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Birthing positions

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 04-10-2006

At this point in her pregnancy, your spouse should give a thought to the birthing position that she would prefer for her delivery. Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. Your spouse can opt for the one with which she would be most comfortable.

Listed below are child-birth positions that any would-be mother should consider before delivery:

Lithotomy

  • Involves the mother lying on back with her legs elevated using stirrups.
  • Not recommended as it restricts the space available for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
  • Increases the chances of the mother needing an episiotomy – a surgical incision made in the perineum to enlarge the vagina and facilitate delivery.

Semi-sitting

  • Involves a semi-sitting position with the spine curved and legs drawn up.
  • Can be used as a resting position as it makes use of gravity to facilitate the delivery.
  • Makes it difficult sometimes for the baby to descend under the pubic bone. Also puts stress on the perineum.

Side-lying

  • Reduces the need for an episiotomy.
  • Reduces pressure of the uterus on major blood vessels and the perineum.
  • Is more relaxing for the mother.
  • Helps prevent back ache.
  • Is ideal for mothers suffering from high blood pressure.
  • Helps to slow down a rapid birth.

Squatting

  • Naturally helps to open the pelvis
  • Allows the baby to rotate into a position conducive for birth
  • Can become tiring or uncomfortable for the mother if the delivery exceeds the normal time period.
  • May require some practice to get used to.
  • May make it difficult for the doctor to support the perineum.

Hands and knees

  • Reduces strain on the perineum.
  • Allows free movement into other positions such as semi-sitting and side-lying.
  • Helps to slow down a rapid birth.