Choosing the Right Labor Position
The position you choose for labor can affect your comfort and how quickly your body is able to progress in labor. The following guidelines can help you select the most comfortable and effective position for you.
Upright positions allow gravity to increase the intensity of the contractions naturally, while minimizing the discomfort felt. Upright positions include standing, walking, leaning against a wall, dangling in someone's arms, slow dancing or leaning over the back of a chair.
Leaning positions take pressure off your pelvic floor and allow the baby to change positions. Try leaning while you stand or kneel over a chair, over a birth ball, into someone's lap, over the side of the tub, over the side of a bed or over the end of the bed.
Sitting positions allow your body to work with gravity while allowing you to rest. You can sit on a chair either forward or backward, a beanbag, birth ball, tailor style on the floor, on a toilet or in a rocking chair.
Reclining positions allow you to rest or sleep between contractions and can help manage the intensity of a fast labor. You can recline in a bed or a large couch, with pillows on the floor or by using pillows and a foot rest in a rocker or chair. You can also recline onto a partner who is sitting behind you.
Side-lying positions allow you to rest or sleep during very long or intense labors using pillows you can lie on your side on a couch, bed or a comfortable mat on the floor.
Positions that give you the freedom to move your pelvis may help your baby to rotate, allowing for a faster labor.
Try pelvic rocking in any of the upright or leaning positions.
Try slow dancing with a partner for support.
Sway your hips back and forth during contractions.
Try lunging forward with your foot on a chair or stool.
Try walking in between or during contractions.
Rock your hips in a figure eight during contractions.
Rock your torso back and forth as you sit.