Advantages of Squatting for Birth

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 09, 2015

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  • Helps achieve correct alignment for birth.
  • Intensifies contractions relieving pressure on back.
  • It increases the aperture of vaginal outlet.
  • The pelvic diameter is increased.

For years, the squatting position for giving birth has been grossly neglected. Most doctors have stuck to the conventional position of the woman lying on her back as she pushes the baby out. Doctors have now revealed that this traditional position causes immense pressure on the posterior vagina thereby, reducing the circumference of the pelvic aperture in the process. Hence, the vaginal tears could be a common affair in such deliveries. Alternatively, advantages of squatting for birth could be several in as much as it can do away with these risks completely.

Squatting Birth


Prominent Advantages of Squatting for Birth

  • When you squat during childbirth, the position of the pelvis and the uterus is tilted forward. Therefore, it helps the baby to achieve the correct alignment for birth.
  • Squatting also intensifies contractions thereby, relieving the pressure on the back muscles at the same time. It also helps on relaxing and stretching the floor muscles of the pelvis thereby, easing labour related discomfort considerably.
  • When women choose to squat during advanced labour, this position automatically increases the aperture of the vaginal outlet. This is because squatting ensures even distribution of pressure through the circumference of the vagina. Naturally, it’s easier for the aperture to widen up. Therefore, the baby can come out much more easily. As a result, the second phase of labour that primarily comprises of pushing would require less of efforts and would also be shortened considerably.

Squatting Birth

  • One of the primary advantages of squatting for birth is the fact that this position can adequately harness the force of gravity for facilitating childbirth. Therefore, the forceps deliveries may not be required at all if you choose to deliver in this position.
  • Squatting also helps in increasing the pelvic diameter by approximately 0.5 centimetres.
  • The squatting position also ensures that the uterine weight is not exerted on the blood vessels that play a crucial role in supplying blood to the baby and the mother. Therefore, it would ensure optimum supply of blood thereby, reducing foetal distress in the process.
  • Squatting also reduces the depth of the birth canal.

Squatting can be practised during the early phases of pregnancy to strengthen the muscles of the legs. You can seek help from your partner or spouse in order to help you with the squatting positions. Always remember to seek advice from your doctor or midwife before resorting to any kind of physical exercise during the course of your pregnancy or labour.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more articles on Childbirth (Delivery).

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