3 Vital Positions to Practice for Early Labor
So, you’re at or near your due date, filling your time with projects while you wait for baby to come. How about practicing a few labor positions? Working on these in the weeks before your labor starts (and during early labor) can help you progress through active labor when the time finally comes. Remember: movement and gravity are your friends during the birth process!
The pelvis is the major passageway that your baby has to navigate to be born. So you want to practice positions that help the pelvis open up and create the best possible pathway for baby to get through the pelvis, and into the birth canal. Here are three positions to try:
1. The squat.
Squats open that part of the pelvis where baby engages and puts pressure on the cervix before and during contractions.
As you lower your butt toward the ground keep your knees wide and feet flat. Only go as far down in the squat without your heels coming up. For some, maintaining a squat for a length of time is not easy. As your baby grows, your belly adds balance challenges and gets in the way. So, I also recommend a supported squat (see photo) with your partner sitting on a chair or couch with you squatting between their legs. Rest your arms on their legs and lean back into them.
You can also put a rolled up blanket or yoga block under your butt for extra support. You don’t want to feel pressure in your knees. You can practice your squats while watching your favorite TV program. For even more details on the perfect squat visit …https://nutritiousmovement.com/you- dont-know-squat/
2. The walking squat.
This movement may look very primal. But since birth has been around for–well, forever–this is great! Once you’ve practiced your squat a bit, now add motion. Place your hands on the floor and start “crawling” in a squat position. Some also call this a “duck walk”. Why is this good you might ask? Well, every pelvis is shaped differently and so is
every baby’s head. Therefore by walking every baby’s head. Therefore by walking/crawling in a squat we change the shape of
in a squat we change the shape of your your pelvis, ever so slightly, back and forth allowing baby to find space and maneuver
3. The birth nest.
This is a position to rest in before or during early labor. It promotes a wider superior opening of the pelvis. Start with two pillows on the floor in a “V”. Then place your birth ball at the opening–like an ice cream cone. Now, kneel on the two pillows, leaning over the ball. Have your partner place another pillow across the back of the legs. The next pillow supports under the belly and one more goes on the ball to be under your head and arms. Adjust the pillows however feels more comfortable. This position also gives the birth partner or doula an opportunity to massage the back and hips or apply some counter pressure if desired.
(This position was taught to me by Kyndal May, trainer for DONA International.
All of these positions optimize the opening of the pelvis to facilitate baby’s progression into the birth canal. As your labor starts and progresses further you will want to change up your movement to open the lower pelvis. Your doula can help you with that!