Upright Positions for Childbirth

Upright or standing positions for childbirth utilize gravity to encourage labor to progress.   They are among the best options for early labor and can help contractions to become regular and rhythmic.

The Slow Dance

The "slow dance" is one of the vertical childbirth positions that uses gravity and movement to increase comfort during labor.  It is also easy to use other comfort measures while in this position, such as any of the relaxation techniques, breathing, counter-pressure, or hot/cold tools.

This position can also be very emotionally supportive for the mother.  It is usually done, as the name would suggest, by rhythmically rocking back and forth, with or without music, as the mother puts her arms around the birth companion's neck and shoulders.  The birth companion can apply counter pressure to any particular spot or simply wrap their arms around the mother's belly.  She can rest her head on the companion's shoulder or neck if she prefers.

Walking in Labor

Walking helps "get the show on the road".  It's helpful in shortening the early stages of labor and can provide a distraction for the mother, especially if things seem to be moving slowly.

If the mother is in active labor, she may require much support to walk between contractions.  At this time, she might be better positioned in a side-lying or reclining position  since they allow  for full-body relaxation.

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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE

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