Positions for Labour

When choosing positions for labour, keep in mind, that when you are in labour, listening to your body will guide you into the most comfortable positions, and so will your midwife. So practising positions for labour gives you the chance to feel how easily your body can get into a position, how you can settle into a position and experiment with ways to make yourself more comfortable. An example is using pillows when sitting astride a chair, underneath your knees when you are kneeling and between your legs if you are lying down on your side.


During the first stage of labour keeping upright and moving where possible allows baby to move down the birth canal with gravity assisting. Balancing this is conserving your energy so that you can ‘last the distance’ throughout your labour, so using your relaxation and breathing strategies as you practice and prepare for labour has this purpose in mind.

There are many positions available to you when you are in labour, for example sitting or kneeling over a ball in the birth room or in the shower allows you to use your pelvic rocking. Standing leaning forwards on your partner, or against the car, can be a useful option if you have a contraction when you are heading to your birth place and are not there yet. Leaning against a wall is a good option at home when you have a contraction or in the hospital or labour ward if you are walking around between contractions.

Use these suggestions as you think and explore further in your preparing for labour and birth.



For more to help you to prepare for labour and birth - Katrina Zaslavsky's book A Modern Woman's Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth, has a collection of inspiring birth stories with expert tips and practical insights in this book which will help you to Embrace Your Pregnancy, Overcome Your Fears, Be Inspired, Go Natural and Empower Yourself.

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