POSITIONS FOR LABOR – PART 2
Variations of the Squat
The Supported Squat
• Your partner sits or squats behind you, toboggan-like style with back against the wall or bed, or using a chair for support
• Or your partner can be in front, doing a squat, and hold your hands for balance.
Standing Supported Squat
• As you relax down into the squat, take the weight off your feet and melt into the arms and against the body of your partner.
• In this position your body will tell your mind to relax
• You then surrender your mind and body to your labor
Dangle Support Squat
• Your partner supports from behind, or two people supporting you (one on each side) helping in supporting you in the squat position.
• Kneel on the floor with a pillow
• Lean against a chair
• Or get on all fours
o especially good for back labor
o to try and turn a posterior positioned baby
o or if your labor is accelerating and seems unmanageable.
• Kneel with one knee while squatting with the other leg.
• Alternate between legs, or you can do a rocking and swaying motion.
• Your knees are on the floor, while your head and arms are on a pillow
o Slows overly intense contractions
o Counteracts an urge to push when your cervix is not fully ripened.
• Does NOT use GRAVITY in the same manner as the SQUAT.
• Best on the left side, to prevent the uterus from compressing major blood vessels that run along the right side of the backbone
• It provides a way to labor without pressure of the uterus on the back, and allows for some sleep in a long labor.
• Use pillows for your head, and pillows under the knee of the right leg, and support pillows behind your back.
o It allows you to quickly roll into the kneel or up into a squat
o Once the contraction is done you can roll back into your nest of pillows.
*Images from The Birth Book, Sears & Sears (1994) and internet birthing images/stock photos*
Balaskas, Janet. Active Birth: the new approach to giving birth naturally, rev. (1992) Harvard Common Press.
Dick-Read, Grantly. Childbirth Without Fear: principles and practice of natural childbirth, 2nd ed. (2013) Pinter & Marition.
Sears, William and Martha Sears. The Birth Book: everything you need to know to have a safe and satisfying birth. (1994) Little, Brown and Company.