I’m going to be sharing a full write-up of my birthing preferences a little later, but I wanted to take some time to talk about birthing positions. This is a really important aspect of birth.
What you see in movies? The woman flat on her back, legs up in the air, yelling her head off? That’s a terrible way to push out a baby. This position actually closes the pelvis off and forces the woman to push uphill. No part of that is good for childbirth. There’s only one reason to birth a baby in this position: to make it easier for the doctor. You know, he doesn’t have to bend down that way. He can sit on the chair or stand up. Much more comfortable for him, right? And that’s what’s most important after all: making sure your doctor is comfortable.
Before I go into this further, take a look at this article that lists the pros and cons of different birth positions. Scroll down to the bottom to read the pros and cons of birthing on your back with your legs in the air. Do you notice anything? There are no pros for this! That’s right. There’s nothing good about this. Only cons.
So you might gather from all of this that I want to push our baby out in a position other than flat on my back. Honestly, I’m not sure how I will want to birth the baby. On all fours? Squatting?
I very much intend to use the birth pool. So how does that work with birthing positions? Honestly, I have no clue! With Gabi, I had an epidural. I was paralyzed from the waist down. I was, you guessed it, flat on my back with my legs up in the air.
I have a hard time doing things if I can’t try it out ahead of time, or at least visualize it. It’s why I never asked to use the squat bar at the hospital before getting the epidural with Gabi. It’s why I asked my midwives to let me try out the birth stool during my second appointment. It’s why I really, really need a doula. If I’m not sure how to do something, I just freeze up. I’m not sure why. I just do. So this is why I’m trying to familiarize myself as much as possible with water birth and various birth positions.
Like they say in my hypnobabies course, I’m having to retrain my mind to remove the flat-on-the-back, legs-in-the-air positioning from my concept of “normal” and replace it with a new normal which includes movement and various different positions.
To find out what birthing in the water looks like, I did some YouTube searching. I’m going to post some links to some videos that helped me get some ideas on some of the different positions you can use if you’re in the water.
These are birth videos. There is some potential for nudity. I found the videos to be empowering and inspiring, but if you don’t want to see women giving birth, just don’t click the links. And if you don’t want to see woman giving birth, but you click the links anyway? Don’t come whining to me about it!
- Here’s the first video I found. It’s a home birth and a Hypnobabies birth (yay!), and she spends most of her birthing time outside the tub and only enters the tub to push. Right around the 4:50-5:00 mark, you can really see the position that she is using to push her baby out. She’s resting on her knees, leaning forward. She actually partially stands up for the time when he was born.
- Here’s one that is a photo montage. She gets in the water at around 45 seconds in and from the look of it she’s on all fours, leaning forward against the side of the tub. It’s difficult to tell, but it looks like she pushed her baby out in a seated position, leaning back against the side of the tub for support.
- Here’s a third one. This one is a hospital birth. The dad wasn’t allowed to film during the pushing, but there are still photos and starting around 1:36, you can see that she’s seated, leaning back. I also want to say that I love this dad. He is so completely chilled out during this whole thing. Completely calm and just allowing his wife to have a quiet, peaceful environment for her birth.
- Here is a fourth and final one. The thing that I find interesting about this one is how much the mother can move in the water. She’s moving the entire time!
There seems to be an incredible variety in how women choose to birth in a tub. I have to wonder if the water helps facilitate that. I’m only 31 weeks, and already I feel huge and awkward. I have to wonder if the weightlessness of the water allows them to move their bodies more easily for greater comfort during birth.
Seeing people actually giving birth in the water helps me so much to visualize what I want. I think I may ever fill up our bathtub here at home at some point and do some of my Hypnobabies practicing in the water. I really hope doing this kind of visualization and practice will help me to feel more confident during my birthing time. I plan to talk to my doula and let her know that I do tend to freeze up. I want her to be able to watch for this and give me a nudge if she sees this happening. But I also want to find some empowerment on my own, and watching the women in these videos give birth really helps me to find that within myself.