Healthy birth practice #2: walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor

J Perinat Educ. Fall 2014;23(4):188-93. doi: 10.1891/1058-1243.23.4.188.


In the United States, obstetric care is intervention intensive, resulting in 1 in 3 women undergoing cesarean surgery wherein mobility is treated as an intervention rather than supporting the natural physiologic process for optimal birth. Women who use upright positions and are mobile during labor have shorter labors, receive less intervention, report less severe pain, and describe more satisfaction with their childbirth experience than women in recumbent positions. This article is an updated evidence-based review of the "Lamaze International Care Practices That Promote Normal Birth, Care Practice #2: Freedom of Movement Throughout Labor," published in The Journal of Perinatal Education, 16(3), 2007.

Keywords: first stage of labor; mobility; position change; upright positions.