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Hospital Particular Gambelas

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Madeira Medical Center

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Enfª Patrícia Sancho

Maternal Health and Obstetrics Specialist
Doctorate in Educational Sciences
Head of Maternity HPA Gambelas

 

Freedom of movement during labour

HPA Magazine 10

 

During labour, there are innumerable alterations a woman’s body and mind; there is a meeting of hormonal, physical and emotional factors that together help with the birth of the baby.
The safer, more suitable and comfortable the environment where the labour takes place, the better the response of the woman’s body during this process and the more satisfied the mother feels.
One of the best measures for natural childbirth is, therefore, for the woman to have the freedom of movement, choosing positions and postures that help her get through the dilation period in the most relaxed way possible.
Upright positions, such as walking or sitting on a Swiss ball or peanut ball, are excellent ways of helping and easing labour. Respect for the law of gravity betters mother-baby circulation and allows the adaptation of the baby to the mother’s pelvis. 

 


The mother herself instinctively feels the need to move and by listening to her body, will know in which position she and the baby feel most comfortable.
When a woman has the freedom of positions and to be upright, she can mitigate the discomfort brought on by the contractions. Freedom of movement contributes towards the relief of the pain that can be felt when dilating.
This principle is always encouraged and respected in our Maternity Unit, as long as the health and safety of the mother and baby are not compromised for any reasons. Therefore, all women in labour can and should be given freedom of movement and verticality, and although it can be restricted in the case of absolute necessity, the reason is always duly explained and substantiated. 
It is in this private setting, with a companion chosen by the mother, that the Maternity Service offers the possibility for her to assume her preferred positions, whether walking, being supported by a ball, when in the shower or the private bathroom, and in a way that is always safe for the mother and baby, that the body prepares itself for the birth – the delivery.