Saturday, July 23, 2011

You've Got to Move Your Body- Movement and Positioning for Birth

Look at all of the lovely hip movement in this youtube video! Sure, there aren't actual pregnant mamas, but the song and video are a good reminder of what I want you to remember in labor, the swaying hips, the movement.

In early labor and sometimes well into active labor, many moms like the feeling of being upright, walking, lunging, squatting and swaying. Early labor is also a good time to get rested up for the work ahead, so I think that it's important to balance activity with periods of rest.

Here are some links to good positions for early and active labor:

Positions for the pushing stage

Lamaze's Tips for Maintaining Freedom of Movement

U.K.'s site, Babycentre has this to say about laboring in bed,

"Why not labour in bed?

If you are upright rather than lying down, gravity can help push your baby's head down onto the cervix (neck of the womb) to help your cervix dilate and then assist your baby's progress through your pelvis.

Research, though limited, has shown the following disadvantages to lying down in labour, including:

• more painful contractions (Molina et al 1997)
• less effective contractions (Lewis et al 2002; Andrews and Chrzanowski 1990; Flynn et al 1978)
• longer labour (Andrews and Chrzanowski 1990)
• reduced blood flow to your baby, particularly if you lie flat on your back (Ryo et al 1996; Ang et al 1969 cited Gupta et al 2004)
• narrower passage through the pelvis for your baby (Michel et al 2002; Russell 1982 cited Gupta et al 2004)"

Remember that one of the things your doula does for you is to suggest position changes during labor. So if you start feeling like you're not sure what to try, your doula is there to provide ideas.

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