Childbirth Environment : Childbirth Environment: Freedom of Movement
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Childbirth Environment : Childbirth Environment: Freedom of Movement

So, when you think about birth environment
also, you want to have the freedom of movement. A laboring woman needs to be able to move
instinctually however she feels that she need to move. This is going to include getting
in different positions, this might be walking around, this is anything that she feels she
needs to be able to move. When you’re at home, obviously you have control over that and you
can get in whatever position that feels good and helps you deal with your pain. When you
get to the hospital, sometimes women then have the tendency to feel that they need to
be lying flat in bed, and that is one of the worst positions a laboring woman can be in.
It cuts off the blood supply to the babies, they’re not getting as much oxygen, and also
it tends to be really painful being lying down, like that. So, don’t feel that once
you’re in the hospital, you have to get in the bed and that’s it. Most beds have the
back that’s adjustable, they have the bottom that’s adjustable, and a lot of beds, a lot
of hospitals have what they call “birthing beds”, where the bottom of the bed actually
drops down and you can almost break the bed apart, so then you can use that. So, think
about the bed as just another piece of furniture. Maybe it’s something you want to lean over
on, maybe it’s just something that’s good to support your body. A lot of hospitals have
birthing balls, you can sit on a birthing ball. Ask in advance, if they have something
like that. You can lean against the wall. You can lean over a chair. Now, when you’re
getting monitored, or if you have to be on an electronic fetal monitor for a long period
of time, again don’t think in your head, oh, now I’m in bed and I have to sit here and
this is how I have to be. You can have movement with that on, you can get on your hands and
knees in the bed, you can stand beside the bed because the wires are long enough, you
can lean over the bed. So, don’t feel that you ever to lay in bed unless that is what
you want to do, and instinctually that’s what you feel that you want to do. So, when you’re
in a birthing environment, you also need to change positions about every twenty to thirty
minutes, that’s going to keep labor going at a nice pace. So, even if you are lying
in bed and that ends up that, that’s the position that you want, about every twenty to thirty
minutes you’re going to change into something else. Even if a woman’s resistant, her partner
really needs to try to get her to change, because that’s going to make her contractions
more effective. So, when thinking about birthing environment, you want to make sure that you
have as much freedom of movement as you can possibly have. So, you want to make sure that
a woman can instinctually get into positions that are comfortable for her. Sometimes that
position is as simple as sitting in a chair, maybe leaning forward, maybe that is all she
needs to feel better. You want her to get moving about every twenty to thirty minutes.
And, by a position change, I mean something really simple like going from this, to maybe
going to behind a chair, to then getting in a position like this. Women tend to want to
lean over and have something to support their body on, that’s usually what feels very comfortable
for them. These are some examples of some positions that are good in labor. As you can
see, this woman’s on a bed right here, but she just has pillows stacked up, so make sure
you ask for pillows. This is one where you could be sitting on a chair and leaning over
the bed. This woman is lying down, but as you can see, she’s at an angle right here.
You also can use your partner, lean against your partner. Have your partner help and support
you. Just support yourself against a wall. Anything that instinctually feels right is
right, there’s no wrong way, just probably not best to lie flat on your back, but everything
else is a good thing to do.

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