Here's some info from my website about vertical delivery:
I discourage even semi-sitting because of the pressure it puts on the tailbone, decreasing the pelvic outlet. However, I notice that hardly any woman will choose a semi-sitting position on her own.
For my first birth I did not tear, but I stretched the skin enough that it was damaged (a "skid mark".) That was when I was in a semi-reclining position and being told when to start pushing and how to push. Pushing took two hours and was very physically difficult (I ended up pulling some muscles that took a long time to heal.)
For my second birth I would have given birth kneeling, except for the midwife encouraging me to get into a squat when I told her I could feel the baby's head. The pushing phase was relatively short (10 minutes,) I only pushed when I couldn't help but push, and there was no damage to my vaginal tissues. (This was a waterbirth, also.)
For my third birth I was in about a million different positions during transition, and then had a very strong urge to kneel, at which point I could not feel the baby's head, then one spontaneous push and the head was out, then another push and the body was out. Again, no vaginal trama. (This was an unassisted birth.)
This birth I'm envisioning my babe being anterior and perfectly positioned. I see myself kneeling/leaning over something to push her out.
Dd (our second child) was born in the same position but in the tub, with her I had a 1st degree tear, no stitched, she was posterior though.
It might not be the best position but for me it's the most comfortable, I never felt good on hands and knees and could never feel "supported" enough for squating or sitting. Since I didn't feel that I could hold myself up and wasn't comfortable with others holding me up, I couldn't push well in other positions.
2nd, hands and knees, 11 minutes of pushing, no counting coachiong , no tear but a skid mark (like a scrape - from her big melon), 9#3oz
Third, hands and knees, 2 minutes of pushing, baby had descended 2 minutes earlier, weighed 7#5oz and thanks to the heroic efforts of my midwife in a less than ideal situation and her extreme knowledgeof what to do to keepa woman from tearing, even though there was no gentle gradual stretching or slow pushing i escaped with out so much as a skid mark thankyouverymuch She told me what she did but I was foggy. I just remember being really impressed (somehting about supporting the perineum, counter pressure, not massage, I forget). When my dh tells that birth story it is al about Lisa. You would think i wasn't eventhere :LOL Oh well at least after three he was finally impressed. HA!
Anyway, completely sold on the hands and knees postion which I thought was complete lunacy the first time Iheard about it. And I was into alternative birthing positions.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Birth 2 - hospital, no meds, Semi-sitting, no stirrups b/c I went too fast for them to get them up, no tearing.
Birth 2 - home, waterbirth, on my knees leaning against the pool, no tearing.
I now know that I do not have to push that hard and will try to control my pushes more toward the end to avoid all that trauma to my perineum. Even though I didn't require a lot of stiches, I was very bruised and sore.
-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a , who each self-weaned at 4.5 years , who both 'd, who were both, and both: . Also, , and !
My second was squatting - what a difference! My husband held me up from behind and I aught. It was an unplanned unassisted homebirth - the midwife hadn't even left her house by the time the baby was there. A few minutes, slipped right out, no tears. (Also didn't feel like I'd been hit by a mack truck!)
2nd- in birth tub, leaning over the side. I tore both times, I think the second time b/c things happened too fast. This time I'm going to try the hands and knees position, I've read (Active Birth, Janet Balaskas) that this is a good one if things are happening too fast.
2nd- squatting -skid makr
3rd--semi sitting NO TEAR at all (and I had two 8 pound plus twins who were frank and footling breech.)
I had a friend who was on all fours and tore just as horrible as my friend who birthed on her back. makes no sense to me.