Birthing Positions

pregnant woman on floor leaning on a birthing ball

Labour doesn’t always look like what it does on the TV. Laying on a hospital bed with your legs up in stirrups and knees by your ears isn’t the most comfortable or most effective position for all women whilst helping your baby into this world. Birthing can look quite different to different people too, introducing birthing balls, bean bags, a stool, or a birthing pool into the mix can give you many more options for a less strenuous birth.

You can move around and change position as much or as little as you’d like during labour. You can walk around, change positions from laying on your back, to on all fours, move from the birthing pool to the bed and back to a position you find most comfortable - do what feels right for you.

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Generally, women are much more relaxed if they can move about, even whilst in active labour, so it’s important to remember that unless physically or medically impossible, try lots of different positions until you find one that works for you. Studies have suggested that laying on your left-hand side with your right leg elevated, can reduce the risk of significant tearing - one to bear in mind. Your midwife will be able to support you in whichever position you prefer to be in so, don't worry and get yourself as comfortable as possible.

Here are some of the most common alternative positions to laying on your back that women get into during labour.

Wondering how you will navigate these early hours of labour? Don't worry our Official Midwife has all the answers in her FREE class.
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