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3 Bumps

Labor/pushing question! I know there's got to be more to pushing than what you see on TV

I found this site (here's the link: and really enjoyed going through everything and educating myself. Every labor I've been involved in with friends and family has been the same, epidural, episiotomy, then they have them lay back, pull their legs back as much as possible, and "bear down". This all just sounds awful to me :/ There HAS to be other ways that work well with pushing out your little one.

The link I put gives like 3 different positions for pushing and all seem unpractical and kind of awkward to be honest. One was squatting (sounds painful), another was on all fours which seems weird on a hospital floor, then the last one was on your side which sounds the most comfortable, but they mention that's the slowest way to push your baby out.

Are there any other ways to push a baby out that will avoid tearing? I was considering a water birth because I do want to deliver naturally and have heard that the water calms you and also helps "lube" up everything which makes for a smoother birth and you're less likely to tear. My main goal is to make it through the labor without pain medication and to try to deliver without any cutting or tearing. We have to pay for the delivery and the longer we're at the hospital, the more it is. I'd like to bounce back the best that I can and get home with our baby girl.

Answer Question

Asked by ours at 12:40 PM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 13 (949 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • Are you delivering in a hospital? If so that may limit your choices. I've been to many births (at home) and usually the mother will find the best position that works for her. I've seen all those positions (hands & knees, squatting, & side lying) used successfully. Moms have also delivered using a birthing stool and sitting on the toilet.

    Waterbirths are great and every one I've attended, the moms were very happy with the choice.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 12:46 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • The old time birthing chair had you sitting, leaning back slightly, butt lower that your knees, almost squatting. I found that sitting up helped lessen the labor pains. Stayed sitting up until 3 minutes before the birth, only because they moved me on the gurney. Walking helped keep that area stretchy, supple, pliant. If the baby is very big, tho, they will have to cut anyway.

    Answer by Kimimale at 12:46 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • It's a misconception that they need to cut for a large baby. Having an episiotomy can lead to a more serious tear. You are better off without it.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 12:51 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I have to deliver at a hospital unfortunately. I had a c-section with my son 2 years ago so this will be a VBAC. I healed up just fine and everything health wise is in my favor for a successful vaginal birth, but still I need to be at a hospital just in case.

    Squatting just seems very painful to me. It seems like it'd be hard to keep that position for long. On all fours seems awkward on a cold, hard, hospital floor. :/ I might just try side lying and talk with my doctor more about water births. I wonder if it costs more to have a water birth compared to on a hospital bed? I know the hospital that I'm delivering at that they have birthing tubs. I just need to ask for more information.

    Comment by ours (original poster) at 12:51 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I've always found semi-squatting to be my position of choice. Hospital bed raised to look like a giant chair. I can lay back between pushes. Side lying was always the LEAST helpful to me. Standing Captain Morgan style would be my second choice. You can do hands and knees on the hospital bed. You can also squat on the bed, especially if they have a squat bar. That gets the baby coming out up higher, so your attending doesn't have to lay in the floor to catch the baby. Squatting spreads the hips the best, which means less pushing. They also make a birthing chair, which is like a toilet with no bowl, so you can sit and push baby out. Some women like it. There are plenty of options. Your options are only limited by your provider and your choices for pain relief and such during labor.

    Answer by fancyjane at 12:53 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Yeah I've heard it's better to try and deliver without them cutting and then if you do tear, it's likely to be small and less painful than if they did cut. I'd love to just focus on my baby girl once she's here and not how much I'm hurting from stitches, but we'll see!

    Comment by ours (original poster) at 12:53 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • On my side, and it was not the slowest way for me.  It took a lot of pressure off and felt SO much better.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 12:55 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Once you are in labor, your body will most likely tell you what to do! I was induced with both of my boys, but delivered them with no drugs. My first son, I was going pee on the toilet when I felt the urge to push! I was told to immediately lay on the hospital bed, where I was told I was 9 cm and that I could push soon! I didn't think twice about what I was told, and began pushing once my body told me it was okay. I pushed for 30 minutes, with an episiotomy the last 10 minutes because baby's heart rate was dropping and doctor wanted him out!

    With my second son, again I was going pee and felt the urge to push. Between contractions I made it back to the birth ball I had been laboring on, and refused to get on the hospital bed. My body was telling me NOT to, that it would make things more painful to lay on my back. So my husband sat on the bed behind me, I sat on the birth ball and leaned back into his arms, while my doula.....

    Answer by MichaelsMom330 at 12:55 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • VBAC's can be done successfully at home. But it's something you need to feel comfortable with.

    Your biggest obstacle with delivering in a different position will most likely be the dr. I haven't seen too many who would get into an awkward position in order to catch baby (which sometimes needs to be done when mom chooses a different position than on her back). Many hospitals will allow laboring in the tub but not birth. I hope you get what you want. GL :)

    Answer by MrsMWF at 12:55 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • And since you have to pay, have you asked the hospital how long you AND baby are required to be there? 


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 12:56 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

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