The best poses for birth

 

Did you know that good positioning will make your birth faster and less painful? And that the number of posterior babies has increased as women have become more sedentary.

Yay - I made it!
Yay – I made it!

But help is on hand – certain yoga poses will assist your baby into the best position – so read on and rock that pelvis!

The techniques and movements to encourage the best position for a baby in labour have been researched and developed by midwives Jean Sutton and Pauline Scott

All these poses are fabulous to do during your pregnancy and will encourage your baby to engage into the pelvis (from 34 weeks+) but it is particularly important to practice these positions in the last few six weeks of your pregnancy.

Sutton and Scott coined the phrase: Mum’s job is to dilate, baby’s job is to rotate! So working together with your baby and by following the tips and advice below (under guidance from your medical practitioner) will help your baby be in the best position to navigate the journey down the birth canal!

Strike a pose

In the last couple of weeks before birth, the ideal position is for your baby to be facing towards your spine on the left hand side, with her chin tucked gently towards her chest. In medical speak this is referred to as the Occiput Anterior Position (OA).

This position means the diameter of the occiput bone (the back of your baby’s head) will be smaller as she moves down the birth canal. It will also help your baby fit into the pelvis more easily than a baby who faces front

If your baby is facing front (this is called the Occiput Posterior Position (OP), then the diameter of your baby’s head will be bigger leading to the likelihood of a longer labour, more discomfort across the back and a higher chance of intervention in the form of vaccum/forceps to aid delivery.

So what do you do?

Don’t worry too much if you’ve been slumping and slouching – inevitably there will be times when our posture isn’t as good as it could be. But try to be aware of the way you sit at your desk or while you sit watching TV or relaxing.

 

Cat pose is great for encouraging your baby into a good birthing position
Cat pose is great for encouraging your baby into a good birthing position

 

Best positions:

* Sitting upright in a chair or perched on a birth ball (sitting slightly forward with your hips slightly higher than your knees)

* Funnily enough the position you are in on the toilet is great! (not sure if you’ve noticed but you just can’t slump on the loo!)

* on all fours in Cat pose – yup – cat pose is where it’s at. On all fours – hands directly under shoulders, middle finger pointing forward, knees below hips.

Spend lots of time on all fours – swaying, circling and practising “cat- cow” (just look forward on the inhale rather than towards the ceiling to avoide over-arching the lower back).

 

* Think of your belly like a hammock – by adopting all fours (Cat pose) then with the aid of gravity this will encourage your baby’s shoulders and spine – the heaviest parts of her body to nestle into the belly.

Rock those hips – when your pelvis is asymmetrical then you create more space for your baby – and your bub is sure to have a huge smile on her face – as this is like being taken on an in-utero rollercoaster – lots of fun!

Child’s pose and Frog pose are also lovely to help release the ligaments and muscles surrounding the uterus,

which creates a little more space for your baby to helping your baby tuck

frog pose can help relax the ligaments of the uterus - creating a little more space for your baby
frog pose can help relax the ligaments of the uterus – creating a little more space for your baby

And take regular movement breaks while working at a computer or desk.

 

AVOID:

Relaxing in a semi-reclined position (slouching), sitting with legs crossed, deep squatting (unless baby’s head is engaged in correct position)

You may also want to investigate natural therapies such acupuncture, massage and osteopathy to help encourage your baby into the correct alignment in the pelvis.

A great website to read more on this is Spinning Babies:

http://www.spinningbabies.com/

And of course practise regular yoga! Check out our great DVD – Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth for more awesome birthing positions  🙂

 

 

 

 

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