Birthing positions

At this point in her pregnancy, your spouse should give a thought to the birthing position that she would prefer for her delivery. Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. Your spouse can opt for the one with which she would be most comfortable.

Listed below are child-birth positions that any would-be mother should consider before delivery:

Lithotomy

* Involves the mother lying on back with her legs elevated using stirrups.
* Earlier considered the most ideal position for birthing.
* Allows the doctor to deal with any complications.

Semi-sitting

* Involves a semi-sitting position with the spine curved and legs drawn up.
* Makes use of gravity to facilitate the delivery.
* Makes it difficult sometimes for the baby to descend under the pubic bone.

Side-lying

* Reduces the need for an epistiomy—a surgical incision made in the perineum to enlarge the vagina and facilitate delivery.
* Reduces pressure of the uterus on major blood vessels and the perineum.
* Is more relaxing for the mother.
* Helps prevent back ache.
* Is ideal for mothers suffering from high blood pressure.
* Helps to slow down a rapid birth.

Squatting

* Naturally helps to open the pelvis
* Allows the baby to rotate into a position conducive for birth
* Can become tiring or uncomfortable for the mother if the delivery exceeds the normal time period.
* May require some practice to get used to.
* May make it difficult for the doctor to support the perineum.

Hands and knees

* Reduces strain on the perineum.
* Allows free movement into other positions such as semi-sitting and side-lying.
* Helps to slow down a rapid birth.

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