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Birthing positions and potential delivery complications

When asked to envision the birthing process, most in Providence County would likely picture a woman either in a supine or partial sitting position with her legs or knees elevated. Indeed, information shared by the website EvidenceBasedBirth.com shows variations of this position to be the preferred delivery position in over 92 percent of deliveries in the U.S. However, some studies seem to suggest that delivering a baby in this position may actually increase the risk of an adverse event.

According to study data shared by Chiro4Family Wellness, 10 percent of the cases observed where mothers delivered in the popular reclined sitting position resulted in babies experiencing impaired brain function. The study architects go on to theorize that this could be due to the fact that having a woman lie on her back during labor effectively closes the pelvic opening, causing increased stress to the baby during delivery.

Some proponents of alternative birthing methods point to theories such as reasons why other delivery positions should be considered. Many expectant mothers may fall into the trap of thinking that their method of delivery will be determined entirely by their doctors. What they may fail to understand is that they have the say when it comes to their care. If they believe another birthing position will decrease the risk of harm to their babies, they can insist on delivering in that position.

EBB.com lists being upright while delivering as potentially being a safer alternative. The research results that it shares shows that in cases they reviewed, women who delivered in an upright position were less likely to experience issues such as

  •          Abnormal fetal heart rate
  •          Vaginal tears
  •          Mechanical delivery assistance

It also reports that woman who deliver upright put less pressure on their aortas, allowing for increased blood flow to their babies. 

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Providence Personal Injury Office

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Providence, RI 02903

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