It is usually best to maintain an upright position and be mobile and active during labour. An active labour helps the baby to maintain or turn into the optimal anterior position. An upright position will also encourage effective uterine contractions, shorten the latent phase of labour and reduce the need for analgesia. It is best to discuss with your midwife the positions for labour that will be beneficial to you.
Studies comparing an upright position with a semi-lying position have shown that giving birth in an upright position was associated with:
- A shorter second stage of labour
- A decreased need for instrumental births
- A slight increase in blood loss
- More second degree tears
As labour progresses women will try a variety of different positions. The most important thing is to remain open to the idea of ‘moving around’, whether this be standing, walking, in the shower, bath, on the bed, or over a bean bag on the floor.