The misconception that laying flat on your back during labour is "the way to do it" came from Queen Victoria of England who had a male doctor for her 7th baby in 1853. She was also one of the first famous women in history to use chloroform during labour. The use of breathable pain relief by Queen Victoria set the scene for having a male doctor attending births which then became fashionable with upper class women (which were the only ones who could afford this)

Doctors would ease pain with medications and sometimes shorten the labour by using forceps. Both these interventions confined women to their beds, usually lying on their back most of the time. Being in bed also made it easier for the doctor to see what was happening and to intervene if necessary, which they frequently did. It wasn't long before these procedures spread routinely throughout the Western world and is often the scene you will see on TV and in films today.

We now know that laying flat on your back isn't the best position to birth your baby and we are very lucky that our healthcare providers support this in a normal birthing situation. Many hospitals and antenatal classes will advise against using this position and recommend alteratives, such a squatting (the optimum position) and being on all fours. The poster here provides some great illustrations of alternate positions.
24/7/2015 17:40:44


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    I love babies, children and all things relating to birth. I'm
    fascinated by how the body works through pregnancy and believe that knowledge is power. Therefore I would like to share my findings with anyone who will listen in the hope that they too will learn something new.


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