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Ode to the Toad McBirth Stay on Your Feet Hospital Birth

From Chapter 2: Taking Control

Don't Take it Lying Down

My first suggestion, my number one rule for making labour easier is this: STAY ON YOUR FEET.

In the hospital the first thing they do is issue you one of those ugly backless nightgown-things, and show you to a bed like any other patient. But you are not "sick" when you are in labour, you are doing a job -- an important job -- that of bringing forth a new life.

STAY ON YOUR FEET, therefore, because you have an important job to do.

STAY ON YOUR FEET and keep walking because sick, weak people are the ones who need to be in bed. Think of yourself as a client using a service, not a patient. Keep upright and keep walking, so you feel freedom to move and not confinement.

STAY ON YOUR FEET because it raises you up to eye level, where you won’t be looked down upon.

STAY ON YOUR FEET like a capable, healthy person, confident and in control.

STAY ON YOUR FEET because gravity helps the baby to move down, pressing on the cervix, shortening your labour.

STAY ON YOUR FEET because there is less pain when the weight of the uterus is not pressing on your back.

STAY ON YOUR FEET because when you lie down, the very bed you lie upon offers resistance to your pelvis, which is doing its best to open up for the baby.

STAY ON YOUR FEET, walking, walking, walking through the contractions, rocking, rocking, easing your baby lower and deeper into the birth canal.

STAY ON YOUR FEET so the doctors and nurses can’t keep invading your body with their painful vaginal exams. They have to ask you to lie down for them, and that puts you in control! If you STAY ON YOUR FEET they’ll only be able to do things when you’re ready to let them. If you STAY ON YOUR FEET, you can look them in the eye, say no, and walk away.

STAY ON YOUR FEET, walking, refusing all those unnecessary vaginal exams, until you realize your body is pushing.

How long can you stay on your feet? Well, if you like, you can push while you are standing, or you can go down into a squat, and deliver your baby like that. You don’t need to lie down to have a baby!

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