Bringing a new life into the world is a transformative experience. Birthing beds play an important supportive role for many during labor and delivery.
Modern hospital birthing beds accommodate a variety of positions, offering expectant parents flexibility and comfort. Explore three birthing bed positions to try on a hospital birthing bed for a smoother, more empowered experience.
1. Hands and Knees
The laboring mother can get on her hands and knees, with hips at right angles to the bed and knees wide apart. The hands and knees position provides the mother with support.
This position can relieve back pressure. It may facilitate babies in rotating into an optimal position.
The birthing person can get into the hands and knees position on a flat hospital bed. Alternatively, a care team member can adjust the bed to create a shelf or raise the back of the bed for upper body support.
To squat during childbirth, the mother opens her knees wide, with her feet flat and parallel. Squatting makes excellent use of gravity, helping the baby descend through the birth canal and reducing the time spent pushing.
One reason a good birthing bed is important is that it helps with flexible positioning. Hospital birthing needs often come equipped with squat bars or handles the mother can hold onto while squatting. In this position, the mother’s feet are on the bed, and she lowers her pelvis into a squatting stance.
Alternately, laboring parents can squat on the floor and brace their arms on the bed. Lower or raise the bed to the optimal height.
The third birthing position to try on a hospital birthing bed is the side-lying position. Side-lying is often more comfortable than lying on your back, and this can be an effective position for conserving energy from pushing.
The staff will adjust the birth bed so that the mother can lie on her side, with pillows or a peanut ball between the legs to keep the pelvic opening wide. The position works well for people who have an epidural or monitors in place.
Hands and knees, squatting, and side-lying are three positions that can assist with labor. Communication between the mother and care team can make positioning more effective for relieving pain and discomfort, harnessing gravity’s power, or helping the laboring person rest.