A new research study by an Italian team looks at how the mother’s position affects labor and delivery. “Women’s Choice of Positions during Labour: Return to the Past or a Modern Way to Give Birth? A Cohort Study in Italy” (BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 638093, 7 pages). The authors may not speak English as their first language, but their findings are perfectly clear:
WHEN GIVING BIRTH, THE BED IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!
The study authors are careful to emphasize that these results are those of a group of healthy, low-risk first-time mothers and larger studies are in order before upright posture can be recommended across the board, but let’s look at what they found to be true of their cohort:
- Upright posture led to an average of 2 hours shorter dilation stage, 45 minutes shorter pushing stage;
- Recumbent posture had significantly higher rates of epidural, episiotomy, cesarean, dystocia, and abnormal fetal heart rate;
- “no differences between two groups in terms of neonatal outcomes were reported”;
- Recumbent posture (including in a bed with the back up) is more convenient for doctors.
If you’re interested in learning more about using gravity-assisted positions in labor, phone Rachel at 765.977.3817 for Lamaze childbirth education classes and Jackie at 740.590.9994 for birth doula support.