"Why do women use these passive positions and not more active positions like upright, kneeling, squatting, all-fours, side-lying, or asymmetric positions, which have historically been favored by many cultures?
Recent research just published shows that these "alternative" positions offer increased room in the pelvis. And many women feel their pain is lessened in these positions. This is probably why they were favored by traditional birthing cultures.
A recent Cochrane meta-analysis shows that labors tended to be shorter, the risk for cesarean was lower, and fewer epidurals were used when women in hospitals labored in these positions. So why aren't more women taking advantage of these positions?
The main reasons are cultural conditioning (nearly every image of birth in the media involves laying down or semi-sitting positions), because freedom of movement can interfere with labor interventions, because epidurals can restrict movement somewhat, and because some medical personnel discourage alternative positions due to lack of training/comfort with them. Sadly, there are some care providers who actually forbid women to assume other positions for pushing out the baby."
These following images are used throughout hospitals around the world. Look at the woman, legs in lithotomy, surrounded by people she does not know who are all gowned and masked, very sterile and very impersonal. Where are the family? Where is her partner? Where is the love?
For more information, click on the link below.
Traditional and historic positions in labour.