Birthing Positions and Water Birth Positions

I’m going to be sharing a full write-up of my birthing preferences a little later, but I wanted to take some time to talk about birthing positions.  This is a really important aspect of birth.

What you see in movies?  The woman flat on her back, legs up in the air, yelling her head off?  That’s a terrible way to push out a baby.  This position actually closes the pelvis off and forces the woman to push uphill.  No part of that is good for childbirth.  There’s only one reason to birth a baby in this position: to make it easier for the doctor.  You know, he doesn’t have to bend down that way.  He can sit on the chair or stand up.  Much more comfortable for him, right?  And that’s what’s most important after all: making sure your doctor is comfortable.

Before I go into this further, take a look at this article that lists the pros and cons of different birth positions.  Scroll down to the bottom to read the pros and cons of birthing on your back with your legs in the air.  Do you notice anything?  There are no pros for this!  That’s right.  There’s nothing good about this.  Only cons.

So you might gather from all of this that I want to push our baby out in a position other than flat on my back.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I will want to birth the baby.  On all fours?  Squatting?

I very much intend to use the birth pool.  So how does that work with birthing positions?  Honestly, I have no clue!  With the Grasshopper, I had an epidural.  I was paralyzed from the waist down.  I was, you guessed it, flat on my back with my legs up in the air.

I have a hard time doing things if I can’t try it out ahead of time, or at least visualize it.  It’s why I never asked to use the squat bar at the hospital before getting the epidural with the Grasshopper.  It’s why I asked my midwives to let me try out the birth stool during my second appointment.  It’s why I really, really need a doula.  If I’m not sure how to do something, I just freeze up.  I’m not sure why.  I just do.  So this is why I’m trying to familiarize myself as much as possible with water birth and various birth positions.

Like they say in my hypnobabies course, I’m having to retrain my mind to remove the flat-on-the-back, legs-in-the-air positioning from my concept of “normal” and replace it with a new normal which includes movement and various different positions.

There seems to be an incredible variety in how women choose to birth in a tub.  I have to wonder if the water helps facilitate that.  I’m only 31 weeks, and already I feel huge and awkward.  I have to wonder if the weightlessness of the water allows them to move their bodies more easily for greater comfort during birth.

I think I may even fill up our bathtub here at home at some point and do some of my Hypnobabies practicing in the water.  I really hope doing this kind of visualization and practice will help me to feel more confident during my birthing time.  I plan to talk to my doula and let her know that I do tend to freeze up.  I want her to be able to watch for this and give me a nudge if she sees this happening.  But I also want to find some empowerment on my own, and watching the women in these videos give birth really helps me to find that within myself.

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7 thoughts on “Birthing Positions and Water Birth Positions

  1. I am 21weeks and have been feeling weighed down and awkward by my new size and balance. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get into a regular old pool in the pregnancy-(hard to do in NYC.) well finally managed yesterday, an I was surprised I didn’t feel that much different. I was in floating around for an hour or so, and then I got out….it was like I had just come back from the moon! I couldn’t believe the different effect of gravity in the water on my pregnant body compared to out of the water. Having access to a birthing pool is high priority on my gadgets for birth list.

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  2. Isn’t it amazing? You don’t notice it so much when you’re in the pool, but when you step out, it’s incredible when the belly-weight comes out of the water. Exactly like you said: Just like coming back from the moon!

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  3. I’d always heard water was awesome during pregnancy. This is the first time, though, that I’ve been in more water than a bathtub in the third trimester. And I can say that having a pool at this point is awesome. My body feels a billion times lighter and more mobile and agile. I think it would have to help in birth.

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  4. So excited for you!!! Great stuff!!!

    My personal experience with birth has been that my body tells me VERY definitely what position it wants to be in – or else! LOL!! For me, it was seated in the birth pool, leaning forward and resting my head on my arms – both times. Each time when I tried something different, it caused something akin to panic, and I moved right back. However, when a mama is confused, midwives and doulas are just wonderful about suggesting positions, and I’m sure they’ll be a big help to you.

    It’s so sad that doctors continue to propagate the stranded beetle position when it is so, so unhealthy for mama and baby. Just one of many non-evidence-based practices that seems like it will never die (like immediate cord clamping). Sad.

    So excited as the end of your pregnancy journey gets closer!!!

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