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The days when the mother's legs were pinned to the bed are gone. However, there is still a supine position in many hospitals. Many Polish hospitals encourage or even force women to give birth in the supine position. If that suits the woman in labor - and some women are so tired that it doesn't even occur to them to move - then that's OK. But if you feel uncomfortable lying down (especially when dilating your cervix) and you feel that you would be better off walking or kneeling - do it. Protest yourself when someone suggests you lie down in bed for no apparent medical reason, while you feel a great need to move. The World He alth Organization recommends that "women be encouraged to walk during dilatation and decide what position to take when the leading part emerges."

So what is the reason for this attachment to placing patients on their backs? The simplest answer is: this position is comfortable for doctors and midwives. When the woman in labor is lying on the bed with her legs wide apart, the genital tract is exposed to the maximum, which makes the work of the staff much easier. The second reason why the woman in labor is immobilized is to monitor the fetal heart rate. When a woman is connected to a CTG machine, she usually lies in bed. But it does not have to be this way, because monitoring - contrary to what can be heard in some hospitals - does not absolutely require a lying position.

You can move

Even with the "cables" attached to your belly, you can get out of bed and jump on a ball or sit on a sako bag. Currently, many hospitals use monitoring throughout the entire duration of labor. This is due to care for the baby, but it does not have to be comfortable for the mother in labor. Therefore, even when you are monitored, ask to be disconnected from time to time so that you can walk or crouch. When childbirth is normal, there is no need for continuous CTG monitoring - in the intervals between monitoring, it is enough to auscultate the fetal heartbeat every 15-20 minutes. The good news is that there are hospitals where a small portable transmitter is attached to the belly of the woman in labor so that a woman can move around, even walk. Why is it so important? Is there anything to crush the copies?

It's worth giving birth your way

There is really no one perfect birthing position. The point is, however, that the woman should be able to look for her,she could take different positions to find the most comfortable and least painful one for herself. It turned out that women who have a choice usually choose a vertical position, that is, one with the torso vertical and the reproductive organs pointing downwards. Vertical birthing (standing, squatting, kneeling) is the most natural and physiologically most beneficial for a woman.

1. Sit on the ball with light legs straddling, pushing your buttocks back. Place your feet firmly on the floor, and place your hands on your knees and bend your body slightly forward to keep your balance. Make circular movements of the pelvis - this will help the baby's head to properly insert into the birth canal.

2. The man stands upright (he can lean against the wall), and the woman, slightly straddling, throws her arms around his neck and leans down, leaning firmly on his partner.

3. On your knees, you raise your hips and buttocks as high as possible, and place your head and shoulders flat against the bed with as much height difference as possible between your head and hips.

Advantages of vertical positions

  • labor progresses faster- thanks to the force of gravity, the baby's head puts more pressure on the cervix, as a result, it opens faster, and the contractions of the uterus are then stronger and more frequent
  • lower risk of baby hypoxia- the abdomen does not compress the main blood vessels, so the blood circulation is better, and therefore also the blood supply to the placenta
  • wider lower opening of the pelvis- vertically the coccyx can tilt back (while it is immobilized in the supine position), thanks to which the head has more space than in the supine position
  • easier pushing , because the child does not have to be pushed uphill; the birth canal is constructed in such a way that when lying down (especially when the legs are lifted), its mouth is obliquely directed upwards; it is much easier to push when the birth canal is directed downwards, because then the pregnant woman (and the baby) is helped by the force of gravity
  • better protection of the perineum- in the supine position, the head presses the most against the perineum in the area of ​​the anus during pressure - and therefore a routine incision is made to prevent it from breaking; on the other hand, when the body is upright, the perineal tissues around the head flex evenly on all sides, so cracks (and cuts) are easier to avoid.

As you can see, there are many advantages, so it is worth trying to give birth actively. Of course, nothing by force, but if the woman in labor has a lot of energy and wants to be active, it should not be forbidden.

Movement in the first stage of labor

In the first stage of labor, i.e. until the cervix is ​​fully dilated, walking, squatting, shaking your hips can do a lotgood - help the head insert into the birth canal, speed up the labor, reduce the pain sensation. It is also worth using the equipment in the delivery room: a large ball, ladders, a beanbag.

  • on the ball(fig. 1) - this exercise is beneficial both at the beginning of labor (see description) and at the end of the stretching period - then it reduces the feeling of pain. You can also jump on the ball - this in turn will relax the muscles of the perineum. When you don't have the ball, you can rotate your hips by kneeling down with your hands on your hips.
  • standing, next to the partner(fig. 2) - in this position, the force of gravity acts strongly, making it easier for the child to lower, which speeds up the opening of the neck. You can rotate your hips during the contraction to ease the pain. If you are alone, you can assume this position by grasping the ladders or resting your hands firmly against the wall.
  • on the heels- at the end of phase I, when the contractions are very strong, kneel and sit on your heels, knees wide apart, and your hands on the floor (or the bed, if you are on it), leaning your body forward. This position helps the neck to open up quickly, and if you rock back and forth during the contraction, it will ease the pain a bit.
  • kneeling on the bed(fig. 3) - a very helpful position in the so-called transition phase, when you are already feeling the contractions parte, but not yet fully dilated. Then the midwife will ask you not to push just yet, but it is very hard not to do so. This position reduces the strength of the contractions.

Pressing differently than usual

  • on all fours- kneeling, but with support of the upper body on the elbows (knee-elbow position) is also very beneficial for pressure, as it promotes the widening of the birth canal. When kneeling, keep your legs wide apart, pushing your hips and buttocks backwards. If a woman is kneeling on the birthing bed, she can hold on to the side handles with her hands. Very favorable position when the baby is large.
  • crouch position(fig. 4) - the most physiological and most effective position for childbirth - shortens the birth canal and widens the pelvic bones, facilitating displacement of the head. There are several variants of it. If you are giving birth with your husband, the one shown in fig. 4 is best. If you are not with your partner, crouch facing the ladder with your hands firmly grasping the rung. You can also crouch on the bed, if there are two people (e.g. husband and midwife) on whose shoulders you can rest your arms. It's a good idea to practice squatting while you're pregnant to strengthen your leg muscles.
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