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.

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.

What position did you find most comfortable during birth?

Share your comments below

Shutterstock photo

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • A retired nurse who is older now told me this years ago. I listened but must admit I hadn’t heard much about it. She had said to me that it was something that she advocated during her time as a nurse many, many years ago. It’s interesting to now read this article.


  • You just have to do what is right for you.


  • I think any position that you feel comfortable in and is safe for delivery is the way to go. Unfortunately you don’t always have a choice


  • On my hands and knees was most comfortable.


  • My first was breech so I was on my back, legs in stirrups. Second I squatted, leaning against the bed head


  • No choice for me, csection on my back..


  • I had C-section, so no other choice then on my back.


  • I sat up for almost all of mine including sqatting to push. I didn’t have any drugs though. I think however you feel comfortable (as much as a woman can feel comfortable in labor) is the most important thing.


  • I was kneeling under the shower until it was time to push, pretty much like a statue, everything happened so close together.


  • I wish. I was so full of drugs and epidural on my back was it for me. The most unpleasant experience of my life, except for the beautiful baby boy I gave birth to.


  • I don’t remember finding any position comfortable!


  • Any information that can make childbirth easier is most welcome.


  • Interesting. I was lying down and my daughter was born with forceps. I wonder if I could have avoided the forceps by laying on the side.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating