May 2011 Moms

Delivery positions

Yes, not labor positions but delivery position, why here in the U.S. they make women lay on their backs (ok, we know, because it's easier for the provider) when everyone knows there are so many things wrong with that position, why don't they allow us to squat, or use any other, in England where my cousin is giving birth in the next few weeks as well, was told she will be standing, leaning forward on her bed....has anyone else wondered this, or has anyone discussed this with their OB CNM or hospital staff? Or am I the only crazy one?

Re: Delivery positions

  • You don't have to lay down flat. I have seen deliveries on side, all fours etc..I would just ask if that is something you want. Laying flat I would think would be easier to get a grip to push...but I can't say I have tried any other positions


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  • When we went on our hospital tour, we were shown several different positions that were all on the bed. Those beds break down and can be manipulated in several different ways so that you do not need to be flat on your back. For instance, they can apparently take off the bottom part of the bed and bring up a bar so that you can more or less squat at the end of the bed. You can also deliver on your side or from one of several semi-reclined positions. But yes, doctors do tend to prefer that you deliver from a bed, at least at our hospital and it is for their comfort that women are "encouraged" to deliver in bed, even if they have been labouring elsewhere.
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  • I wish we were able to move around during delivery too! They say laying is the worst position because it closes your pelvis, which you obviously want open. I asked my hospital and they aren't allowing anything but laying. When I asked if I could walk around until the last moment the nurse asked me "why would you want to move around after your water breaks, I will just make a mess on the floor". I wanted to respond, "yes, and you can clean up a mess." Sooo much of it is what is convenient for the doctor and hospital... and not what is best for mama.
  • I asked my doctor and she told me the only position she would let me deliver in was on my back and I was NOT a happy camper!!! I thought about changing doctors, but we are so close now and I have already paid her for her services in advance. :/
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  • image NicciH:
    I wish we were able to move around during delivery too! They say laying is the worst position because it closes your pelvis, which you obviously want open. I asked my hospital and they aren't allowing anything but laying. When I asked if I could walk around until the last moment the nurse asked me "why would you want to move around after your water breaks, I will just make a mess on the floor". I wanted to respond, "yes, and you can clean up a mess." Sooo much of it is what is convenient for the doctor and hospital... and not what is best for mama.

    I wished I had asked this at my tour, they just showed me where you prop your legs so I figured laying on your back is what they do, I will call both hospitals I'm deciding between though....BTW we have the same due date!

  • you can deliver any way you want.  most people have epis - so back and side are most common.  My hospital has a birthing bar to help you squat.  I delivered DD on my side as it helped with DD's heart rate.
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  • Epidurals usually = laying in bed. You can deliver on your side or elevated on the bed. But when your legs are numb, your pretty limited. So unless your going med free expect that.
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  • This is one of the reasons I went with a midwife at a birthing center.  I can deliver in whatever position I want although I'm shooting for a waterbirth.  :)
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  • I agree with the posters that said most women deliver on their back because most women have epidurals. It's possible to move a bit with some (walking epidurals), but it's usually discouraged. You often can't have it both ways - if you want to feel no pain, you're likely to have a longer labour and deliver in a position more likely to end with a cut or tear.
  • This is one of the reasons I switched to a hospital-based midwifery practice. It makes no sense to force the woman to deliver on her back except that it's easier for the Ob (and the epidural situation).  Some hospitals have rules regarding position and even if they are lenient, your Ob may have his/her own rules.
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  • I had an epidural with my daughter and pushed in the squatting position using a squat bar.  My husband and doula helped support my legs since they were pretty numb.  So you can try different things even with an epidural.

    I'm planning to push in whatever position feels right.  I can't predict ahead of time what that will be but my doctor isn't the kind to make everyone get flat on their back. 

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