Labor Positions

“Research suggests that certain positions can also enhance the progress of labor.”

Mayo Clinic: Labor Position Slide Show

Changing your position often during labor can improve the progress of your labor. Upright positions use gravity to help bring the baby down. In addition, moving around allows your uterus to labor more efficiently. High risk complications and certain medical interventions restrict movements for some mothers. A doula can help with labor positions to aid in coping well with early labor as well as active labor support once you are at your place of birth.

Freedom of movement is important in making the birth of your baby easier. It is the best way for you to use gravity to help your baby come down and to increase the size and shape of your pelvis. It allows you to respond to pain in an active way, and it may speed up the labor process (Simkin & Ancheta, 2005).

Researchers who examined all of the published studies on freedom of movement in labor found that, when compared with policies restricting movement, policies that encourage women to walk or change position in labor may result in the following outcomes:

  • shorter labors,
  • more efficient contractions,
  • greater comfort, and
  • less need for pain medicine in labor

(Simkin & Bolding, 2004Simkin & O’Hara, 2002).


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