Benefits of an Active Birth
There are so many ways that you can benefit from active birth. Here’s some of the benefits:
Active Birth Benefit #1 – A Shorter, More Efficient Labour
During labour your baby’s head moves slowly down deeper into the pelvic canal as it emerges from the dilating cervix. In these positions your pelvis is at the best possible angle for gravity to help the process. Numerous studies have shown that this is likely to make labour shorter and more efficient.
Active Birth Benefit #2 – Less Pain
Being free to move and choose your own positions has some other advantages too. Its easier for your uterus to do its work, so the contractions tend to be less painful than if you were lying down. Freedom of movement, free expression of sound and the natural forward tilting of the uterus helps to modify the pain and are likely to reduce the need for medical pain relief.
Active Birth Benefit #3 – Less Risk of Fetal Distress
There is also a better blood flow to the placenta when you are upright and breathing deeply, so that your baby receives plenty of oxygen and there is less risk of ‘fetal distress’ developing. There is no compression of the internal blood vessels as there may be if you lie for an extended period on your back or in the semi-reclining position. Foetal distress is a common cause for a caesarean section or the use of forceps or ventouse to deliver the baby quickly. Blood flow to the placenta and the baby is optimal in upright positions.
Active Birth Benefit #4 – More Powerful, Easier Way to Push
In the second stage, when you are ready to give birth, choosing a kneeling, supported squatting or standing position will help you to use your energy in the best way while you are pushing. It is much more effective and powerful to push with the help of gravity and the rotation and descent of the baby’s head is easier.
There is no ideal position for giving birth and this varies from woman to woman. You may use several upright positions during this phase of the birth and can give birth in any one of them.
The supine or reclining position is by far the least advantageous – working against gravity and reducing the space within the pelvis. When you are upright the pelvic joints are unconstricted as they would be lying down and this allows a degree of movement and expansion of the pelvic diameters so that the internal shape of the pelvis can accommodate the baby’s head with maximal space as it descends in labour. In the final stages, the back wall of the pelvis (sacrum and coccyx) are free to move back increasing the diameters of the pelvic outlet to make plenty of space for your baby to come out.
Active Birth Benefit #5 – Enjoy Comfortable Skin to Skin & Breast Contact
After your baby is born and you are enjoying the pleasure of holding him or her in your arms for the first time, its a good idea to sit upright so that you can hold your baby ‘skin-to-skin’ and position your baby well for the first contact with the breast. Then, while you are welcoming your baby and the first breastfeed begins, gravity will be helping your placenta to separate and your uterus to contract down efficiently to prevent excessive blood loss.
Active Birth Benefit #6 – Partners Can Get More Involved
In an Active Birth partners are often actively involved in giving both emotional and physical support. This active sharing of the birth experience can be very fulfilling and memorable and is a good start to a new relationship as parents and the start of your new family.
Active Birth Benefit #7 – Minimal Trauma
An Active Birth usually results in minimal trauma for the baby during the birth process. Generally the baby is likely to be born in optimal condition, bonding after birth and the first breastfeeding are facilitated and the mother generally feels good and recovers well from the birth, which makes caring for the new born baby easier.