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....Read more about it at Stand And Deliver? Upright Labor Positions Reduce Pain, Speed Birth.
"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."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
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.