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Active Birth what is it... and is it for me..?

Updated: Sep 24, 2022


I had the best day filming an exciting video going to be added to the online program for Pregnancy Yoga newly released check it out!!!


In this video I am demonstrating different positions for an active birth and well it got me thinking how important it is to maintain your lower body strength throughout your pregnancy to support your growing bump and prepare you for an active birth, and well how many of you mummas know what an active birth is? What does it look like, and is it for me..?


Essentially an active birth is where a woman is not confined to bed, and is able to move around as she wishes. Throughout history and across the world women have been giving birth in upright positions. Don't be fooled into thinking an active birth mean you have to be standing up walking around the whole time you are in labour…... no, no no... it’s about positioning!


Once labour is well established it is important that you are free to take up the positions that are most comfortable for you. In an ideal world we would use positions like squatting to help open the pelvis and use gravity to help baby downwards ready to move through the birth cannel. Using positions like this really can shorten the time you are in labour, and who doesn’t want that right!! Birthing stools are also fabulous and birthing balls help support us during contractions & surges while using to open the pelvis, allowing us to keep upright and to lean forward too. Incorporating those UFO that we talked about in our Hypnobirthing - Birth Education Program.


If you have not been lucky enough to be a part of our amazing Hypnobirthing program, here are 5 benefits to an active birth!!!


#1 Reduced Risk & Interventions

In 2012, a study found that upright positions during the second stage of labour was associated with a significant decrease in the use of interventions. The study also found that the pelvis opens up when the woman is in a squatting or hands and knee position, allowing more room for the baby to travel through


#2 Less Painful Labour

Women who give birth lying down are more likely to have epidurals, but those labouring in an upright position are more likely to cope with the pain. A 2009 study found that labouring in an upright position was associated with lower levels of pain during labour. Labouring on your back has been shown to result in a more painful labour.


#3 Shorter Labour time

In 2009, a research review found that giving birth in an upright position was associated with a shorter first stage of labour. The study found that women who gave birth in an upright position had first stages that were approximately one hour shorter. The use of doulas have also been proven to result in a shorter labour. This is likely partly due to the fact that they support women to have active labours.


#4 Better Oxygen flow to the baby

Being in an upright position allows for a better flow of blood to the baby. Lying down on your back can lead to a reduced flow of blood to the baby. Compressed blood and oxygen supply can cause fetal distress, resulting in further interventions.


#5 Birth partners feel more involved

During an active labour, a birth partner feels like he or she is actively participating in supporting the mother-to-be. This creates a rewarding, bonding experience — teamwork — which can then sets the scene and filters through into parenthood.


Sounds great, How do i have an active birth….?

1. Choose a supportive midwife

2. Decide where you want to give birth

3. Attend a birth education course like our Hypnobirhting Antenatal course

4. Stay active in pregnancy so you are physically ready for birth, try our Pregnancy Yoga classes

5. Get your partner on board


Continuing with your yoga practice in pregnancy will help you maintain & build lower body strength. Yoga poses like warrior or goddess will help strengthen your quads & glutes. Labour was not given that name by accident, it is work on our bodies and we want to be in shape to help support our bodies through this event. Remember labour is a physical event, you would run a marathon without training for it…. No… why should Birth be any different..? Help support your body and seek out trained professionals to help you prepare for Labour & Birth. You will never regret investing in yourself and your start to motherhood.


I'm a big fan of active birth, but i'm also a fan of choosing whats right for you and your baby. Remember we are not all the same, with the exact same want and needs. I always encourage women to gather the facts and seek out whats right for you.


Empowering women to have a confident calm birth experience

Donna x

Hypnobirthing Auckland
Hypnobirthing Auckland


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