Nursing Birth

One Labor & Delivery Nurse’s View From the Inside

Stand And Deliver! Research Shows Upright Labor Positions Reduce Pain, Speed Birth April 15, 2009

As if we all didn’t already know this!  🙂


Medical News Today posted a story on a new study published in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library which found that women who walk, sit, kneel or otherwise avoid lying in bed during early labor can shorten the first stage of labor by about an hour and are also 17 percent less likely to seek pain relief through epidural analgesia.  On the whole, the review examined 21 studies totaling 3,706 births.  After reviewing the research the authors’ concluded, “Women should be encouraged to take up whatever position they find most comfortable in the first stage of labour.”


The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organization that evaluates medical research by performing systematic reviews and drawing evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical studies on a particular topic.


I would probably bet money on the fact that every savvy birth junkie or mom reading this blog already knows this J.  I just love when the research supports what midwives and mothers have instinctually known for centuries!!


So get up and move girl!!  Beware of any intervention that restricts your movement and, YES, this includes unnecessary and elective inductions.  This is the #1 reason women end up with all the needless and risky interventions in the first place.  The LESS unnecessary interventions the MORE you will be able to move!


24 Responses to “Stand And Deliver! Research Shows Upright Labor Positions Reduce Pain, Speed Birth”

  1. I love that the term “vindicating” was used and that the psychological benefits of feeling like an active participant in one’s own birth process were stressed.

  2. Rixa Says:

    This is one of those “well, duh!” studies! I recently found your blog and am quite enjoying it.

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Rixa, glad you like the post and the blog! I see you wrote about it on yours as well. I am a fan of your blog too!!

  3. Katrina Says:

    good to know! =) I just recently found your blog, and am loving all the tips and advice and stories. I am 6 months pregnant, and plan on taking a lot of your tips with me! Thanks!

  4. Birth_Lactation Says:

    I just found and love your blog! Thanks for your stories…would love to sit and read them all sometime! I am writing stories of my past experiences …of yesteryear… in this business (before I forget them) and will move back and forth to current stories also. I share your philosophy. Would love to chat with you sometime. My blog is also on WordPress… “Stork Stories” . Today I am writing about Cesareans and our first official VBAC. Are you on Twitter?

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Birth_Lactation, Thanks for commenting!! I hope you do get a chance to read the rest! I will definitely take a look at your blog because I am a birth junkie and just can’t get enough 🙂 I am not on Twitter but feel free to stop by anytime and throw me a comment 🙂

  5. How weird! I left you a comment this morning but it didn’t stick. Great blog!

  6. Nice blog! I have worked in womens’ and neonatal health for many moons, and it is nice to see other blogs supporting women! I will keep seeing you around the Web.

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Realityrounds, Thanks for reading! I love to hear from other WHNN nurses out there that our on “my” side 🙂 It makes me feel less alone in this world!! I hope to see you “around” too 🙂 And thank you for all you do to support women (I know, as a nurse myself, you don’t hear that as much as you should!!)

  7. Joy Says:

    YAY! I’m going to talk to my husband about this tonight. Thanks for keeping us up to speed with all this amazing and helpful information! I didn’t realize I didn’t have to be tied down to the bed during a normal labor (wasn’t induced either times).

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Joy, I am so glad you have learned something new from my blog!! I am honored that you will be talking to your husband about it!! Have you ever thought about making a birth plan?

  8. Missy Says:

    Wow! I love your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge when it comes to birth. I love seeing your perspective from the “inside” of the system. How I wish every nurse was like you:)

    I’m a mom hoping to vbac with my future pregnancies and I started a blog to try and help other moms. Is it ok to link you to my blog? I think this is such an amazing resource for women!
    Thank you:)

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Missy I would be honored if you linked to my blog. Have you checked out ICAN’s website yet? It is a wealth of info for VBAC moms or moms who have undergone a cesarean section and are looking for support. Please check it out!!

  9. […] Posted on April 16, 2009 by Birth_Lactation I recently read a post from another blog about the study cited in The Cochrane Library discussing patient mobility & upright positions […]

  10. Birth_Lactation Says:

    This post inspired me to write a story about one of the births I saw in 1977….. I gave credit to your blog in my post. check it at You have great insight and do such great things advocating for your patients and supporting women. You are my new hero! Thanks again. Melissa

  11. Veronica Says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences. We need more voices like yours in the halls of our maternity wards!!

  12. Julie Says:

    You go girl!

    Great blog-Came over from “at your cervix”

  13. Mar.Mac Says:

    Just came across your blog and I love it. I wish I could wrap it up and give it as a gift (and required reading) to every woman I know who’s pregnant or might possibly have a baby sometime in the next five to ten years. I myself am pregnant with my third, had a typical hospital delivery with my first, an all-natural/unmedicated hospital delivery with my second (in an urban hospital in the Northeast, in fact), and am considering a birth center this time. After reading your blog, the birth center is sounding better and better. Thanks for all the great info and stories, especially the “Don’t Let This Happen to You” segments!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Mar.Mac, congrats on your pregnancy! I hope you do find a birth center in your area. We have NONE in our area….NONE! I think it is an option that should be available for all women! I hope you do indeed pass this blog along to anyone else you know who is pregnant! Thanks for reading!!

  14. Samanthavv Says:

    Interesting thoughts! I always decided that I would go with what my body told me to, comfort wise, no matter how ridiculous or out of the norm it seemed during labor! I am trying for a VBAC this time around… So hopefully I’ll be able to do that!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Samanthavv, Congrats on your pregnancy and plans for VBAC!! If you haven’t already been to the ICAN website please check it out! It is a wealth of info for moms planning VBACs and in general for women who have had a previous cesarean section.

  15. koren Says:

    I just found your blog and I love it! I’m currently in nursing school and nearing the end of my OB rotation and everything we’ve been learning is highlighted by your blog. I have enjoyed L&D so much, that I hope to make it my career someday too. Lately I’ve been somewhat discouraged by the thought of how so little of what I’m learning is put into practice, your stories are inspiring me again and showing me that it is possible to make a difference in maternal healthcare and outcomes. Thanks so much!!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      koren, I am so glad that nursing students are reading this blog!! I wish I had anyone to talk to about the “real world” when I was in nursing school but unfortunately for me, they kept us pretty isolated until they sprung us loose at graduation!! I hope you keep reading and I hope you will one day be an OB nurse too!

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