Positions for labour and birth

When active labour starts, try to be as active and mobile as possible: all the movement can help your baby move down and through your pelvis.  You’ve probably seen women labouring on their back in bed on TV, but is this really the best way to labour and birth your baby? Remaining as upright as you can help your labour progress, and this can reduce the sensations that you will feel during labour.

What are my options?

There are several!

  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Kneeling, leaning forward into a beanbag
  • All fours over a birth ball / bean bag
  • Standing, leaning forward into some pillows placed on the kitchen bench
  • Squatting
  • Lying on your side
  • Sitting on the toilet
  • Any position in the bath / birth pool
  • Pelvic rocking
  • Belly dancing

All of these positions can also be used in the second stage of labour when you are pushing or breathing your baby out.  Your midwife should work with you to help you move into comfortable positions throughout your labour and birth.

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