Pregnancy is quite the journey and the final leg comes in when the baby has had enough of your womb and would like a peek at planet earth. Giving birth is quite labor intensive (pun intended) and anything that would make the experience easier even by 10 percent is always welcome.
Women normally give birth while lying down on their back. It goes well for some and it can be quite horrendous for others. The brave ones that are willing to try out new positions will find that there is a possibility of an easier process if they experiment with some other position other than on their backs.
Hands and knees
Getting on all fours is associated with animals and children at play or those still learning how to use their limbs. It is not a conventional position and does not seem like one that can be used for giving birth.
It is actually very helpful with back pain that comes during contractions. It also reduces the pressure that the baby is placing on your tailbone as you distribute it over a larger area. It will make the difference between a back that feels like it is already broken and sanity during those crucial moments.
You can sit propped up and bend your knees to make room for your baby to come through. Those that have their partners or a friend near them can utilize them as pillows to lean against. This is one of those times you can ask for a new car or large serving of pizza and everyone will be scrambling to get it so asking to literally lean on them will be a small favor to ask.
Having the comfort of someone close to you nearby will make the experience easier for you because you will be reminded that you are not alone. The experience will also act as a form of bonding for you and your spouse and you will have a new memory to share.
Squatting opens up your pelvic outlet, which lies at the bottom of the pelvis. You can squat when you are about to push and it pushes labor along a little faster. A study found out that women who squatted during labor actually had a shorter second stage in labor and the forceps deliveries were reduced significantly.
It is therefore a very effective stance to try out. If you are worried that your muscles will not be able to stand the test of squatting, you can confirm with the hospital if they have birthing chairs. A birthing chair will allow you to assume the squatting position without putting all your weight on your legs thus leaving you more comfortable.
This sounds really weird, right? Just imagine a basketball player trying to protect their ball. They have their legs apart and they seem as though they are partially crouching since their knees are bent as well.
That same position can be applied to delivery. You will need someone or something to hold and someone else to catch the baby. Your spouse can hold your hand and the nurse will wait for the baby to come and then catch it.
Since you are standing the delivery process will be assisted by gravity and it will presumably move faster. Keeping your legs apart while standing opens the pelvic inlet and since the baby will follow gravity, the baby’s weight pushing on your pelvis will open up your cervix and encourage further and faster dilation.
All these positions may require a little practice before the D-day but once you get the hang of it you will be fine. Enjoy the new experience and focus your energies on the process instead of your fears for a smooth delivery.