Studies have shown that upright labour positions are associated with a reduced second stage, fewer episiotomies or instrumental intervention in contrast to mothers labouring on their backs.
Women feel empowered in upright positions and experience a sense of control over their labour.
For birth, squatting and its variants are the positions closest to nature’s laws and are known as physiological birth positions.
These include full or semi squats, standing squats or various kneeling positions.
The use of such upright positions produce the following additional benefits in the second stage:
- more powerful contractions resulting in an effective expulsive reflex
- optimal foetal oxygenation
- minimal strain and muscular effort
- an optimal angle of descent
- maximum space for descent, rotation and emergence of the presenting parts through the pelvic outlet
- optimal relaxation of the perineum
It has been demonstrated that where the use of upright positions during labour and birth is actively encouraged, the number of spontaneous physiological births increases.
Many women do not have the fitness or stamina to maintain upright postures for lengths of time.
On land women need to contend with the force of gravity that limits their ability to assume upright postures especially as labour progresses and they feel tired.
It’s easier for mothers to use upright or squatting positions in water than it is on land and to move freely from one position to another as they explore and find out what works best for them.
The transition from the land to water helps revive and energise the mother giving her a new lease on life and sense of purpose.
The buoyancy of water supports the mother reducing her relative weight by approx. 33% (Archimedes Principle) allowing her to easily explore the full range of beneficial upright positions in comfort and move in ways that were not possible on land.
Active Birth Pools are specially designed to provide optimum support for mothers in the range of upright positions natural to labour and birth.
The can hold onto the recessed handgrips or use the wrap around, bullnose-shape rim for support as the they move around the pool to explore and find the most beneficial upright positions.
Features such as the Labour Support Seat, Safety Seat and Lumbar Support create additional possibilities for mothers to benefit from the upright postures natural to labour and birth.