If you are trying to slow down a quick birth, getting on your side may help, and curl inward slightly as you push. Your birth attendants also might suggest getting on your side if the baby's heartrate is fluctuating. Side lying can often help take pressure off your uterus and improve the heartrate, especially your left side (see photo at right). You may also just feel more comfortable and relaxed in this position, especially if your back or legs are hurting. If you are giving birth in this position, have someone help you hold up your leg as you push.Benefits: Slows down a quick birth, less chance of tearing, improves baby's heartrate, easy for attendants to rub back and legs, works well with an epidural. Drawbacks: Doesn't open pelvis very wide, can give the sensation of pushing "uphill" against gravity, not a good position for a tough pushing stage.
Labor, Birth, Babies...........