Mum’s powerful photos reveal the importance of active birthing positions

Brooke - The Village doula

Last week we pointed out that the Kardashian women appear to mostly labour on their backs, and it seems we’re not the only ones keen to speak out on other birthing positions.

Spot the difference

Instagram account The Village (run by a student doula, Brooke) is also keen to discuss alternatives to the view of birth we often see on TV and in the movies. She shared an image from her own birth, noting that being upright was “the best place” for her.

“Can you see it? The difference in my face and my positions?” Brooke writes. “In the left photo I was forced onto the bed, and onto my back for ‘monitoring’. I’d been labouring at home, calmly. For 14 hours, standing in the shower gracefully welcoming each contraction. This bub was sunny side up (posterior/back labour), so the best place for me to be was leaning/kneeling forward or standing.”


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“I needed gravity on my side”

This mum found an incredible difference in mindset, sensation and progress once she switched from back to upright, but stresses that every birth is different.

“I stayed on this bed for about 30 seconds, there’s was NO way I was laying on my back any longer. I knew better, I needed gravity on my side and I needed hot water. Stat!” Brooke recalls.

There are both emotional and physical reasons why labouring on your back can slow things down, and may not be the best option during birth.

“Being on your back not only closes your pelvis and goes against gravity,” Brooke writes, “but for me, it was a belittling position to be in, I didn’t like feeling small, out of control and I didn’t like feeling like a patient. Some women love being on their back, I did not. And that’s okay, we are all different, the importance here was the fact that I had the freedom to move and find a position that was best for ME!”

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Can you see it? The difference in my face and my positions ✨ In the left photo I was forced onto the bed, and onto my back for “monitoring” I’d been labouring at home, calmly. For 14 hours, standing in the shower gracefully welcoming each contraction. This bubs was sunny side up (posterior/back labor) so the best place for me to be was leaning/kneeling forward or standing. I stayed on this bed for about 30 seconds, there’s was NO way I was laying on my back any longer. I knew better, I needed gravity on my side and I needed hot water. Stat! 💦 Being on your back not only closes your pelvis and goes against gravity, but for me it was a belittling position to be in, I didn’t like feeling small, out of control and I didn’t like feeling like a patient. Some women love being on their back, I did not. And that’s okay, we are all different, the importance here was the fact that I had the freedom to move and find a position that was best for ME! 💕The image on the right was mid contraction, in the transitional (most intense) stage of labour, look at my expression. calm, in control, READY. And about 5 minutes before I was on all fours under the warm falling water, pushing him out. Move as much as you can during your labour, do what works for you, utilise whatever position your body is directing you to take. No one can tell you to stay on the bed of you don’t want too, you have more options. Instead of being monitored with belly bands (EFM) and told i couldn’t move, I asked to be monitored via intermittent fetal Doppler or wireless/waterproof EFM so that I could be free to move as well as be in the water. Just as effective monitoring yet allowing me to use my body and gravity to my advantage ✨ #birth #childbirth #birthphotography #laboranddelivery #waterbirth #doula #breastfeeding #doulalife

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“Do what works for you”

The difference a position made to this mum’s labour is really easy to see.

“The image on the right was mid contraction, in the transitional (most intense) stage of labour, look at my expression. Calm, in control, READY. And about 5 minutes before I was on all fours under the warm falling water, pushing him out.”

In the wake of her own experience, Brooke hopes women will prioritise their own needs during labour and trust their instincts – even when being directed or constrained by medical staff.

“Move as much as you can during your labour, do what works for you, utilise whatever position your body is directing you to take,” she says.

Use your body and gravity to your advantage, Brooke urges.

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