The most effective positions in labour are those that allow you to lean forward, use gravity, and open the pelvis. It can be helpful to change positions frequently – every 20 to 30 minutes during labour. This may decrease your pain and help your labour to progress faster. It can also help your baby get into a good position for birth.
Often when a woman changes to a new position, her contractions will feel stronger, as the new position is helping the body labour more efficiently. She may need extra support and reassurance at this time.
To help the baby move down during the second (pushing) stage of labour, try positions which use gravity, lengthen the torso, relax the pelvic floor and keep the tail bone mobile.
Helpful Positions for Labour
Walking and standing
Walking and standing are helpful in the first stage of labour. Gravity helps your baby to move down and makes contractions more effective. You may find it more restful to lean forward over something or someone.