Stand up and Walk around ~ being upright encourages gravity to help baby descend and get in to a good position. It can bring benefits such as increasing comfort, shorten labor length and reduce interventions. Rhythmical movement, as well as the sensory enhancement of walking in nature or in a familiar neighborhood, can ground us in our experience and give us reference points on our journey that can help bring us in to our bodies in a way that feels safe and empowering.
Such as, taking walks with our partner, noticing plants, people, buildings we pass along our walk that bring visual focus to our journey that can bring more focus and meaning. Moving through intensity with a sensation, (walking through pain), can give us the sense that we are going somewhere with it, and not stuck at its mercy.
Memories of our walks after the baby is born can bring fondness and mark our journey of labor. We can continue the same route as our babies join us earth side.
Lunging ~ This can be on a step, chair, stair or other raised surface. We keep one leg with our foot facing forward, and the other leg at a right angle on raised surface. We lean gently in to our lunge towards our raised knee, and then back again. The benefits of lunging are to open up our pelvic area which may help baby rotate and relieve back pressure. It can be useful in stalled labor.
Sitting ~ During my first labor I found it immensely helpful to sit on a toilet, it helped me use gravity to relax my perineal muscles and felt familiar! Sitting on a chair or a firm birth ball can also be a great way to rest, with gravity assisting, It is a good position for a partner or doula to give massage and can be an active resting position too, Gently swaying back and forth can bring rhythmic movement to assist pain sensation.
If in the hospital, it can be a position where electronic fetal monitoring can be used.
Side Lying ~ This can feel good especially with a pillow between your legs to support our hips. I used this position during my second labor when the midwife had not yet arrived and the baby was coming fast. It can encourage a labor that is moving too fast to slow somewhat and can lower the chances of tearing and/or needing an episiotomy during birth. My own delivery had my mother's midwife telling her to 'lie on your side and you won't tear a bit! '
This position can also bring oxygen to the baby and can be used with an epidural.
Squatting ~ Keeping feet wide and steady on a flat, stable surface, you can hold on to furniture, a support person, a rebozo or a bar in front of you for stability and strength. Squatting can increase pelvic diameter by as much as 2cm, uses gravity to encourage descent and can feel like a natural position of strength for birth.
Birth partner can be sat behind squatting mother and stabilize and reassure. It really feels like someone's got your back!
Slow Dance ~ Combines the benefits of standing with restfulness and can be an intimate and rhythmical way to slow down and move or sway to contractions and music. Sensory enhancement of music and intimacy with partner can bring a rush of endorphins and oxytocin, which leads to a heightened sense of wellbeing, focus and pain reduction.
Kneeling on Hands and Knees ~ A lot of women find this position very stabilizing, and it can bring a chance for greater comfort and rest between contractions too, with the support of pillows and partners! Stacking pillows under your upper body so you can lean into, rock back and rest in child's pose and sway your hips means this position allows for a wide range of movement that feels stable at the same time.
It can be a great position for helping baby rotate and also good for partner or doulas to massage, apply compresses and do hip squeeze for any back pain.
Rebozo ~ a woven cloth used indigenously by women and midwives in Mexico and passed down through generations, to help being comfort, ease and support during pregnancy and birth. In labor the rebozo can be placed around your belly while on your hands and knees and gentle jiggling and vibration can assist the baby and bring fascia release in mama.
Spinning Babies website says;
Gentle sifting with the Rebozo aims to: