Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stand and Deliver!

A recent Cochrane Review has found that upright labor positions--walking, sitting, kneeling, etc.--reduce the overall length of labor and lead to fewer requests for epidurals.
Women who walk, sit, kneel or otherwise avoid lying in bed during early labor can shorten the first stage of labor by about an hour, according to a new Cochrane evidence review. Women who labored out of bed during the early stages were also 17 percent less likely to seek pain relief through epidural analgesia, the review found....

"The ability to change positions, to utilize a wider variety of positions, and try other options, such as hot showers, birthing balls and beanbag supports, may help reduce overall pain and give women a greater sense of control over the progress of their labor," [Annemarie Lawrence, lead review author and a research midwife at the Institute of Women's and Children's Health at Townsville Hospital in Queensland, Australia] said.

When women are upright, there is also more room for the baby to move downward because the diameter of the pelvis expands slightly. This puts less pressure on nerves in the spine, which could mean less pain.

"It may also be that women are more distractible when up and moving around," Teri Stone-Godena [director of midwifery at the Yale School of Nursing] said. "When you are lying there looking at clock, it's a lot different from being up and about."
Read more about it at Stand And Deliver? Upright Labor Positions Reduce Pain, Speed Birth.


  1. BBC on home birth safey, just FYI!

  2. And if I had wheels I'd be a wagon!

    ;) Just joking, it's nice to see this stuff actually proven with studies.

  3. DUH
    but so good it gets validated through these studies. No woman ever ever lies on her back of her own volition during labor! It hurts SO bad and feels SO miserable!

    I alwasy wonder what the OB's think when (if) they ever see real labor or unhindered birth via videos or whatnot when every single woman is rocking, leaning forward, moving they feel weird? Guilty? Do they think about why, or even just stop tp accept it as how female humans give birth?

    I mean, I could make a zillion goofy analogies (would they like to get their teeth worked on while upside down) but there isnt really any good ones, because only WE (women) can give birth and their technology MUST be reassessed and worked AROUND OUR natural instincts and motions and needs. DUH
    duh duh duh duh

    I think the misogeny in the obstetrical field is astonishing, criminal, and extremely important to society as a whole and MUST be changed. Starting in med school, the media, everywhere, now.

  4. I concur! Funny--when I was in labour I could NOT lie down for ANY contraction. It was far too painful!! I was in no way tempted to lie in that bed!


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