Water: A Natural Relaxant
Water can be very relaxing during labor. Some women like to take a bath in early labor. Others will get into a warm tub during active contractions. With the water almost body temperature, about 100 degrees, it feels very soothing.
French obstetrician Michel Odent pioneered the offering of warm pools of water to women during labor at the hospital in Pithviers, France. He found that most used them for labor, not birth, and that the women found them comforting.
Being in the water makes it easier to squat as the water supports you. You can lean against your partner in the water between contractions. Some women believe that the warm water eases the desire for medication.
Seated C Curve Position
Squatting and hands and knees are particularly helpful during the pushing stage. Birthing in an upright position allows gravity to assist you during delivery. Some women, however, choose a semi-reclined position during labor and birth.
For this position, gather a lot of pillows to use as support so that you can sit upright, or ask your support person to sit behind you. It is comforting to rest against someone during delivery.
Sit with your torso erect, your back straight and your shoulders directly above your hips. Rest your hands on the inside of your thighs with your legs open, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Practice this position during pregnancy.
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Homeand A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.