Somewhere along the way it became normal for a laboring woman to lie down and remain in bed as labor progressed.  Ask any woman in labor, lying down is NOT comfortable, especially on your back!  Get off the bed.  You will feel so much better getting off your back and you’ll also help labor to progress more effectively.  The baby is trying to come down through the pelvis so a little bit of gravity will go a long way.  Even if you plan to use an epidural, be upright until it is placed to help the baby descend with gravity.  Most women find that being upright and even leaned slightly forward is the most comfortable position.  Raise the whole bed up, stand at the side, and lean over onto the bed.  Standing, however, is not the only way to be in an upright position.  Sitting upright on a ball, kneeling on the bed with the head of the bed raised, or sitting upright in the bed can all be better options that just lying down.  You may find yourself swaying back and forth.  I cannot tell you how many women I’ve worked with who said, “I didn’t know I could get up.”  Just know that you don’t have to take this lying down!

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