This week we headed back to our friends at The Natural BirthHouse to discuss laboring positions. “In the movies when women show up to the hospital, they lay on their back and they kind of wait for labor to happen,” said Kira Kana, Midwife. She said women don’t realize lying on your back in labor actually slows down the process and makes labor more painful. “We really promote more natural techniques for comfort levels for labor which helps labor go faster and smoother,” said Kana.
Kana explained that upright positions make laboring easier for mom and baby, “A lot of people don’t realize that baby is actively trying to be born. Babies are constantly shifting themselves to go through the pelvis. If we help them by getting upright and working with gravity and switching positions, our pelvis can help move and help baby slip on down a little bit easier.” Kira even named a few positions, “Upright laboring positions is more than just walking. You can sit, you can squat, there’s birth balls and other tools you can use to help labor move along faster. The stairs at the hospital or at your house are really great tools you can use in an upright position. One of the most common ones, especially in my practice, is a hands and knees position.” She said moms deliver in pretty much any positions that’s comfortable for them, but if you’re delivering in a hospital most doctors will prefer you give birth while lying on your back, “It doesn’t mean flat on your back. The beds do semi-recline so moms can deliver in like a semi-reclining position, but for the delivery itself in the hospital they typically deliver on their back.”
We can’t forget about water births when discussing labor. Kira explained that moms have to be healthy and low risk. She said it’s actually a preferred option at the BirthHouse, “Because you’re feeling lighter, if you’ve got enough space in the birthing tub you can do all kinds of positions. Many of them you couldn’t even do outside of the tub. It’s a lot easier to lay on your left side. You can squat more gently without having so much pressure on your bottom.” Kira said while water births aren’t really an option in hospitals here in Acadiana, there’s another way to reap the benefits of water, “At the hospital, they can labor in the shower. That is an upright laboring position. You can even bring the birth ball into the shower at the hospital and sit on the birth ball in an upright position and receive the benefits of water in labor.”