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in-labour

Birthing positions

Here's what you need to know about birthing positions

All you need to know about birthing positions

Read our guide on the positions to help with your contractions and birth

Woman in labour birthing pool

In most TV shows and movies you’ll see women giving birth lying down on the hospital bed, however there are different positions for labour that might be more comfortable. This idea of lying down whilst giving birth apparently comes from the times of Louis XIV who wanted to watch his child being born and told his mistress to lie down. The doctor apparently found this position easier to see the baby and so decided that from then on, all women should give birth in this position. 

In more modern times however it’s recommended that pregnant women should be free to move around and adopt whatever position feels most natural to them. 


Cons of using a bed for your birthing position

The recommendation not to have labour in a bed is because lying down can:

● Make contractions more painful, and so increase the chance you’ll need to have an epidural
● Make your labour longer, as if you’re upright gravity can help push your baby’s head down onto your cervix to help it open
● Could increase chances of having a caesarean 
● A greater likelihood that your baby may need special care
● Narrow the passage through the pelvis for your baby

What other birthing positions can you be in?

When labour starts you may feel restless, and it’s advisable to have short rests in the chair or lie down when you have milder contractions. When these begin to get more intense it’s important to remember your breathing as well as think about your position. 


Birthing positions