2:02 min| 823,413 views
Learn how staying upright during labor can ease a baby's delivery.
Daphne Metland: Emily, let's talk about positions for labor and birth. For the last hundred years or so, women have been tucked up in bed in labor, and that's the worst position you can be in, because the baby is actually on your spine and on your sacroiliac joint.
This ball is 10 centimeters in diameter, which is the size of the average baby's head. And you can see that it only just fits through the pelvis. So if you can be upright and mobile and make a lot more space in that pelvis, it will be easier for the baby to fit through.
The weight of the baby and the size of the baby helps dilate the cervix. If you can be mobile, labor is shorter and contractions are more effective, but they're less painful. So it's well worth doing. So walk around, change position, kneel, whatever you feel comfortable. Listen to what your body's telling you, and it will actually help labor progress.
And then, when you get to the second stage of labor, which is where you push your baby out, your position is really important. If you're lying flat on your back, if you imagine that that's the baby's head, you'd be at this sort of angle on the hospital bed. Just try pushing that ball through the pelvis.
It's quite a struggle to get the ball through, isn't it? But see what happens if you stand up or you kneel or you squat? So you're in a much more upright position. Now push the ball through the pelvis and we'll see what happens.
So there's a big difference in the amount of space the baby's got to get through, compared to lying down and being upright.
This joint has moved and the coccyx has moved out of the way. You've got a lot more space to get your baby through. It will be easier for you and your baby.
So just sitting or kneeling or, if you're using a birth pool, squatting in the birth pool, it can give you up to a third more space. So it's worth thinking about positions when you're thinking about labor and birth.