The fateful date of delivery is approaching and doubts pile up on top of each other. What will the birth be like? How do you give birth? What position should you put yourself in? How can the pain be relieved?
It is true that when the time comes, the body will guide us and tell us ‘how to give birth’, but it is also true that we give birth not only with the body but also and above all with the psyche, which decides that we are ready to experience the adventure and the emotion of childbirth.
Know the place where you will go to give birth it is the first step in understanding what will happen that day. With the visit to the hospital you can understand how the structure is organized, in which room you can spend labor, what the delivery room is like, check if the right intimacy is guaranteed, who can keep us company all the time. And then you can ask the staff what are the delivery methods offered, if for example there is the possibility of having a water birth, if you can carry out an epidural and what are the visits or examinations that are requested in advance.
Also very useful attend the preparto courses organized by the same hospital, during which you get to know the staff and be told by them what the birth will be: obstetrician and gynecologist, for example, explain how to recognize the signs of the onset of labor, what are the stages of childbirth and what it happens in each one; the psychologist analyzes what the fears related to childbirth may be and how to deal with them; the anesthetist explains the various modalities of birth analgesia made available by the structure – epidural, nitrous oxide – or the types of anesthesia in case of caesarean section; the nurse gives information on the care of the newborn immediately after birth. (READ ALSO Preparto courses)
We met the delivery room and they told us in detail what happens during childbirth, but… how does it take to deliver a baby?
For many years it was assumed that the best position was the classic supine position, semi-reclining on the birth table with the legs resting on the appropriate supports. Fortunately, the trend has changed for some years and today women are no longer ‘stuck’ in bed: “If there are no problems that require continuous medical supervision, in fact, the parturient is left free to choose at the moment the position in she wishes to give birth to her child “, points out Anna Franca Cavaliere, gynecologist at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome. “Or, in some cases, it is the midwife who suggests the position that may be most useful depending on the time of delivery and the conditions of the woman in labor”. Without prejudice to the woman’s right to change it if she is not comfortable or does not feel pain relief, of course.
Here are the main positions of childbirth.
1. The classic position: ok if continuous monitoring is needed.
The classic position is that which allows you to constantly monitor the situation and intervene with any obstetric maneuvers, such as the use of the suction cup or the Kristeller maneuver. “However, it is a position that can be uncomfortable for the mother, without considering that the weight of the uterus can affect the maternal circulation and consequently also the uterine and fetal circulation” underlines the gynecologist. But also from a psychological point of view, it is the position that most of all places the woman in a condition of ‘passivity’ with respect to the event of childbirth.
2. Turned on the side: more movement and better oxygenation for the baby
The woman in labor lies down on the bed and turned on her side (usually the left one), with one leg bent at 90 degrees and the other extended or partially flexed, while her hands are clinging to the headboard of the bed. It is a position that improves venous return and promotes fetal oxygenation, plus it gives the woman greater possibility of movement and thrust. “In some cases it may be the midwife herself who asks the woman to stand beside her to favor the correct rotation of the fetal head during the descent along the birth canal” adds Dr. Cavaliere.
3. Squatting or on all fours: relaxes the perineum and uses the force of gravity
The woman squats, with her hands clinging to a chair or bed, or leans on her knees, with her hands on the ground or resting on a support (excellent for example the ball used for gymnastics). “It is a position that makes the most of the force of gravity, does not make the weight of the baby feel on the abdomen and back, allows the parturient to spread her legs well and promotes distension of the perineum” comments the gynecologist.
4. Clinging to the vine: greater verticality and thrust capacity
In some delivery rooms there are cloth vines placed in correspondence with the delivery bed, at the height of the woman’s chest. In this way the parturient can lie comfortably on the bed and, at the moment of the thrusts, instead of grabbing the handles of the birth bed she clings to the vine. In this way, the ability to push is improved and greater verticality is achieved, which favors the descent of the child. In other hospitals, the vine is placed in a special area of the delivery room and the pregnant woman can cling to it to give birth standing up. (READ ALSO: The birth positions)
In conclusion, how do you give birth? The best answer could be that we give birth well informed about what awaits us, about who will assist us and will be able to give us comfort, but above all aware that we are the protagonists of the birth, that we feel what is happening inside us and we have the freedom to listen to it and indulge it. As a natural event, which it is.
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