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Thread: delivery positions for an active birth

  1. #1

    Default delivery positions for an active birth

    'm planning on having an active birth in a birth centre in a hospital with a midwife group practice (so the same midwife all the way through, figners crossed.) Anyway, 've been going to yoga at the hospital and they keep mentioning good positions for labour, but i was wondering what about when it came to the actual delivery of the baby. What sort of positions can you be in or do you have to be lying down?

    I'm after the book "active birth" by Janet something or other, but haven't found it in either the library or local bookshop, so have to wait till i get into the city. I'll guess this will explain it, but i was just thinking about it this morning and got curious.


  2. #2


    New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas is great - I have borrowed it from a girlfriend and it has lots of positions for birth in it including for the different stages of labour - for actually crowning it has photos and descriptions of supported squatting using one or two people or a chair, kneeling or all fours with pillows and side lying! HtH and I hope you can get a copy it is a great book. ACtually I havent looked but the BB Online store will also have some great books that might help too! Good luck!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I agree that New Active Birth is an amazing book. I borrowed it from the library - I had to reserve it as they were all out but luckily it didn't take long. In the meantime, check out the link in my sig - it's to an article by Janet Balaskas re Active Birth.

    Good on you for preparing so well for your birth experience. I can tell you from experience that knowledge and using Active Birth techniques makes a huge difference.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Hi SammyRo
    I have an article on birth positions. If you email me I will send it to you
    [email protected]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Berwick, Melbourne


    Hello! Have you tried ebay? I got new active birth from there. It was fantastic. From what I experienced, the position's I were in for the birth of my daughter were only limited by my abilities and what the midwives would do. I delivered her in the shower, on my knees almost doing the splits (can't do that position now lol), the midwives put on wet weather gear and off we went, it was the best. Anyway, try ebay for the book..definitely recommend it.

  6. #6


    An online bookshop called Holistic Page (dot com dot au) sells this book for a good price. It's hard to get hold of this book otherwise - I bought my copy through this mob. They deliver quickly and are Australian.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Ever so slowly going crazy...


    I haven't read any books on birth positions, But out of my 5 births ( in differing positions!), the best for me was standing up, leaning on the bed. I was able to push down so much easier, and gravity was a great help!! I was able to open up really wide, and squat down during a contraction, while pushing. I feel sorry for the poor midwife who had to sit behind me, with my butt in her face while bub came out, but it was a great easy birth. Good luck for finding the position that works for you!!

  8. #8


    Thanks girls, and thanks Alan for the article. I'm off to the city tonight, so will try and get a copy of the book - I know its one of the ones the midwives recommend in my practice. I knew there would be a way to do it, but because you only ever see women on tv flat on their back, it makes it a little hard to envisage how it would work. Even last night on current affairs, tehy had a thing about teh Micheal Odent article, and the images of labour they were showing were from the 80s I reackon, with the woman flat on her back.

    thanks again

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by SammyRo View Post
    What sort of positions can you be in or do you have to be lying down?
    It is your body and you get to decide what possie you want to be in. Having said that, it is sometimes necessary to be very assertive about what works best for you, depending on what kind of careproviders you have around you at the time. The best careproviders will say, "Follow your instinct. What is your body telling you? You do what you need to do and we will fit in with you." If they are not that kind of careprovider then ... um .... FLEE!!! FLEE!!! RUN AWAYYYYYYY!!!!!"

    Getting gravity on your side seems helpful for many women. Being extremely relaxed is helpful. Most important, to be free and unhindered to choose what your body demands at the time is best. Here's some pushing and crowning possies I've seen work beautifully:

    * kneeling in a birth pool (you can have the baby underwater if you want) The buoyancy and warmth is wonderfully comforting and you are easily able to change positions as you wish.

    * kneeling on a birth mat, forward over a couch & pile of pillows

    * a standing squat holding onto two support people, or leaning over a high bed.

    * kneeling on the bed with arms around two support people

    * the proposal position - kneeling on a mat with one knee up, as if proposing marriage, and swapping from knee to knee

    You'll find your way! I too found New Active Birth inspiring. Until I read it, I didn't realise that the uterus tilts forward when it contracts, and that why when you lean forward instinctively during contractions, you're working with your uterus. Compare that with lying on the bed - the uterus has to tilt up-hill and it hurts more.

    All the best!
    Last edited by Julie Doula; April 24th, 2008 at 09:29 AM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Margaret River


    what a fab response Julie Doula

    you just said everything I was going to say

    xx nat

  11. #11


    Well, I got a copy of the book, and like JulieDoula, I found it fascinating how physiologically we are meant to be upright somehow for it to be more effective.
    I also did the labour and birth class at the hospital last night, and don't think I will have a problem with the caregivers - the midwives are very pro being upright - and she explained with a pelvis how its better to be upright too. we also got to see a short video of a birth in the birthing centre, and it was definately in line with this philosphy. So fingers crossed, we can go ahead with this type of birth - i just better start doing some half squats or something to help strengthen my legs!

    thanks again

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