6. Move Around During Birth

Birth really functions best when a woman is able to move her body into different positions. Many women instinctively know how to place their bodies. The best position will feel best. The wrong position may increase pain. It is important that a woman listen to her body during labor. The body is a true guide during this process. The body is reliable, trust worthy, and unfailing. The body was designed to carry women through birth.

When a woman shifts her body, she feels less pain, is more in control, is stronger, and able to cope with labor. If a woman is restricted to lay down in a bed, a very modern and common birth position, she may have an increase in labor pain, feel weak, incapable, and helpless. Rarely, does a bed convey a message of strength.

Women who are not restricted to one position, assume effective and productive positions that ease discomfort, guide babies into optimal birth positions, and shorten labor. Without restrictions many women will stand, lean, or squat making use of gravity and opening their pelvis up providing the maximum space for their babies to descend and be born.

Women who lay down for long periods during labor may find that they:

  • will need pain medication
  • have weaker contractions
  • feel psychologically weak and incapable
  • have an adverse effect upon their blood pressure
  • lose space around the pelvic outlet impeding fetal descent
  • have a decrease in oxygen and blood flow
  • have a difficult time pushing and may tear
  • need multiple medical interventions

Before the 1950s when many births were still attended by midwives, women were always free to move about during birth and rarely assumed a lying, or semi-reclining position for the pushing phase of birth. However, when the numbers of midwives began to decrease and more women began giving birth in hospitals with male doctors the lying down position became more widely practiced, because of its convenience for the doctor.

One of the best things a woman can do for her labor and birth is to MOVE her body.


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