When it comes to sex positions, we pretty much all know what we’re doing. And even if we don’t, there are plenty of ‘educational’ videos online and instruction manuals like the Kama Sutra and The Joy of Sex to ensure we’re suitably prepared. However, when it comes to the taboo subject of birthing positions, the guidance that’s publicly available to prospective parents is somewhat lacking…
While the leaflet of birthing positions (that many of you will be familiar with from hospital midwife appointments and NCT classes) is not dissimilar to the Kama Sutra in many ways – in that both feature strangely sexy illustrations of semi-nude couples in a range of precarious positions – it is, at just one-page, nowhere near as comprehensive as it could be.
First of all, the descriptions of the birthing positions are far too vague and short, while I’ve always wondered why nobody ever thought it appropriate to give these birthing positions their own names? After all, if someone was to suggest that you get into the Missionary, Doggy Style, or Reverse Cowgirl positions, I’m pretty sure most of us would know exactly what was being instructed…
Which got me thinking…if the Kama Sutra actually DID do a list of the top birthing positions (AKA, the Mama Sutra), what would that look like? And what would each position be called?!
Keep scrolling to find out!
If the Kama Sutra did birthing positions…
Chanel your inner Miley Cyrus with this pop-tastic birthing position; the wrecking ball. Sit on a birthing ball with your feet flat on the floor, and lean forward so that your belly hangs between your knees, holding on to whatever you can to stay upright (most birthing centres these days have support ropes hanging from the ceiling, so make use of them if you can). A great position that keeps your pelvis open while relaxing the perineum, helping reduce the risk of tearing. Twerking optional…
For anyone who’s desperately tried to open a refrigerator or cupboard door after forgetting that you’ve installed a child lock on it, you’ll be familiar with this position already; the locked fridge. To execute it properly, hold onto an open door for support while squatting down and swaying your hips from side to side. Ideal for helping your baby ease its way down into your pelvis by opening it wider, speeding up your baby’s journey down into the birth canal.
Undoubtedly, it can all get rather hot and steamy in the delivery room, with clothing optional and a level of intimacy with your partner and midwife that you’re unlikely to have experienced before. In the unplanned three-way position, work with your birthing partner and midwife to find the right support to help you stay upright, while sharing close physical contact, encouraging and soothing words, and eye-to-eye contact is great to keep the mum-to-be relaxed and her oxytocin levels up. It’s not exactly the threesome you’ve been planning in your head since you were a teenager, but it should be an equally memorable experience…
You have the right to remain silent but, given the situation, you almost certainly won’t want to. As any midwife will tell you, during the early stages of labour it’s best to keep mobile and upright, as research has shown that this can speed everything up while helping you cope better with contractions. So adopt the citizen’s arrest birthing position when you feel a contraction coming on, by leaning against a wall with your legs firmly planted on the ground, hip-width apart. And don’t worry – unlike a real arrest, anything you say WON’T may be used against you in a court of law.
Nothing gets you in the mood for luuuuurve like a nice, relaxing bath, surrounded by candles…especially if your partner gives you a head massage at the same time, accompanied by the soulful tones of Barry White playing in the background. Well, it turns out that this setting is also rather effective when it comes to pushing out a baby (although candles, I’m afraid, are strictly off limits on the labour ward). Being in water can help you move around easily to give birth, while contractions are often less painful in water too. So make sure you ask for a room with a birthing pool as soon as you arrive at the hospital, and you might get lucky…
If you haven’t managed to get down to the gym recently, the mama dumbbell birthing position is the perfect workout for both mum and dad-to-be. Squats rarely top anyone’s list of favourite exercises, but when it comes to giving birth, they are a great option to ensure your knees are lower than your hips, which helps to open your pelvis wide and speed up baby’s voyage down the birth canal. This position can be done against a wall or with the support of a chair or your birthing partner. And guys…as ‘arms’ days’ go, they don’t get much more hardcore than this…
PEEK-A-BOO! The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Baby position is great for both mum and baby, helping to open up the pelvis, taking pressure off the spine to ease back pain, while boosting baby’s oxygen levels. To get into this position, kneel forward over a pile of pillows on the bed (alternatively a beanbag or birthing ball on the floor), with your knees apart and your bottom down. If you’re looking for front row seats to the birth, the view doesn’t get much better than this.
Strike a pose! While gravity may not be your best friend during pregnancy, you can make it work to your advantage while in labour through upright birthing positions like the Zoolander. Research has shown that maintaining an upright position can relieve backache, make your contractions less painful and your labour shorter, while also reducing your chances of tearing. All good things, I think we can all agree. So shun the bed, back up against a wall, strike your best supermodel impression and let gravity do its work…because, darling, you look FAB-U-LOUS!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! If so, please do share the article on your socials to help spread the love! Who knows…before long, these newly named birthing positions could soon become just as famous as the Kama Sutra positions that inspired them!