What position did you give birth in? - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > What position did you give birth in?
day-by-day's Avatar day-by-day 06:31 PM 03-13-2008
I recently read an article about positions for giving birth that stated that women who are given the choice will almost never choose to give birth semi-reclining. But when I had my daughter one month ago at a birth center, I was given the choice and I did choose to give birth semi-reclining. Honestly, hands-and-knees felt AWFUL to me, even though, from what I've read many women find it to be a great position to give birth. Now I'm wondering if I'm really the odd one out.

I only pushed for 4 minutes (about two pushes), so obviously it worked for me, but I'm curious, what position did you choose to birth your baby?

adtake's Avatar adtake 06:37 PM 03-13-2008
The most comfortable one at the time...lol

#1 - hospital - on back legs raised
#2 - BC - birthing chair....not a fan
#3 - BC - on all fours...loved it..super fast. But I did all of my laboring standing. Would have delivered that way if they mw didn't make me move.
MelW's Avatar MelW 06:38 PM 03-13-2008
I was lying on my left side (in bed).

I was on the toilet trying to pee when I felt the top of dd's head and my midwives were moving supplies closer to the bathroom when I asked to move into my bedroom since it was bigger and less claustrophobic. I pushed on my hands and knees most of the time, but turned around to my side as she was crowning. The reason? I didn't have any bendy straws and was thirsty and totally frustrated by trying to drink from a water bottle on my hands and knees. Flipping to my side was most convenient.

So while technically I chose my birthing position, I think that my beverage situation highly influenced it And I "pushed" for about 50 minutes- never coached, just pushing lead by my urges and what felt good.
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 06:39 PM 03-13-2008
Hands and knees.
amnda527's Avatar amnda527 06:46 PM 03-13-2008
Four minutes?! Thats great! I ended up pushing laying on my side, semi reclining. I planned a waterbirth, but as I was laying on the bed while the nurse was asking me the admitting questions, I realized I was pushing. Turns out I was fully dialated and ready to go! Obviously there was no time to fill the tub, so thats just where I ended up having her! If I was given a choice laying on the bed would have been the last thing I chose, but looking back it really wasn't that bad.
NatureMama3's Avatar NatureMama3 07:04 PM 03-13-2008
semi-squat with one foot in squatting and one knee down. My body propelled me into that position with each contraction. Had NO chioce in the matter.

hands/knees and lying down felt AWFUL to me.
balancedmama's Avatar balancedmama 07:10 PM 03-13-2008
I pushed for a long time in a lot of positions but the final position for me was hands and knees to get her head out and a lunge to get her shoulders out.
gcgirl's Avatar gcgirl 08:54 PM 03-13-2008
Hands and knees felt great but I switched to a stand/squat with a birthing bar because hands and knees was disconcerting for the hospital staff. Wasn't that nice of me?

Stand/squat felt good too but wasn't as restful.
Peony's Avatar Peony 08:58 PM 03-13-2008
Both of my DD's have been born while I was semi reclining, my choice. With DD1, I leaned back against DH, and when DD2 I was floating in a pool but when the urge to push hit I flipped to reclining, 2 minutes later she was out.
Dabble's Avatar Dabble 09:34 PM 03-13-2008
Lying on my right side with hubby holding my top leg. It felt better than being on my back, and I was tired and wanted to be in the bed.
xelakann's Avatar xelakann 09:41 PM 03-13-2008
I pushed for a long time too in many different positions, but the one I ended up with was a semi-reclined position. It's what was most comfortable at the time.

