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I know that it will vary by how babies are positioned and other factors, but for those of you who had freedom of movement during childbirth, what worked best for you? What helped you make the most progress? Squatting? Standing and leaning against the wall? Side-lying? I'd like to have a whole list of ideas in my head before my next baby is due. TIA!
 

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For 1st stage, I moved around a lot, and tolerated labor okay as long as I wasn't lying down.

I started pushing on the toilet, then moved to the birth stool for the last part of 2nd stage.

Squatting was my friend.
 

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I liked kneeling while leaning forward in the birthing tub with my last three.


ETA: This was for the actual birth (pushing, I mean--which has ranged between 1 - 15 minutes). During labor I used all kinds of positions.
 

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I would say standing, leaning over the bed. This is how I delivered my fourth, and I'm sure if I would have had freedom with my third it would have been the same way...1, 2, & 3 were w/ a family doc, and 4 was with a midwife.
 

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Squatting and shifting forward onto hands and knees felt good for awhile. Then my legs got shaky, and so for the actual birth I shifted into a side-lying position with one leg resting on the side of the birthing tub. DH cradled my head, which was half under water, and I had both hands free to support my perineum and catch my babe. It was just perfect.
 

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For the actual birth there was only one position that felt right to me. I had freedom to choose in each one, and for each I chose semi-reclined. I know that's typical considered not a good position, but it just felt right for me.
 

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Also semi reclined. It worked perfect for me. I was pretty much laying on the bed, on my side, just slightly tilted. I had my one arm around my husband and his arms were leaning over and pressing on my back. My other arm was down between my legs to feel for the baby and to know where to push. After her head came out, he helped me to change position a little so i could catch her.

I liked semi-laying down because i had more control over how fast she came out. I tried to squat but there was just way too much pressure and speed, I would have tore for sure.
 

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I went through a zillion positions. I started feeling pushy a little too early - I think I had a small cervical lip I was pushing against b/c after my MW checked for it, I felt a million times better. I tried:

Squatting in the tub
Kneeling in the tub
Sitting on the toilet
Sitting on the floor, leaning back
Side-lying
Supported deep squat
On knees with upper body on birth ball
On knees on the floor with upper body on the bed (basically hands & knees, but more comfy
)

Only the last one felt right, which is too bad it took me so long to get to it - the only reason I didn't earlier, even though I wanted to be bent over like that, was because there were 4 people watching me and I felt self-conscious about having my booty in the air! Silly, I know. Finally, my MW asked me to flip over because she was having a hard time finding DS' heart tones with me in a semi-reclined/sitting position on the floor. After I got on my knees, I found my inner lioness and *literally* roared him out. Despite the position and not pausing at all at the shoulders, I only got a 3-stitch 1st degree labial tear!
 

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For the first six hours, I sat bolt upright from a kneeling resting position.
For the next ten hours, I HAD to walk forward through them.
For the next hour, I knelt in the bathtub.
For the last hour, I knelt in the birth pool with my hands on the rim. That was good.

I had been SURE that I was going to have that baby squatting. Ha!
 

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Oddly I was semi-reclined. My first was an epidural birth and I hated being in bed, but when it came time for my second there I was! All propped up on my pillows on my back in a bed, lol. Oh well, it worked perfectly for me and is what felt right at the time.

ETA that was for the actual birth (the last 10 mins). The rest of the time I walked, rocked, squatted etc.
 

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Before I had my babies, I knew what I'd want: a toilet without the bowl underneath. Didn't know there was such a thing, but then I saw my MW's birthing stool. Perfect!

And I was right. I tried pushing semi-reclined b/c of a posterior babe, but it just didn't work for me.

Birth stool all the way!
 

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side lying (when I was tired)
squatting
running around (seriously)
hanging off the kitchen counter
leaning over the back of the couch on my knees
and finally -
birth stool - where she was born!
 

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Kneeling on the floor in front of my husband (sitting on the couch) with my arms around his waist and my head in his lap.
Every other position I tried just seemed to stall progression. Plus, this is what felt right.
 

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Like a few others, I ended up semi-reclined. It was suggested to me by the midwives, so i did not exactly choose it, but it ended up feeling right. DH on one side and a friend on the other side held my legs up & out. I had a biggish baby (9lbs 14 oz) and did not tear at all - my midwife for this pregnancy said that may be because the position slowed things down, which was a good thing for me at the time - that if I had squatted, which I used to think was the best possible position, I would have torn.

This time around I have a birth tub...I'm picturing hands & knees...but that sidelying position a PP described sounds good...reality is, I have no idea what position I'll end up in or whether I'll be in or out of the tub!
 
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