There is no right or wrong, best or worst position to give birth. It depends on what is comfortable and what is happening. Most women do well lying on their side during labor. Others may feel better walking around, taking a shower, or pacing the hospital's hallways. Listen to your body to find the position that works best for you and helps labor progress. Always remember that whatever position you're in there are options:
- On Your Side. Takes pressure off your perineum and keeps the weight of your uterus off the blood vessel called the inferior vena cava. This maximizes blood flow to your uterus and your baby. Have your partner hold your upper leg to widen the pelvic outlet and support the weight of the baby.
- Flat on your back. This position is generally less comfortable. It can cause your uterus to press against the inferior vena cava blood vessel, decreasing the placenta blood supply. Your uterus may also push against your diaphragm, making it hard to breathe. A more comfortable position is more upright. Sit in a semi-reclining position with your head and shoulders elevated and resting on a bunch of pillows. For extra comfort and support, put a pillow under your knees and bend them slightly.
- On your hands and knees. May ease back pains and give a poorly positioned baby a chance to turn around. May help a baby who appears to be stressed because it maximizes blood flow to the uterus and the placenta. This position can be difficult if you have an epidural. That is because you may not be able to move your legs well enough to support yourself.