Congrats on 4 mins pushing (I was a 5 hour pusher...yes 5 hours).
womenswisdom's Avatar womenswisdom 09:45 PM 03-13-2008
Semi-reclined (in water, tho so no pressure on the tailbone). It just seemed that was the way I pushed most effectively & felt right.
thefragile7393's Avatar thefragile7393 09:55 PM 03-13-2008
Hands and knees in water....any other position I tried just hurt.
mamabearsoblessed's Avatar mamabearsoblessed 10:01 PM 03-13-2008
first~ semi-reclined but leaning on my left side
Second~ semi reclined squat, more with my arms around my knees
third~ more squat than last time, most support came from my legs and less from the bed I was leaning against

squatting is my birth position of choice but really its just where I ended up each time, my body begins pushing at about the time I reach 7cm and all goes very quickly from there, So from crowning to nursing my babes fly.
Limabean1975's Avatar Limabean1975 10:16 PM 03-13-2008
I was semi-reclining, on a hospital bed, with my legs being held up & back & apart by DH and a friend. Seems like a terrible position, but it felt right at the time. I mean, I had coached pushing which in retrospect was probably not good, and I pushed for about 2 hours...but once I was on my back, I know I did not want to change that position. (I did lift my head and curl upwards alot, so I guess I was not *actually* reclining).
Veritaserum's Avatar Veritaserum 11:46 PM 03-13-2008
#1 epidural, hospital birth, semi-sitting with my legs in stirrups--pushed for 20 minutes (they didn't know I was complete until we could see dd's hair so there wasn't far to go)
#2 home water birth, sideways squat with my legs against the side of the tub--pushed for 4 minutes
#3 home water birth, knees leaning forward over side of tub--pushed for 15 minutes
#4 home water birth, kneeling--pushed for 1 minute
MyBoysBlue's Avatar MyBoysBlue 11:50 PM 03-13-2008
DS1 was born in the hospital Semi-reclined position.
DS2 was a UC. I had been labouring on the toilet when I realized I was pushing. I walked to just outside the bathroom door and delivered him lying flat on my back. I tried hands and knees for one contraction but it didn't feel right so I tried to get into a squat and ended up flat on my back as DS slipped out. Minimal tearing with either birth, no stitches needed.
meganmarie's Avatar meganmarie 12:31 AM 03-14-2008
#1 - hospital with OB - on back, semi reclined
Not by choice, nurse refused to let me get up - I tore pretty badly and was mad about it afterwards

#2 - hospital with midwife - lying on my side
Like a pp I was planning to get in the labor tub but I lay down to relax when they were filling it, then I was pushing before I had time to get up again. Luckily with midwives they were asking me whether I was happy with the position I was in to push - but I personally couldn't move from where I was at that point. Still, side-lying was a lot better than on the back - more comfortable, quicker pushing phase and minimal tearing.
Septagram's Avatar Septagram 12:33 AM 03-14-2008
#1 was at the hospital. Take a wild guess what posistion I birthed in...
#2 was at home on all fours.
kythe's Avatar kythe 12:37 AM 03-14-2008
#1: Pushed for 3 hours, at first on the toilet, then on my knees leaning over a birth ball. On my back for about the last 10 minutes and for the actual birth.

#2: On hand and knees
halfadozen's Avatar halfadozen 12:54 AM 03-14-2008
#1 hospital - on my back, legs up in stirrups

#2 birth center, water birth - semi-squat leaning back on husband's legs (coached)

#3 birth center, reclining on bed with husband behind me (incidently, this was my fastest pushing stage, I was pushing before I knew what was happening... 7 minutes... and I was very comfortable in this position)

#4 hospital - semi-squat on bed (coached)

#5 birth center - all fours (just picked the position I felt I needed to be in at the time, did not expect to do chose all fours!! This was the only birth I did not tear, though...)
emaye_to_2's Avatar emaye_to_2 02:28 AM 03-14-2008
For DD (#2) I was on my hands and knees and I loved it! Barely two pushes!!
Altho I can say I was grateful my friend that was supposed to take pictures of the birth didn't show up in time for that view..

DS (#1) was a waterbirth, I was kind of reclining on DH in the tub.
pinksprklybarefoot 02:32 AM 03-14-2008
In the hospital. Semi-reclining. I had a 15 min pushing phase. They were worried about the baby, so they were doing anything and everything they could to get him out. My MW had them set up the squat bar, but that position just didn't work for me. I wound up semi-reclining, and it worked well. I felt guilty about that (I thought that I *should*be squatting or something like that), but if it works, it works. You will know what you want to do. Just do that.
erin_brycesmom's Avatar erin_brycesmom 02:39 AM 03-14-2008
I pushed my first semi-reclined on my back (hospital birth induced, epidural, coached pushing).

