The following is a post republished with permission from blogger, doula and mother of two, Kristen Oganowski of Birthing Beautiful Ideas. This post also appeared on our sister blog, Science & Sensibility, as part of their Healthy Birth Practices blog carnival.According to the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice paper on [moving during labor], research shows that:
&when compared with policies restricting movement, policies that encourage women to walk, move around, or change position in labor may result in the following outcomes:So it is easy to see why walking, moving, and changing positions is a healthy birth practice!For this post, I'd like to document and describe the ways that I walked, moved, and changed positions throughout my labor. And this is because I think that it is important for women to have access to images of real women who are really laboring and who are really able to walk and move and change positions throughout their child's birth.Worth noting is that for most of my labor, I just followed my body's signals and natural instincts when changing positions. Sometimes, I also changed positions based on what my doula suggested. And for the entire time, I found my labor to be an intensely powerful, empowering, and healthy experience.A few stats about my labor before I begin:
In fact, no woman who participated in any of the research studies said that she was more comfortable on her back than in other positions (Simkin & Bolding, 2004). No study has ever shown that walking in labor is harmful in healthy women with normal labors (Storton, 2007).
- less severe pain,
- less need for pain medications such as epidurals and narcotics,
- shorter labors,
- less continuous monitoring, and
- fewer cesarean surgeries (Lawrence et al., 2009; Simkin & Bolding, 2004; Simkin & O'Hara, 2002).
- Even though this was my second child, I was a first-time laborer since my first child was born via a pre-labor cesarean section.
- My labor began with my membranes rupturing.
- My contractions began approximately 1 1/2 hours after my membranes ruptured.
- My entire labor lasted a little over 14 hours (or 15 hours if one were to count the irregular, painless contractions I was having in the hour before my water broke).
- I labored at home for approximately 8 1/2 hours before leaving for the hospital.
- My cervix was 1-2 cm dilated and nearly 100% effaced by the time I was checked at the hospital.
- Three hours later, my cervix was dilated 4 cm.
- Just over one hour later, I was fully dilated.
- I actively pushed for about 35 minutes before delivering my healthy 8 lb. 3 oz. baby.
- And I moved and grooved all throughout my labor.