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Pregnancy is a time when you will lose most of your mobility because of the baby growing inside. During this time, it is important that you prepare yourself for the process and try the different positions in order to get used to the feeling. When the day arrives, you will be mentally and physically prepared as the practice would have helped you.
Positions for Labour
During pregnancy, it is advised that you practice the different delivery positions so that it helps you settle and makes you more comfortable.
In the first stage of labour, you should keep yourself mobile and in an upright position. This will allow the baby to move smoothly through the birth canal. You should also practice relaxation and breathing which will help you through the entire process of labour. There are many positions available which one can explore which can prepare you for childbirth.
What to Do During the Early Stages of Labour
While you welcome the new phase, it is essential that you prepare a checklist of activities before you begin practising the positions to help induce labour that you would require to start as the due date approaches as this will help you completely prepare for the onset of pregnancy.
- Informing your doctor – This is the first thing that you would need to do. You will have to let your doctor know about your pains and take their opinion about whether you need to head out to the hospital.
- Connecting with the insurance provider – You can notify your insurance service provider when you’re in the early stages of labour.
- Checking before taking medicines – You need to be very careful while taking any kind of medicine during this phase, even over the counter ones. Hence it is advisable that you consult your doctor prior to taking anything.
- Learning the red flag signs – You should be conscious of your body during this phase and seek medical advice whenever you start getting cramps or cramps with bleeding.
- Maternity clothes & innerwear – Pack a bag with your maternity clothes and the clothes for the baby to be taken to the hospital. It is advisable to keep this hospital bag ready beforehand.
Best Positions to Relieve Your Pain During Active Labour
The best positions to ease labour pain are ones in which your body is upright. Few of the most recommended positions that could help you get through labour comfortably are –
1. Standing and Leaning
This position allows you to support yourself with the help of your spouse or a wall and makes the labour less painful. Standing position helps the baby move through the birth canal because of the change in your pelvis. This increases the chances of moving into the second stage of labour. However, this position may be more tiring and you will have to have a strong spouse.
Squatting positions encourage the descent of the baby by increasing its rotation. It helps increase the pelvic diameter up to 2 cm. This position may be little more tiring though.
3. Lying on Your Left Side
Lying on the left side is a resting position which can make the contraction more effective because lying on the left side helps in increasing blood supply to the baby.
4. Kneeling With the Birthing Ball
You may choose to lean against a wall, desk with knees or use an exercise ball on a higher surface slightly bending your knees. If you are using a ball then try the following birthing ball positions. You will need to lead forward into the ball with your head, arms, and upper chest. After placing yourself in this position, you can rock from one side to the other. This is one of the best ways to practice sitting positions to induce labour.
5. Hands & Knees
Kneeling with legs spread wide apart and lean forward with the support of your hands. In this position, you need to sit on your ankles and let the belly sink down gradually between the knees. You can use some pillows to rest your chest or head if required.
Flexing the muscles of your legs as you stretch your legs help you relax and also makes sure that the baby has space to move around.
7. Raising Feet
Sit in a chair and elevate one foot. With each contraction lean forward into the raised foot. This helps the progress of labour.
Sitting on the birthing ball helps relax your legs and lower back. Swaying from side to side and back and forth also helps. You may use an exercise ball to rest the upper body or you may also do the same swaying movements on your hands and knees. Swaying helps open the pelvis and rotates the baby.
9. Lying on the Side and Raising the Upper Knee
Lying on one side with your lower leg straight and upper leg bent as much as possible by resting it on a pillow. This is another position which opens your pelvis and encourages your baby to descend.
You can start with facing forward placing one foot on a stool and rotate the standing foot opening your knee slowly. Then keep lunging in between contractions. You can try with each foot up in turns.
In this you will be able to concentrate on labour with your eyes shut and doing a ‘pelvic movement’ by sitting down. The rocking helps the baby rotate and descend.
12. Lying on the Back (Reclining)
Reclining means lying down in bed or against a wall or on a chair or person. It releases tension and helps relax the muscles. This option is good when you feel tired but do not want to lie down completely.
Thus, the different positions can be tried out before you go for delivery. By practising these, you will be able to prepare yourself physically for your baby’s entry.