Study reveals the natural birth position likely to reduce the need for forceps or a C-section.
Experts believe women should lie on their side while giving birth rather than adopting an upright position.
A new study has found that women are actually more likely to have a natural birth without any intervention if they lay on their side.
The length of labour was also slightly shorter when women were lying down and they were no more likely to need a suction device or forceps delivery, Cesarean section or to suffer tearing.
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The randomised controlled trial, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), looked at 3,093 women having a low-dose epidural who gave birth in 41 UK hospitals between October 2010 and January 2014, reports Daily Mail.
Women were randomly allocated an upright or lying down position (lying on the left or right side) during the later stages of labour.
The study found there were fewer spontaneous vaginal births in women in the upright group (35.2 per cent), compared with women in the lying down group (41.1 per cent).
Professor Brocklehurst said researchers could only speculate on the reasons why lying down increased the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth.
‘However, the evidence we have found from this large trial group provides an easy and cost-free intervention in our labour wards,’ he said.
‘Pregnant women, in consultation with their healthcare providers, can now make informed choices about their position in the second stage of labour.’
He said that given the clear benefit of the lying down position, ‘perhaps all women who have an epidural should be offered the choice of adopting a lying down position in the second stage until we know otherwise’.
The team plan to replicate the clinical trial in women not having an epidural.
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