Littlepixie Nov'06 & our little monkey Jan'11
With my first, I was semi-reclining, he got stuck, they gave me an episiotomy, pulled him out by hooking an armpit, and then he had a partially collapsed lung for 2 hours from the trauma.
Birth position really is an instinctual thing. Just like semi-reclining and sqatting and side-lying don't work for everyone, niether does hands-and-knees, or birthing in the water, or any of the other "in vogue" birth methods and positions. My body told me hands-and-knees, so that's what I did. I had been all prepared to squat or have a waterbirth, but that just wasn't meant for me to do.
The midwife had my husband sit on the bed and me sit up, back to him and between his legs. I thought she was insane to ask me to sit down with something coming OUT down there, but I'm thrilled that she did. My DD was born one push later, right into the arms of both mama and papa.
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#2 - homebirth - squatting on the floor with DH holding me up while he sat on the piano bench lol
#3/#4 - unassisted birth with twins - standing, mostly over the toilet! (for those who like pictures as an example: i like this one) This was totally instinctual as I'd "planned" on squatting on the floor like the previous births.
Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to DD (9yr), DS (3yr), & UC twin DDs (5yr)
DS2: Homebirth. I got in the shower when ctx started getting heavy. When I got out 30 minutes later I felt like I needed to push, so I squatted down in our candle lit bedroom while holding on to my husband's dresser and pushed him out in less than 2 minutes! IME squatting really helped with the pain. It felt so much better!
This felt good, I had good traction and control but was very eager to GET IT OUT! so I did tear a little. 7 1/2 lbs
2nd 1 year ago - at home again, flat back with a little lean to my right side, left knee way up near my head but this was because my son was in a funky position (slightly OP and needing to get under the pubic bone)
pushed for 28 minutes, no tears. This time (in part because of position)I was able to not go full blast and allow for a slower crowning/exit. 8 lbs 10 oz
#3: on my left side with my right leg in the air. Pushed for about 15 min.
#4: in a birth tub, squatting. Pushed for about 10 minutes.
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Crunchy Mama to 3 boys '06 and '08 and '10
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this baby: will probably be squatting. That felt REALLY good to me, and the only reason I went back to the toilet last time was because I thought my legs were going to go to sleep! (weren't even sore the next day, my labor was pretty fast). I've been sitting on the birth ball and doing a lot of yoga squats in preparation.
"I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly" John 10:10
#1 was a cesarean (hosp)
#2 semi-sit VBAC w/episiotomy (hosp)
#3 on my back, wriggling (hosp)
#4 on my knees (hosp)
#5 hands and knees (home)
#6 semi-sit (home)
#7 semi-sit after being flipped through the air for minor shoulder dystocia (home)
#8 almost on my back (I kept slipping down.... don't use plastic on the floor (home)
Second, UC in 2-person tent, on knees hanging onto tent pole which bent with my exertions but I was half in half out the door. Very fast labour, 4 hours, preemie.
Third, UC in transit van, on knees but managed to get on my feet in a squatting position.
I usually straighten my back up a bit to deliver rather than leaning over on all fours. About 12 hour labour.
second baby, changed hospital, could move around, rotate hips sitting on birthing ball and go to the restroom, but still had to climb on the birthing table for the last 10 minutes due to some little complication ...
third baby, risked out of birthing center, but still with staff open to natural births ideas, could move around, DRINK if I wanted to, started mainly rotating hips with elbows on a table, did some belly dancing movements too, spent half the time on the toilet (first needed to empty my bladder and bowels due to the pressure BUT ALSO wanted privacy in fact !) and actually nearly gave birth on the toilet since I was "still only 3 cm" 15 minutes before the baby arrived ... luckily had the presence of mind of standing up, two mighty contractions when I howled like a demented wolf, couldn't control anything, just put one hand because I thaught my innards were coming out, felt the head of the baby, put my second hand and caught her on the second contraction, she arrived a few seconds before the staff came back hurrying after hearing the noise I made .... I didn't know it was "normal", only read a similar account by Michel Odent AFTER that birth, in restrospect it was the most satisfying birth of the 3 !
With my daughter the standard legs bent and pulled back slightly reclined laying on back with a midwife delivering at a hospital,Pushed 1 hour.She was 7lbs 13oz 20"
With my son i had a horrible medwife* a kaiser midwife* and my doula suggested i push laying on my side with one leg bent and held back and the midwife almost didn't let me push that way: But i did and didn't tear at all not sure how long i pushed though, he was 8lbs 14oz 22"
and my second, on my knees in the water and i caught him. i ushed a trad to see if he would move any, and his water broke. next one out came his head, and the next out came the rest of him.
second birth i took contractions standing up, then mw arrived and she told me to lay down that she could check how much i was dialated, so i did a second later i felt a contraction coming, so by instint i jumped of my bed on hand and knees pushed 2 times (total 2 min, if that) and baby was born, and the mw got never to check me.
DS#2: Kneeling in the bathtub at the birth center. Pushed b/c my body told me to, he was out in 2 cx and I caught him myself. Minimal tearing, no stitches.
#2 - sort of half-squat propped with pillow
#3 - squatting in the birth tub
#1-hospital on back natural (I was young and I think this helped with my ability to flex and stay on track physically) not a choice I must say but the only option, I guess OB's can't bend there head to the side to see a baby coming out!
#2- home, most of labor on hands and knees, standing, this one took only four hours from start to finish-one push (lots of grunts) he came out when I was sitting/standing- it was strange and I had an excellent midwife who would catch that baby no matter where I was!! go kim!!
#3-home, on my side with my leg pushed up against my midwife-go kim- and my back pushed against my hubby, this one was sunny side up and had his hand stuck to his face and his arm pop out with his head!, so I kinda rotated from side to side to get him out-the hardest work I have EVER done
#4-home, on my knees laying over my bed-from the torso up- so kinda squat, bend, hands knees, this one had a very short cord, stuck sidways on the placenta, and wrapped around her neck-she actually came through the cord like a jump rope! lol so I didn't have much time to think and I didn't have much option for her to get out without hurting herself, in fact just as she came out, you can see on the video, I kinda turn to the side and put a knee up and rotate.......the baby told me to do that, so she could breath!! smart girl........
don't let any body tell you where or how to give birth, find someone you trust to only interupt you if they HAVE TO, not for their ease of view or whatever......find someone that will read your signs and help you in your direction.