Physical Therapy

Switching It Up: Birthing Positions

July 9, 2021

I’m Tanya.
I’ve learned that a little bit of intentionality goes a long way in accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves. This blog is meant to equip you with just that - simple tips, tricks, advice, and encouragement that help you live an intentional life. 
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What position did you give birth in? If you’re like 60-70% of women, you gave birth on your back. Why is this the most common birthing position? It’s the one most preferred by providers. It’s the position they’re most familiar with and have a great visual of what’s going on. 🤰🏼

Why isn’t it the best position? It’s MOST associated with perineal trauma (tearing and episiotomy), forceps and suction delivery, and nerve damage among many other things.
WHY is this? There could be a number of reasons, but the #1 reason is that your tailbone does not have room to rotate when you give birth laying on your back. And for some women, this won’t be a big deal. You may have a pelvis that is ideal for birth and your outlet (the circle of the pelvis baby exits from) is a great size. But for roughly half of the women, you may not have an ideal-sized outlet, and to avoid these issues, you will benefit from giving birth in a position that is NOT on your back.

So what are some options?

Side-lying, On all Fours, and Squatting are three great options! Squatting is a little controversial because the perineum is on full stretch, and so this can also potentially be linked to a greater chance of tearing but CAN be a great option depending on how well the perineum is stretching while pushing.

Did you give birth in a position other than on your back? I’d love to hear about it!
I was on my back for my first birth, squatting for the middle 3, and then side-lying for my last birth. My last birth was the ONLY time I did not tear or have an episiotomy! 👩🏼‍🍼

PS: I have so many women who I work with who WANT to try other positions, but when the time comes, they get on their back b/c that’s how their provider directed them. If you want to try a different birthing position, talk to your provider AHEAD of time about it, and then when you arrive at the hospital, make sure you tell your nurses and remind your provider as well! It’s ok to kindly advocate for yourself. 😁 If it’s not working, YOU. CAN. SWITCH. POSITIONS! In fact, I’d encourage you to do so!!

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