Upright position during childbirth means shorter labour

April 16th, 2009 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, April 16 (IANS) Women who prefer to give birth by kneeling, standing or sitting upright, rather than lying down, have significantly shorter labour, according to a new systematic review by Cochrane Researchers.
Using data from 21 studies carried out in developed countries since the 1960s, involving 3,706 women, researchers found that the first stage of labour was around an hour shorter in those who adopted upright positions compared to those who lay down.

“In most developing countries, women stand up or walk around as they wish during the early stages of birth with no ill effects,” says Annemarie Lawrence, who works at the Institute of Women’s and Children’s Health (IWCH) at the Townsville Hospital in Australia.

“This review demonstrates that there is some benefit and no risk to being upright or mobile during first stage labour.”

“Based on these results, we would recommend that women are encouraged to use whichever position they find most comfortable, but are specifically advised to avoid lying flat,” said Lawrence, according to an IWCH release.

The researchers stress that more information is urgently needed to understand how birthing positions relate to levels of pain, control and satisfaction among women.

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