This poster of birth positions is on the wall of a birthing suite in the Pius Hospital de Valls hospital in Spain. This picture was clicked by water birth advocate and colleague Barbara Harper on her recent visit there.
Check out how nice and wide that hospital bed is! The extra foot width gives so many more birth position options for women. Many of my memories in hospitals as a doula include comments from the nurses long the lines of ‘oh no don’t do that, sit around facing the front and be careful you might fall off the bed!’
Fair enough, those beds are barely big enough to turn in!
At Birthvillage, we have a huge bed, it is so big its a real pain to find sheets for; the standard king size are too small. Even with that huge inviting bed it was only in our second year of operations that a baby was born in it!
When left to do what they want women birth on hands and knees on the floor, over the birth ball, on their knees leaning forward with their elbows/arms on the bed, in the water, in the shower, hanging onto the birth support ropes, in a squat, on the birth stool. They never want to lay down on their back.
I’d love to see the public (you the consumer) start a campaign for bigger hospital birth beds. One step in the direction of making hospital birth so much more motherbaby friendly!
What could our slogans be?