Let's talk about labour/birthing positioning.
Three things: Balance, Gravity, Movement.
These three key things bring a baby down. The more of your labour you can spend changing positions, being upright, and using rhythmical motion the better.
Walking, rocking, squatting, swaying, lunges, slow dancing, hands and knees, birthing ball; these are just a few of the ways you can move your labour along. Movement can also help with pain relief.
"Researchers believe that giving birth in an upright position can benefit the mother and baby for several physiologic reasons.
Physiologic refers to a healthy body’s normal function.
In an upright position, gravity can help bring the baby down and out. Also, when someone is upright to give birth, there is less risk of compressing the mother’s aorta, which means there is a better oxygen supply to the baby.
Upright positioning also helps the uterus contract more strongly and efficiently and helps the baby get in a better position to pass through the pelvis.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that compared to the back-lying position, the dimensions of the pelvic outlet become wider in the squatting and kneeling or hands-and-knees positions (Gupta et al. 2017).
Finally, research has shown that upright birthing positions may increase maternal satisfaction and lead to more positive birth experiences (Thies-Lagergren 2013)." (from Evidence Based Birth)
The most important thing is your preference and comfort. Wherever you birth, and with whomever as a medical care provider, you have the right to labour, and have your baby in the position you choose.
For the pushing stage many women find it difficult to push because they think they are going to poop on the bed. It happens ALL of the time. Your support providers (medical and non-medical) are used to this. The exact place you want to be pushing is going to feel like you are having a bowel movement, and that's what we want! Efficient pushing so you can meet your baby.
Try this: when you are pregnant, every time you go to the bathroom for a number two, BE PRESENT. You can start to use your relaxation techniques. Bring your phone and put on music. Dim the lights. Take deep cleansing breathes. Have that movement consciously; think of how you are moving it down and out. You shouldn't be straining. It should be you working with your body. Very similar to spontaneous pushing with baby.
Let us know if you tried this out and if it helped at all!