What it is:
The dangle position is an upright supported squat, which allows the labor partner to support the mother without straining his or her back.
How it works:
Squatting positions take advantage of gravity to increase the work done during contractions. Squatting also widens the outlet of the pelvis, making it easier for the baby to move down.
By stretching the mother's trunk, the dangle increases the room for the baby to move, which may be beneficial if the baby is not sitting well on the cervix (asynclitic). It also gives the mother freedom to move her pelvis while squatting, which further improves the baby's ability to get into an optimal position.
One great benefit to the dangle position is that it is easier on the labor partner than other supported squat positions.
When to do it:
This position can be used when the mother is pushing, or any time in labor when the mother wants to remain upright to encourage process but wants help supporting her body weight.
Incorporating it into labor:
If the mother is fully dilated and not yet feeling an urge to push, the dangle position may help align the baby to begin the pushing reflex.
If the mother is experiencing a backache, the dangle position may allow the baby to move relieving the backache.
At home, try the dangle in the kitchen, sitting on the counter; in a hospital, try the dangle by raising the bed as high as it will go.