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Labour position to bear the pain of contractions

Labour positions help withstand the pain of contractions. Below you will find the analgesic positions and the free positions useful for managing contractions in labour


Labour position to bear the pain of contractions
Labour position

Labour position

Labor is the way to go to hold your baby in your arms, and the pain of contractions is a key part of this journey. To deal with the pain of contractile activity of the uterus it is possible to use both pharmacological and natural techniques. Surely epidural anesthesia represents the most concrete solution to relieve the pain of labor but being an invasive procedure not all future mothers can use it. The natural methods to counteract the pain of contractions in labor are represented by:

  • Massages;

  • Breathing;

  • Free positions and antalgic positions.

The positions in labor do not only have the function of coping with pain but in some cases they can help facilitate the rotation of the head or help the baby descend into the birth canal.

What are the analgesic positions in labor for?

When in labor, women feel the need to be touched, massaged and to experience forms of contact and comfort with the person who witnesses the happy event. In this case, the partner plays an encouraging role in fact he can gently hold her hand and practice massages. Couples who experience labor together, contraction after contraction develop a ritual of gestures using both verbal and non-verbal language. The analgesic positions are of great help to relax and better tolerate contractions. Assuming certain positions allows you to move the pressure exerted by the uterus on the back and pelvis, resulting in a lower perception of pain. For these reasons I advise women to read up on free positions in labor, for example with a pre-birth course, so that they can be taken during labor.

Each position allows you to have benefits for example you can:

  • facilitate head rotation;

  • facilitate the descent of the head;

  • decrease the pressure on the back;

  • use the force of gravity to speed up the birth of the baby.

Certain positions can be assumed in a completely innate way by the mother in a spontaneous way, while others require the help of the partner or tools such as the ball and the vine. The positions in labor come from the wise culture of traditional Chinese medicine and above all of yoga; in fact the mix of breathing, positions to relieve pain and closeness and care of the partner ensure well-being for body and mind to the future mother.

Better positions in labor

Freedom of movement during labor allows you to instinctively assume positions that improve comfort. Many women endure only a few positions based on the pain evoked. During labor, except in certain and rare cases, the woman is in control of her body, her movements and the ability to assume the right positions instinctively. Assuming uncomfortable positions causes stress, however, when you feel respected in your movements the response to labor is better. The partner contributes significantly by helping the woman to assume the most pleasant position. Do not forget that the midwife who will assist the birth will help us and advise you to take the best positions to facilitate the birth. For further information: the father in labor for childbirth

Lateral position on the left side

Lateral position on the left side
Lateral position on the left side

The lateral position on the left side favors rest and neutralizes gravity and can be used to recover energy especially if you have been standing for too long. It is possible to use one or more pillows to be placed between the legs to improve comfort. The position on the side in labor is very useful if you feel a sense of heaviness at the bottom perhaps caused by hemorrhoids. To accelerate the progression of labor, the ideal would be to alternate the standing position with the position on the left side The position on the side is useful for promoting rotation of the fetal head.

Standing position

Standing position
Standing position

The standing position in labor has many advantages:

  • it allows a bodily contact with the partner which can be a support to lean on and increase the sense of well-being;

  • allows you to perform movements with the pelvis, such as pelvic rocking, which reduces muscle tension;

  • allows you to exploit the force of gravity;

  • favors the descent of the head;

  • favors the alignment of the child with the pelvic entrance.

The standing position is not well tolerated by all women as they experience a greater sense of fatigue; the ideal would be to alternate the position with other antalgic positions.

Positions with the ball

Sitting position

Sitting position
Sitting position

The sitting position can be assumed in various forms:

  • Sitting upright on the bed;

  • On the chair or on a stool;

  • Semi-sitting with the trunk raised at least 45 ° with respect to the bed;

  • Sitting bent forward with feet touching the floor and bent forward with a support that can be the partner;

  • Sitting astride a chair or toilet;

  • Sitting on the ball.

  • This position is very instinctively used by women in labor because it is easy to assume and allows you to rest and breathe well. The sitting position is recommended in case of lower back pain or for having back massages.


 Kneeling position
Kneeling position

o assume the kneeling position just kneel on the bed or on the floor bent forward and as support the partner or other supports such as the ball. This position allows:

  • to have physical contact with the partner who maybe can practice massages;

  • to exploit the force of gravity;

  • easy wavy movements of the pelvis;

  • favors the descent of the head.

Not all women are able to assume the kneeling position especially if they have swollen legs and a lot of back pain.

On all fours

On all fours
On all fours

In the position on all fours, the pregnant woman is kneeling and wounded forward in such a way that she herself supports her weight with her arms. The advantages of the all-fours position in labor are:

  • reduction of lower back pain;

  • Ease of back massage;

  • Reduction of the pressure exerted by the uterus on the sacrum;

  • Ease of swaying and rocking of the pelvis;

  • Vaginal visit possible.

On the other hand, the position on all fours to be assumed for a long time is tiring for the arms and knees that support the weight of the body. For these reasons it is good to use supports such as pillows under the knees, under the hands but also below the mother's chest.

Yoga postures in labor

Position of the butterfly

Position of the butterfly
Position of the butterfly

The butterfly position consists of sitting up and bringing the soles of the feet as close to the groin as possible. The butterfly position is generally very comfortable and pregnant women are able to adopt it even for long periods. This position:

  • allows you to exploit the force of gravity;

  • the expansion of the entrance to the basin;

  • promotes descent of the fetal head;

  • reduces lower back pain;

  • allows physical contact with the partner.

The ideal is to accompany the position with breathing and why not, with relaxing music.

Squatting position

Squatting position
Squatting position

The squatting position allows you to squat down during the contraction and then get up again during the pause in a way that does not tire your legs excessively. The partner can stand behind in such a way as to support during the contraction. During the contraction the woman abandons herself and the partner grasps the sides of the chest and supports its weight. The squatting position is very useful because it allows you to take advantage of the force of gravity and increases the diameters of the pelvic entrance requiring less effort in pushing.


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