So, why do people lay on their backs to give birth!?
  • Lucy Flow

So, why do people lay on their backs to give birth!?

With all my chat about upright birth and active labours, you may be wondering why we have beds at all? If being upright is so important and effective, why have we been doing it this way for so long? Well, allow me to explain!...

During the 1700s, King Louis XIV wanted to watch his baby being born. At that time, women laboured in a squat position, on a special stool (how clever...!) and the midwife would support them by being at floor level to receive the baby 👶🏻 King Louis, however, was certainly not going to be seen to grovel on the ground like a poor person, and wanted his mistress moved into a better position for him 🙄 Women in the King’s court began to copy this, since it was the ‘royal way’ to birth, and word soon got around that this was how the upper class gave birth and therefore, this is how we all should give birth! Midwives found that birth became more problematic when the women were on their backs (which we now know is due to the poor positioning of the pelvis), so Doctors were often called to help assist. Birth became a medical event and, unfortunately, laying on backs became normal. Isn’t it totally crazy to think that if birth had stayed an active process (squatting at floor level for example), then this normal delivery room 👆 probably wouldn’t have a bed in sight. Instead we’d probably see stools, balls, rebozos, chairs and steps- an active birth haven! If you are planning a hospital birth, start to look at your bed as a place to lean against, kneel on, or to put your bags on! Staying off of your back WILL improve your labour - simple as! You will be more comfortable, your pain levels reduced, and your labour will take a shorter amount of time 👍😊❤️