With my second, I pushed his head out while on my knees and after that the dr asked me to flip to my back in the sit position because she felt a double nuchal cord and wanted to "manage" that. Grrrr. That caused a lot of problems and I wish I had not allowed anyone to check or touch my baby or my vagina until after he was fully born.

I think the semi-reclined feels right to a lot of women because it is the most commonly witnessed position to give birth in and I think the social influence is huge. Women so very rarely give birth without the influence of those around them and many other factors influencing them. I know I never have but I hope to next time. The article you are talking about goes into detail about why upright birth that is off your back/butt is the natural body led stance for birth.
DBZ's Avatar DBZ 02:54 AM 03-14-2008
My first vbac was semi-reclined with stirrups under the influence of an epi with coached pushing. It took 45 minutes to get that baby out. The doc also had two people bringing my upper body forward with each contraction. I found this way kind of bizarre, but far better then a c-section!

With my 2nd vbac, I had that wicked urge to push while standing next to the bed, so the doc told me to get on the bed. I was on my back , but partially to a side. They didn't have time to suggest anything more then that. She was out in 3 pushes. I was ok with how I was.

I don't know how I'll birth this baby. I've been thinking about squatting, but also read that side-laying might be better to slow the pushing stage down a tad. I hurt my last baby's shoulder because I pushed her out so fast.
annakiss's Avatar annakiss 02:57 AM 03-14-2008
First baby was side-lying, leg in the air.

Second baby was on a birth stool.

I felt like hands and knees made my torso too small - like there wasn't enough room. I think that if I'd been able to, having someone hold me up would have been ideal. I dunno. Both times it worked, so whatever.
ElkMtnsMama's Avatar ElkMtnsMama 12:29 PM 03-14-2008
On the toilet, then my hands and knees for most of the pushing, but squatting, supported by DH, for the actual birth.
ColwynsMommy's Avatar ColwynsMommy 04:25 PM 03-14-2008
Both times so far was in the hospital, semi-reclined. With the first, I had my feet up on the squatting bar, and with my second.. I have no idea where my feet were. My babies came super fast once I started pushing, so I'm wondering what position I'll end up in this time, since it's our first homebirth. I don't want to speed up pushing anymore, so I'm thinking I might try side-lying. I'd be okay with kneeling or a sort of lunge position, but I'm a little hesitant about the all-fours position.. mainly because I want pictures and don't want my huge butt to be center stage.
day-by-day's Avatar day-by-day 04:58 PM 03-14-2008
Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom View Post
I think the semi-reclined feels right to a lot of women because it is the most commonly witnessed position to give birth in and I think the social influence is huge.
I see your point. But I'm also wondering if chosen positions for giving birth are also influenced by what positions we typically assume during the rest of our lives. Many cultures spend a lot of time squatting. I visited Indonesia last summer and squatting is a very common position for people in that culture. It is, however, a very uncommon position for me to be in. My muscles aren't used to it, and so it doesn't seem a comfortable position for me to be in. Additionally, I tire easily in that position.

Likewise I spent very little time in the hands/knees position during my pregnancy because my pelvic joints were so loose that it hurt a lot. So it doesn't really surprise me that hands/knees felt bad during labor. On the other hand, I spent a lot of time in a semi-reclining position during my pregnancy. It feels like a relaxing position to me. So, although I spent most of my labor standing/swaying/walking. When I got tired, the position that was comfortable to me was semi-reclining.

I don't think that I chose that position because that was "societally acceptable". It just felt right. I was actually kinda expecting to birth side-lying because that's how I had done it with my others, but when the time came, I couldn't move to that position.

I'm just hypothesizing here. Any thoughts?
theretohere's Avatar theretohere 07:04 PM 03-14-2008
I've squatted for both.
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