What Are the Best Positions for Giving Birth?

If you're wondering about the best positions for giving birth, then take a look at this list!
What Are the Best Positions for Giving Birth?

Last update: 05 October, 2019

Many women have questions about the best positions for giving birth. That’s why we wanted to write this article to help clear up some of the most common questions.

The correct position to give birth to your little one will be the one that makes you feel most comfortable. More and more new positions are appearing with the aim of making giving birth more comfortable. Many of them are adapted to the different stages of labor.

The choice of positions for giving birth is essential for the mother’s comfort, and the speed and safety of the delivery.

Among other things, when you adopt a good position to give birth and learn to regulate your breathing, then you’ll experience less stress during labor. However, it should be noted that each woman is different, and each one is free to choose the position that suits her most.

The best positions for giving birth

Here’s a list of what we consider to be the best positions for giving birth:

1. Standing

The first of our positions for giving birth is the standing position. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to give birth standing up. In addition, the vertical position seems to shorten the duration of labor.

However, one downside is that you can’t benefit from the monitoring machines when you’re standing up. Many women prefer the reassurance of seeing how their baby’s heart rate is progressing. When you’re standing, all the movements of walking, swinging, etc., relax you and encourage the production of endorphins, which counteract pain.

2. Lying on your side: one of the best positions for giving birth

Secondly, here’s a much more pleasant and relaxing position for the future mom: lying on her side. It helps reduce the mother’s suffering, and helps her to endure the labor pains. In addition to this, the father can help by doing gentle back massages.

The procedure is quite simple: the left thigh on which the body rests is extended, while the right thigh is bent and raised so as not to compress the belly. This position allows the doctors good access to the perineum and the baby. This is definitely a good option to consider for labor.

3. On all fours

This position can significantly reduce pain, because the uterus doesn’t have to support the sacrum. If you have back or kidney pain, this is the ideal position for you. We recommend supporting your weight on your forearms during labor or adopting a leaning position.

4. Backwards

Giving birth lying down on your front with your back towards the doctors allows them easy access to the perineum, making it possible to continuously monitor the baby’s heart rate.

In fact, it’s considered a position that you should adopt at the slightest sign of the baby suffering, in addition to being very effective at the time of expulsion. Of course, it isn’t one of the most comfortable positions and you can feel pain in the kidney area.

5. Squatting: one of the best positions for giving birth

Thanks to this position, you can bring relief to your back by taking advantage of gravity. This position also favors the descent of the baby through the pelvis, as it gives more space to the baby and offers easier rotations.

It’s useful for opening the pelvis and allowing the baby to find the optimal position for delivery. Unfortunately, this position is exhausting because it requires great muscular strength to maintain the best position.

Before finishing, remember that not all hospitals allow you to adopt all these positions and not all gynecologists practice them. You should speak to your midwife, and choose the position you think will be more comfortable.

Now that you’re more familiar with these positions, you’ll hopefully be able to make a more informed choice that will be best for you and your baby. Good luck!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • De Jonge, A., & Lagro-Janssen, A. L. M. (2004). “Birthing positions. A qualitative study into the views of women about various birthing positions”, Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology25 (1), 47-55.
    • Nieuwenhuijze, M. J.; De Jonge, A.; Korstjens, I.; Budé, L., & Lagro-Janssen, T. L. M. (2013). Influence on birthing positions affects women’s sense of control in second stage of labour, Midwifery, 29 (11): 44-47.
    • Soto L., C. et al. (2006). “Educación prenatal y su relación con el tipo de parto: una vía hacia el parto natural”, Rev. Chil. Obstet. Ginecol., 71 (2): 11-17.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.