11 Labor Positions: Squatting, Standing, Sitting & more | Fit Pregnancy

Position Statement

The pros and cons of 11 common labor positions.

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7. WALKING
 

Pros:
Uses gravity.

Contractions are often less painful.

Baby is well aligned in your pelvis.

May speed labor.

Reduces backache.

Encourages descent.  
 

Cons:
Not recommended if you have high blood pressure.

Cannot be used with continuous electronic fetal monitoring.

8. STANDING
 

Pros:
Uses gravity.

Helps get oxygen to the baby.

Contractions are more effective and less painful.

May speed labor.

Helps create a pushing urge.  

Cons:
Poor control at birth.

Hard for health-care provider to see the baby.

 

leaning-position-for-labor

9. LEANING OR KNEELING FORWARD WITH SUPPORT
 

Pros:
Can help shift the baby if needed.

Uses gravity.

Birth ball can be used.

Contractions are often less painful and more productive.

Baby is well aligned in your pelvis.

Relieves backache.

Easier for your partner to help relieve your back pain.

May be more restful than standing.

Good for pelvic rocking.

Less strain on your wrists and arms.  
 

Cons:
Hard for health-care provider to help with birth.

 

10. KNEE-CHEST
 

Pros:
Good for back labor.

Assists with rotation of baby, if needed.

Takes pressure off hemorrhoids.

Good position to avoid tearing or episiotomy.

Good delivery position for large baby.

Helpful if fetal heart tones are low.  
 

Cons:
Hard for your support team to maintain eye contact with you.

Hard for you to see what’s going on.

11. ON BACK WITH LEGS RAISED
 

Cons:
Works against gravity.

Compresses all major vessels.

Tearing or need for an episiotomy is more likely.

No use of gravity to aid in birth.
 

Giving Birth with Confidence, the online community created by Lamaze International, provides articles and tips written for and by real women (and men) on a variety of topics related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting. Their goal is to help women achieve healthy pregnancies and safe, satisfying births by offering a meeting ground to obtain information and support from other women, Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educators and knowledgeable experts.

 

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