Why do I want an upright birth? Well, with the impending birth of my second baby (my due date is in a matter of days – eek!), I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my previous labour experience with Jasmine. You can read her birth story here. However, the short version is that I did most of my labouring at home, stood up at the bottom of the stairs, swaying my hips gently side to side. Being active and upright, I believe, is the reason that my first stage of my labour took a relatively short time (given that it was also my first baby).
My biggest regret about Jasmine’s birth was that I then went on to spend the entirety of my second stage of labour (pushing baby out), laying down flat on a hospital bed. The only reason for that was because when I arrived at the birthing unit (fully dilated!), the midwife asked me to get on the bed. I didn’t question it, I just did it. The pushing stage seemed to last forever and I’m sure the fact that I was horizontal was a big factor for things slowing down.
My Daisy Birthing teacher put it brilliantly when she explained why laying down during labour makes it tougher for baby. “Imagine trying to put on a pair of tight, skinny jeans whilst laying flat on your back… think about how difficult it would be compared to putting them on whilst standing up.” And she’s right, in the same way that you or I would struggle to do that laying down, baby will struggle to make their way down the birth canal. When it comes to giving birth, gravity is your friend!
This time around, I’m planning to take charge of my labour and stay upright as much as possible, particularly during the pushing stage. (You can read my birth plan here.)
I was recently sent a fantastic birthing aid called the CUB support. (CUB standing for ‘Comfortable Upright Birth’.) I’ve been trying out the CUB over the last few weeks, practicing different positions and finding out what I think might work for me during my labour. It’s comfortable and far more stable than a birthing ball. Oh and because it’s inflatable (I inflated mine in about 4 minutes), it’s portable – meaning you can use it no matter where you are choosing to give birth. I certainly think it’s going to be a fab addition to my homebirth kit!
The lovely CUB team (who are qualified midwives and healthcare professionals) have created some fantastic infographics that I wanted to share with my readers:
7 reasons to have an upright birth
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of upright birthing then do check out the CUB website where you’ll find a wealth of information.
You can also purchase the CUB from Amazon.co.uk using this link*:
I’d love to hear any experiences my readers have in regards to upright births!