can be used in different ways, as shown in the illustration. A variation of the all fours position is one that many women find helpful, especially during second stage (pushing). Even in a hospital, modern birthing beds can be modified to help you choose a position that works for you - birthing stools and pools can also be used in different ways to help you find positions that make you feel good.

There are no positions that are dangerous for you or your baby. If it feels good for you, chances are it is also comfortable for your baby.