If your goal is to "get things moving along" in labor, there are specific positions you can use that are known to do just that. Now, there's no guarantee of course -- much of the time, labor takes the time it needs to take. Gravity and movement play key roles in the progression of birth, however, and it's important to use both of these to your advantage when possible. This post is the second in our series this month on "Best Labor Positions."
Powerful Positions that Can Help Speed Up Labor
This image shows just one of the many ways you can labor while standing, which is optimal for allowing gravity to do its work, and also allows for side-to-side or rocking movement, which helps with baby's rotation and descent.
Circling on an Exercise Ball
Sitting on an exercise/yoga ball during labor can help you get your groove on in progressing labor -- and it often feels good, too!
"Sifting" with a Rebozo
This is more of a maneuver than a position, but I felt it important enough to include here. Learn more about the "sifting" technique, which can help baby get into an optimal position and speed up labor, at Spinning Babies.
There's something about sitting on a toilet in labor that seems to work wonders! Whether you're actually using the toilet (emptying your bladder helps make more room for baby to move down!) or just sitting on it, the position is known to be helpful in active labor and transition.
Walking earlier in labor or during active labor is a proven way to keep your labor moving along. Of course, you'll need to stop along the way for contractions.
Squats open the pelvis and can encourage baby to put added pressure on the cervix, which helps with dilation. It's important to have good support when in a squatted position during labor, and to keep your feet as parallel as possible instead of in a "V" shape.
Lunging in labor looks different than it does during exercise. Instead of a walking lunge, where you place your leg in front of you, a labor lunge is where you open one leg and lunge out to the side of your body. It helps to prop your foot up on a stool or low chair. This can help a baby that needs to move down (therefore progressing labor) or get into a better position for birth. Try lunging to one side for a few contractions, then switch to the other side.
Laboring in a Tub
Getting into a tub, once active labor is well established (6cm+) or during transition, can often ease labor along. Laboring in a tub promotes relaxation and helps relieve tension, both of which have been shown to help with labor progress.