When we hear or think of birth, more often than not we are reminded of TV shows and movies where a pregnant woman is rushed down the hallway – huffing, puffing and screaming through contractions while being told to “push” laying on her back with her legs in stirrups!
Upright positions during birth (sitting, kneeling, squatting, and all fours) have been the topic of much research in recent years, and the results of the research are dramatically in favour, these are the advantages of upright positions.
As a Birth Educator I teach the value of labouring and birthing in an upright position. It is also one of the key Healthy Birth Practices I teach in my Lamaze classes – Healthy Birth Practice #5: Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push.
Choosing the right birth class is probably one of the most important choices you can make. What you learn about birth will help determine how your birth unfolds – not knowing your options means you have no options to choose from.
Most care professionals seem convinced that they know best, that mother’s do not know how to give birth and that birth is a medical emergency – when most births are not! They skim over information or just expect the mother to be a mind reader or get frustrated when she will not comply, when she will not do what they have told her.
Keep Mother and Baby Together: It's Best for Mother, Baby and Breastfeeding.
Throughout most of human history, mothers and babies have stayed together from the moment of birth. When a newborn is placed skin- to – skin not only is this the first time a mother and her newborn can meet and bond, but it’s helps the natural progression of breastfeeding and hormonal release.
Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back and Follow You Body's urges to Push
What comes to mind when you think of a woman giving birth? For many parents-to-be who have yet to experience labor, their minds go straight to the TV/Movie version of birth. A mum lying on her back, in pain and screaming, it is easy to think that there is only one way to push during birth—with the woman on her back with her legs propped up, holding her breath and pushing while others count to 10 and coach/ tell her to push harder.
Avoid interventions that aren't medically necessary.
Birth is a natural process. We want to limit interfering with the vital hormones that regulate pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding and attachment. Our bodies are amazing, and we are gifted with several hormones that help the birthing process move along to eventually give us a baby.
Walk, Move Around and Change Positions Throughout Labour.
When allowed to move freely during labour, women instinctively respond to their powerful contractions. Walking, swaying, squatting, rocking, rubbing and changing positions during labour.
Research supports that movement may help shorten labour, can provide effective pain relief and can decrease the likelihood of having a cesarean (Storton.S (2007) "the coalition for improving maternity services")
Letting your body go into labour spontaneously is almost always the best way to know that your baby is ready to be born and that your body is ready for labour. In the vast majority of pregnancies, labour will start only when all the players—your baby, your uterus, your hormones, and your placenta—are ready.
Lamaze today is a ‘philosophy’ of birth, founded on 6 Healthy Birth Practices that are designed to encourage women to trust their bodies, reduce fear, and have a healthy and safe birth for mother and baby.