Delivery Tips

Read these 16 Delivery Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Child Birth tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What will help me ease through the delivery?

Use foot pressure in second stage

Whatever method of pushing is used, have some kind of foot pressure (mom pushing her feet against something) because it relaxes the pelvic floor and minimizes the feelings of panic.

   
Is it important to change positions during labor?

Choosing A Birthing Position

There are several birthing positions. What you choose is entirely up to you and your care provider and whether or not you are giving birth in a hospital, birthing center or at home. The choices consist of back lying (most hospitals use this), side-lying, all fours (crawling position), sitting, squatting, and standing. Whatever position you choose, you may have to practice - such as squatting - because it requires the use of strong arms and legs. Also, depending upon your health and the health of the baby, you may be limited with your choices. If you have a strong preference - talk with your doctor or midwife well in advance of your due date.

   
What can make the labor process easier?

Loose mouth

There is a connection between the mouth/throat
and the vagina. Be sure to keep your jaw
slack, lips not pursed. This is especially
important during the second stage of labor, when
pushing the baby out. Loose mouth equals
open vagina.

   
What position can I give birth in?

Squatting

Squatting or semi-squatting is an excellent birthing position in that it uses gravity to help with the pushing stage. The squatting position requires strength and should not be attempted by someone who has not prepared with exercises beforehand. Some hospitals have "squatting bars" for the laboring mom to hang on to - or two people can help to hold her up by standing on either side of her. There is also a birthing stool which allows the mom to sit over a cut-out - allowing the "squatting" position to work.

   
What position can I give birth in?

Sitting Position

The semi-sitting position during the pushing stage of childbirth best uses gravity to make the birth easier. Most labor beds have foot pedals to help with the semi-sitting position. The allowances of this position depends upon the hospital policy and your doctor and the status of your pregnancy health.

   
When and how should I push?

Push when you feel the urge

Marathon pushing is not necessary and may even be detrimental. Your uterus will push the baby out all by itself, without any additional effort from you...however most women do get an irresestible urge to push. Wait until you feel this urge to add oomph to your pushing using your diaphragm, and then push only when you feel the urge. Do not hold your breath for an extended period of time (more than five or six seconds) as this is depriving your baby of oxygen.

   
When and how should I push?

Get OFF your back!

Reclining is the WORST but most common pushing position. It causes:
1. decreased pushing ability
2. incresed pain
3. decreased effectiveness
4. increased blood clots
5. increased discomfort
6. increased hemorrhoids

   
What position can I give birth in?

Side-lying Position

Side-lying is a good birthing position. The mom lays on her side - lifing up and holding onto the top leg and pushes the baby out. This is easier on the back and helps a fatigued mom to push more effectively.

   
When and how should I push?

Side lying in second stage

Upright positions are the best for second stage, but if mom is tired and needs to rest, lying on the second side is the next best thing. It is still an effective pushing position with the added benefit of allowing mom to rest between contractions.

   
How can I reduce the likelihood of receiving an episiotomy?

Perineal massage

Perineal massage, during the last six weeks of pregnancy as well as during the second stage of labor, can greatly reduce the likelihood of a tear requiring stitching.

   
Are kegels really important?

Kegel, kegel, kegel!

Keeping the pelvic floor muscles toned will not only help the second stage of your labor, but can prevent problems with prolapse and/or incontenence later in life. Ask your birth attendant for information on how to do this important exercise.

   
When and how should I push?

Don't squat too soon

Squatting is an excellent position for pushing, opening the pelvic outlet by about 30%. It is advisable NOT to get into this position too early, however, as in addition to widening the outlet, it can hinder descent of the baby's head if it is still high.

   
How can I encourage progress in second stage?

Squat!

Squatting is one of the very best positions for delivering a baby, and the first thing to try if you are having difficulty with second stage. The squatting position widens the outlet for the baby's descent by 30%.

   
How can I reduce the likelihood of receiving an episiotomy?

Avoid an episiotomy

Warm compresses, perineal massage, support of the perineum, and a slow delivery can eliminate the need for an episiotomy in nearly all births.

   
Is a birth plan necessary?

Birth Plan

It's very important to discuss your birth plan with your physician AND any partners you may get if your physician isn't on-call. Since birth positions are an integral part, many physicians have their own opinions about this - discuss it with all concerned well ahead of time.

   
What position can I give birth in?

Back Lying

Back lying has long been the favorite position of hospital births in the United States in the 20th century. Lying on your back - feet in stir-ups has been a favorite of physicans because of the ease at which they can assist the delivery. This position is still used in a lot of hospitals if an epidural or spinal anesthesia has been administered or if there is concern for uterine rupture.

   
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