14:19 (GMT+2), Thu, 23 August 2012
The Better Birth Initiative (BBI) recommends that mobilisation in labour be encouraged and that lying prone with legs in stirrups be avoided, as this is detrimental to progress, and has been linked to blood pressure falling too low, diminished uterine activity, and reductions in pelvic outlet dimensions, meaning birth will be more difficult (Walsh 2000).
With upright positions, women have less pain and perineal trauma, and fewer episiotomies (Gould 2000). Pelvic dimensions have been shown by MRI scanning to vary with maternal positions – squatting and kneeling forward increases diameters in the midpelvis and pelvic outlet, compared to the supine position (Simkin & Bolding, 2004).
Apart from this, walking, rocking, swaying, lunging, flexing and extending legs, facilitate rotation and descent of the baby’s head, helping with pain and difficult positions of the unborn baby.
Sister Lilian, birth