Movement Restrictions

    By: Lamaze International on Apr 24, 2012

    Movement Restrictions

    Restricting Movement

    From The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence.

    What to Know:

    • Research shows that restricting movement reduces the effectiveness of contractions, prolongs labor, and increases Pitocin use.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages freedom of position and movement and discourages the supine (back-lying) position during labor.
    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) encourages women to change position often.

    You’ll need to stay in bed or have help moving if:

    • You’re having preterm labor.
    • You have severe pregnancy-induced hypertension.
    • You have epidural or spinal medication.
    • You have narcotic medication through an IV.

    How to Avoid Unnecessary Use:

    • Discuss movement with your caregiver.
    • Find out if your birth site restricts walking and movement during labor.
    • Consider changing your birth site if it will restrict your movement.
    • Labor at home as long as possible, walking and moving freely.
    • Have a doula or other support person.
    • Remember that walking, moving, and changing positions help your labor progress.

    How to Keep Labor as Normal as Possible if Your Movement is Restricted:

    • Labor at home as long as possible, walking, moving, and changing positions freely.
    • Change positions often in bed:
      • Move from side to side.
      • Sit on the side of the bed.
      • Kneel while leaning your head and shoulders against the raised head of the bed.
      • Lie in different directions; for example, move your head to the foot of the bed.
      • Squat while supported.
      • Remember that the more you move, the more efficient your contractions will be.

    Read more about medical interventions:

    Released: April 24, 2012, 6:55 pm | Updated: June 11, 2013, 9:38 am


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