Giving Birth Upright – 7 Huge Benefits
According to some historians, the first woman to give birth lying down was the mistress of Louis XIV. As the story goes, he wanted to watch his child entering the world and the doctor decided it would be easier for him to see if his mistress was lying on her back. Apparently this birthing trend caught on and subsequently became the norm. That said, it doesn’t make for a particularly straightforward delivery. In fact, birthing in the upright position is far more natural and has several advantages. Here are 7 huge benefits for giving birth upright.
1. Gravity is on your side
Giving birth upright not only makes delivery for mum easier, but also for baby. This is because when you lay flat, your coccyx is curled upwards, so baby has to make an uphill journey. Giving birth upright means you can work with gravity, which aids baby’s descent and leads to a less complicated delivery.
2. Less chance of intervention
As well as gravity, giving birth upright results in fewer interventions. One of the reasons for this may be that you’re able to use your hips and pelvis more effectively, which leads to a less complicated delivery and less need for forceps of vacuum.
3. An increase of pelvic space
Giving birth upright increases your pelvic diameter by about 30 percent. If you are worried about giving birth to a large baby, or you’re concerned about your pelvic ability, being upright helps to make more space for the baby to descend, which can only be a good thing.
4. It’s nature’s design
Nature’s design is for women to give birth in the upright position, whether that be on all fours, squatting or on her knees leaning against something. The simple reason for this, is that it’s the more effective way to give birth.
5. Contractions are easier
Contractions (or waves) move your baby down the birth canal, so if you’re upright, gravity will assist with this, making contractions less painful and more efficient.
6. It shortens labour
Giving birth upright shortens the birth canal, which means baby has less distance to travel. Ergo, a shorter labour for mum and baby.
7. It’s less painful
Being in an upright position will reduce the level of pain you feel. The reason for this is that when you’re on your back, you’re working against gravity, which puts more pressure on the body.