Labor Positions: Why You Shouldn't Overthink Them and Find What Feels GoodMay 08, 2023
Labor can be a daunting experience, and choosing the right position during labor can be confusing. But it doesn't have to be. There are two goals for labor positions, to keep the person laboring comfortable, and to help the baby find their way down and out. Sometimes these goals are in conflict, while at other times, you could meet the same goals with the same positions.
Despite all this, in this post, we'll talk about the importance of not overthinking labor positions and finding positions that feel good.
The first goal for labor positions is for the person laboring to find a position that helps them cope the best with the sensations and intensity of labor and contractions. For most people, sitting and laying down on your back feel bad during labor. If you were to ask a laboring person to stay in those positions, then they would find labor to be very overwhelming and very difficult to cope with. However, if that person is invited to get up and move around and sway and rock and roll during contractions and move and find positions that feel good, that same person would then be able to cope with labor better.
The second goal for labor positions could be to specifically help the baby find their way down and out. Sometimes, if labor has slowed down or if it seems the baby might be in a less optimal position, there are labor positions that can be specifically suggested for specific circumstances, by skilled care providers (for instance, those of us trained in Spinning Babies positions for labor).
The complexity of labor positions exists, but it really is complexity for the birth worker. For you as the laboring person, the goal is for you not to overthink it. Your responsibility as the birthing person is to intuitively move in ways that feel good, that help you manage labor, that make things feel manageable. And usually, that involves swaying, moaning, and finding lots of different positions.
In conclusion, during labor, the best position for you is the one that you find intuitively. Do not overthink labor positions. Find positions that feel good and help you cope with the intensity of labor. Remember, the goal of labor positions is to make labor manageable and not overwhelming. So, go ahead, move around, and find the position that works best for you.