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Birthing Positions

You may find that certain positions are more comfortable than others during the pushing stage of labor. Speak to your health professional about different birthing positions before your labor begins.

  • Kneeling, getting down on your knees and hands, or leaning onto a birthing ball may help to take pressure off your back. This position might help with back labor.
  • Squatting may help you push more effectively.
  • Lying on your back in a semi-reclining position with your legs supported by stirrups is a common birthing position used in the United States. While pushing, your health professional may have you grab behind your knees and pull up.
  • Lying on your side is helpful if you are tired of lying on your back.
  • Some birthing centers use a birthing stool or chair during the pushing stage. A birthing chair may make you feel more comfortable.
By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised November 15, 2013

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