Especially in the middle of pregnancy, many women are already thinking about childbirth , some with anxiety about the moment of the baby’s birth and others, with anxiety mixed with a series of insecurities. Many women do not know, but the traditional delivery position of the woman lying down is not the most recommended according to scientific studies, it can limit oxygen to the baby during contractions and prevent the woman from having more autonomy when giving birth.
Existing Normal Childbirth Positions
Squatting Position – This is one of the most recommended positions, the woman in the vertical position can lean on either a doula, husband or a piece of furniture. This position can be explored in the parturient’s bed, in a bathtub or in a fixed bar present in the environment. Squatting is what facilitates the birth of the child, as it favors the pelvic opening and if the woman is well oriented, it is a position that generates less pain.
With the aid of water
Many women opt for water birth and this is a resource in which several birth positions can be explored, the woman can squat, lie down, on all fours or in another position that allows her to feel more comfortable. The warm water helps the woman to calm down and relieves pain.
Position of Four
The woman can stay on all fours in bed, but generally the professionals who accompany the delivery (the doulas) guide the floor. This position can be performed under the shower and is usually as explored in normal birth as the squatting position.
Traditional Childbirth (Horizontal Position)
This is the most explored position, mainly in hospitals and maternity hospitals in Brazil and around the world. It is not usually the most recommended, but some women feel safer making this choice and it is essential that they have the accompaniment of qualified professionals to make delivery as smooth as possible.
This is a resource that is also usually explored in normal birth where a ladder used in the surgical field is placed in the environment. The companion of the pregnant woman or professional (doula) is seated on the bottom step of the stairs and the parturient leans on the companion. With each contraction, the woman is instructed to put her body forward to facilitate the baby’s exit.
How Did Other Childbirth Positions Appear?
Births were formerly performed by midwives who went to women’s homes and the environment was predominantly female, which in a way gave women a feeling of comfort. Approximately 70 years ago, birth was no longer performed by midwives and became part of hospital care, doctors became responsible for birth. But the standardization established for women to give birth, generated an aspect of hostility, the woman could not have the presence of someone she trusted, she was forced to the horizontal position and many women had their legs tied to keep them in position ‘ correct ‘.
In France, the main professionals emerged who revolutionized the view on birth, one of them was the obstetrician Frédérick Leboyer, who considered the bond between mother and baby essential , but although he defended a more peaceful model of birth than traditional births, he focused strictly on the newborn -birth and not the woman.
IMPORTANT: In Leboyer’s deliveries, episiotomy was a routine procedure – cutting the woman’s perineum in order to facilitate the child’s exit , but which in the long run can affect not only the woman’s health, but also her sexuality.
In London, Janet Balaskas was the leader of the ‘active childbirth’ movement and women were encouraged through Yoga classes to be more active at the time of childbirth. But the most revolutionary was the French obstetrician Michel Odent, who started to use alternative methods such as water birth in order to facilitate birth and give women the right to give birth. There has been more and more talk about humanization of childbirth, and it is much more about the presence of prepared professionals, with respect for women and birth, than with the birth positions themselves.
At a time when the woman is so emotionally fragile , she expects that she will be welcomed, respected, that the moment of the birth of her child will be unique and when that does not happen, an emotional mark is almost impossible to be erased.
In addition, the labor pain that most women experience, is closely linked to the conditions that the woman faces at the time of delivery. The parturient who is more calm, feeling welcomed by professionals who respect her , will be much safer, to the point of not giving the pain the greatest attention.
Many women today want to choose how they want to have their child , they want to be able to decide which of the delivery positions is the one who feels most secure to give birth, who will be their companions at that moment and this action of the woman choosing her own delivery is known as protagonism , which was previously defined by the French midwife Michel Odent, as ‘Rebirth of Childbirth’.
See also: What Does a Doula Do?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.