One of the most important things a mama can do during labor and birth is to be upright and moving throughout her experience. The only exception to this is in early or pre-labor because this is when she needs to take advantage of opportunities to rest and sleep.
Being active in labor is helpful for coping with pain and it will also encourage a quick(er) labor. Especially during transition!
Sometimes a woman can get in a particular position and say, “Ahhhh, this feels so much better!” or “I have to move. I can’t do this position, it hurts!”. It might sound cliche, but it’s important to listen to the body and respond accordingly in order to cope with pain.
If you think about it, when a woman is upright and moving she is using gravity to bring her baby down and through the pelvis. On top of that, each time her pelvis rocks and shifts she is helping her baby make those twists and turns needed to make the downward decent.
A lot of birthing positions require a support person – maybe a doula or the woman’s partner. Having one or both of these people close by and physically supporting a woman through each position can evoke feelings of comfort, safety and relief. These feelings can lessen the feelings of fear, which in turn lessens the pain a woman may feel.
The above is a handout on Birth Positions I give to couples in my childbirth classes. I love it because it shows some of the many options and possibilities in labor. If you’d like to print this out for yourself, go ahead an click the following link for a pdf. Movement and Positioning for Birth – Simkin
For the real deal check out Simkin’s book The Birth Partner. I highly recommend it for anybody hoping to support a mama throughout labor .