For those considering natural labor, experimenting with birthing positions can be extremely beneficial! Different positions are recommended during the separate phases of labor to increase the mother's comfort and baby's progression.
The hands-and-knees positions help improve back labor, turning the position of the baby (if needed), and the delivery of a large baby. The “crawl” and the “full moon” positions are included.
The “crawl” position is achieved pretty much exactly as it sounds. The mother is on all fours (both hands and knees) and may need to include pelvic rocking in this position for comfort. This position allows the pelvis to expand and takes pressure off of the perineum as the baby is descending.
The “full moon” position is a modified version of the “crawl.” The mother is on all fours again, only this time she is lowered to her forearms and knees, so her head and chest is lower than her rear. This position is recommended for those looking to rotate the position of their baby. Allowing the knees to open as much as comfortable helps the pelvis widen and improves the amount of room the baby has to maneuver. This position also uses gravity to help facilitate this process.
Another position, using gravity, is the squatting position. This encourages the baby to descend and may shorten the last phase of labor when pushing. To get into this position requires balance and may require assistance or a stationary object to help balance. The mother should be flat on her feet and bring her rear down towards the floor.
The toilet bowl is a great prop for a sitting position. Sit facing the tank (this way your partner or family member can rub your back or massage pressure points!) Rocking chairs, recliners, or birthing pools can also be used for various sitting positions. Use pillows or blankets to add comfort.
Another relaxing pose is the side-laying pose (laying in fetal position on one side). This is great for resting and taking naps during the early phases of labor, and also has great benefits of relieving pressure of internal organs.