As for obstetricians preferring a more convenient position, Fleming said they, like midwives, are accustomed to strange positions and situations. She recalled a woman in so much pain that she angrily started to walk out of the hospital room. Fleming had to wrestle her back. “I almost fell on the bed with her because I had to throw her on the bed.”The midwives interviewed for this article tended to be more supportive of alternate birth positions, including kneeling, standing, and squatting.
Alternative positions are by no means sweeping maternity units. The majority of births are done with epidural injections, which numb the lower body and make it virtually impossible for the woman to stand or squat. Nevertheless, some midwives and other delivery experts suggest that expectant mothers are more frequently considering delivering from some position other than the back. “I recommend women get out of bed all the time,” said Heather Ramsey, a certified nurse midwife at the Med Center.The two physicians interviewed for the article, on the other hand, viewed analgesics and epidural anesthesia as overwhelmingly positive:
Ramsey and other proponents of alternative positions say the benefits can include decreased pain, better blood circulation for the mother and baby and easier downward descent for the baby. Pain medications, they say, can make the mother and baby drowsy, which may impede the infant's ability to immediately breast-feed.
Fleming and Pankratz, a board member with the Nebraska Medical Association, said pain medication and epidurals are fine. “We don't believe there's anything unnatural about alleviating pain in labor,” Fleming said. “My philosophy,” Pankratz said, “is technology is present to make our lives better.”The article began with a woman who gave birth in a hospital standing up, one knee propped up on the bed. Rosalina Romero tried several different positions, finally finding one that alleviated the intensity:
Finally, she stood with her fists on the bed. The horrible pain dissipated and became more of a burning sensation, far more tolerable. “It's just what felt natural,” she said. She lifted one leg and her husband, Brent Vignery, held the leg up. The baby's head began to come out. She put a knee on the bed and kept one foot on the ground. Their baby, Dexter, emerged. “Gravity helped a lot,” she said.In contrast, Dr. Fleming expressed her doubts that gravity helps the birth process:
Fleming said she doubted gravity played a role in delivery, as some proponents of standing or squatting believe. The opening of the cervix, or cervical os, holds the baby in, she said. “Babies don't just fall out,” she said.My commentary:
Delivery room wrestling match = assault and battery
Does gravity cease to exist if you don't "believe" in it?