The birth begins when the baby is ready to be born and sends a signal to the woman. Her body starts the birth process in the form of regularly recurring contractions. The circumstances of the beginning of childbirth are not always so clear-cut. If the expected birth date is due and the birth is not progressing, the induction may be a preferred method. The intensity of  labor pain is lower in naturally initiated labor than in induced labor, although both may end up as vaginal births for the woman. In both cases, a suitable position during  contractions may reduce the pain intensity. However, in the case of a medically induced delivery, it is much more difficult to achieve the preferred position in the hospital. The reason is the more frequent examination and monitoring of the woman giving birth and her baby by medical staff in positions they consider safe. In most cases, however, the positions determined by the medical staff are not suitable for the woman in labor. They can complicate the physiological course of childbirth and increase the risk of further medical interventions in the process. Therefore, it is very important that the woman in labor communicates with the medical staff regarding her birth wishes related to birthing positions . Also make sure you are aware of common practices at the hospital of your choice.

Hospitals often inform women on their website about the freedom to choose a birth position. However, this information is very misleading, as many hospitals offer freedom of movement during the first period of childbirth, when a woman opens but the baby is not yet born. There are only a few obstetricians in Slovakia, where the woman’s chosen position is accepted in the second period of labor. A passive sitting on  maternity chair with legs spread and placed on the backrests is usually used in Slovak hospitals, however this enforced position is very rarely demanded by women.

Back position:

Beware, I do not mean the most commonly used obstetric position today, but lying on your back with your knees at your shoulders.

It helps in situations where the baby’s head is “stuck” under the pubic bone, usually effective in the posterior position of the baby in the womb. In this position, medical personnel should assist in protecting the perineum with a warm cloth to avoid injury or minimize it.

Side position:

It’s a good compromise to doctors’ favorite back position. Raise your upper leg so that the pelvic floor relaxes. This position is antigravity, but it prevents tailbone from compression, the legs are free to move to expand the space for the baby’s head. The position can also be used to process epidural analgesia. It is energy saving position, there is not much pressure on the perineum or the rectum, but it requires the helping hand of a person who will hold the mother’s leg.

Forward leaning inversion:

It is a technique that creates room in the lower uterus. The baby can then use that space—with the natural pull of gravity—to snuggle into a more ideal position for birth. This technique is particularly helpful for a tight or swollen cervix, asynclitism (add Side-lying Release), deep transverse arrest (add Side-lying Release), or when a baby simply won’t come down despite a good position.

Simple forward leaning position:

It helps relieve the pressure on the spine in the posterior position of the baby by slightly tilting the abdomen forward. These positions allow women to keep moving – they do not have to be static, and often the woman adds circular movements in the pelvis, helping the baby to descend the pelvis. It can be done while standing, kneeling on a mat or leaning on a partner,

Vertical positions and squatting:

Gravity position intensifies the need for pushing, you help the baby to actively descend through the birth canal. If you hang on to the partner, you may add a pelvic release too.

For a shorter umbilical cord, try a squat as an alternative to this position.

Try the side lunge when the baby is asynclitic.