Changing positions is one part of effective pain management in labour.

  • Adopt comfortable upright positions during labour so gravity and uterine contractions move baby down through the pelvis.
  • Try to stay active in comfortable positions and rest between contractions.

Practice different positions with your partner

  • Slow dance from foot to foot as you lean into your partner.
  • Try partial squatting with forearms resting on the bed and bottom pushed out behind.
  • Sit on a birth ball (forearms resting on knees) when tired and take it into the shower to run warm water on your back or tummy.
  • To help ease ‘back labour pain’, kneel on a pillow, wrap arms around a ball and rock backwards and forwards. This is a great position to apply massage and hot packs.
  • Keep pressure off your sacrum and coccyx by avoiding a back lying position.
  • Move to your left side to slow a fast labour, recover some energy or if interventions are required.
  • Kneeling in a tub or on the bed, positions baby forwards in the abdomen and pelvis to allow fuller opening of pelvic joints.

Practice positions in birth preparation classes with your partner and ask the midwife/doula for optimal positioning advice.