Monday, February 21, 2011

Birth Around the World: Vertical Birth

I recently added a vertical/upright birth button to the left sidebar. Clicking on it will bring you to a list of posts mentioning upright birth.

I also wanted to bring your attention to several articles and links about vertical birth.

First, read The Unnecesarean's fabulous article about the Vertical Birth Movement in Latin America. From Venezuela to Peru, from Ecuador to Mexico, hospitals and childbirth advocates are starting to adopt vertical birth as a way to increase safety and as a fundamental human rights issue.

Next, Susana of Spirit-Led Birth that birthing in an upright position liberated her from pain:
Once I learned that women can birth while sitting, standing, or on all fours I was liberated! From the bed and from pain! My first two births, (which were hospital births) were conducted in a bed. For the rest of my 5 births I never once laid in a bed. During my first homebirth I went to lie in bed, out of habit I guess, and as soon as I laid down I felt pain so I got out the bed and never got back in!
She includes a link to a Spanish-language video called "Humanized Birth: Retrieving the Vertical Position." Lots of lovely upright births!

Finally, Sage Beginnings has photo illustrations of various birthing positions. These pictures, taken in a variety of birth locations, are so much more helpful than the line drawings found in many birth books!


  1. My third birth was in a hospital, in a hospital bed, but I birthed on my hands and knees. It felt wonderful and was very quick!

  2. I loved watching the video you posted--because of the lovely, calm births, but also because I know some Spanish, but definitely not medical Spanish. Yet, I could figure out most of the words on the video. Thanks for the link. :)

  3. I labored for 14 hours with my first, either on all fours or standing up. Lying down was unbearable, so I listened to my body and got in the positions that felt best. I did birth in a hospital though, but I was not on my back. Thankful that the midwife & nurses there just let me be.

  4. My first birth was in a hospital with midwives and no epidural. I laboured for most of it either standing or sitting perched on the very edge of the bed. I did eventually lie down for the end of transition and that's when I almost lost it. I lost my focus and the pain started getting unbearable. I pushed on the bed, but I was sitting almost completely upright. It was what I wanted to do, mostly because that's what I thought I should do. I hadn't done much reading/research on the actual birth position. I have no regrets and it was a fantastic birth.

    This past summer I had home birth, 2 hours from first contraction to baby. I laboured the entire birth standing up and/or leaning on my husband. It was quite intense and at one point I went to sit down to maybe take a break for a second (give my legs a break), but the difference in pain was night and day and before I even had a chance to fully sit I was standing up again. I also gave birth while standing/in a squat. It was so much quicker than with my first. I still can't get over the difference.

  5. FYI, On my blog I translated the text from Spanish to English.

  6. Can anyone tell me why the MW/Dr turns the baby face down in the water slowly then as he brings it to the surface wipes down over the head and face?

    I love this vid

  7. He probably turns the baby face-down so that when it's lifted out of the water, fluids can drain out, rather than having water pushed up into its mouth. Isn't it a great video?


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