I ran across a great post today on Busca La Luz's blog, Birth Faith. She brings up some great points about birthing positions and how woman lose about 20-30% of their pelvic floor by laying on their backs during birth. I first came across this information in Pam England's book, "Birthing from Within".
Take a minute to think of the ramifications of this information. Women lie on their backs in birth for a few reasons, among the most common...
1. They are being administered an epidural and/or pitocin and are attached to a monitor.
2. The doctor can "see" what's going on better that way. It has nothing to do with making birth easier
As a result, labor for a woman on her back may not progress very quickly because her pelvis is compressed as much as 20-30%. Is it any wonder so many women are given episiotomies and/or a c-sections?
I can attest that being upright and mobile made the birth of my second child a very different experience from the first. The first time, my 30+ body, giving birth for the first time seemed to be saying, "You want me to push WHAT out of my WHAT????" I found the hospital atmosphere uncomfortable and my labor progressed slowly. Twenty-eight hours after my water broke, many physicians would have counseled me to have a c-section.
Fortunately, my physician believed that letting my healthy, un-distressed baby find her own way out was far safer than opting for a surgical delivery. She did offer the option of pitocin and an epi - which I took. And, lucky for me, my daughter did find her own way out without surgery. The second time, I was comfortable at home with my midwife and moved around naturally, doing chores around the house till I felt ready to get down to business. A good use of all that "nesting" energy! This time, my labor only lasted 5 hours.
I do believe there are times when a c-section is a wise choice. I just don't believe it's necessary as often as it's performed. Regardless, I do NOT believe in condemning women for their delivery choices. We need to encourage each other, educate ourselves on birth and trust our inner wisdom and our bodies!
Take a little hike over to Busca's blog. She does a great job researching the subject of childbirth and is committed to providing balanced, interesting information about making the experience of birth a beautiful thing.