How to Use Movement With an Epidural
Movement in labor is a good tool to use to help the baby descend more quickly into the pelvis and also to descend in the proper position. Walking, squatting and even changing positions in the bed help your baby navigate his way into the pelvis.
If you have an epidural you will not be allowed to get out of the bed. However, with support from a partner, you can still move around in the bed and assist the baby to move through the pelvis. Here are ways to do it.
6 Steps to Use Movement With an Epidural
1. Start off with a side-lying position.
Lie on your left side with your right leg stacked directly on top of your left leg. Stay in this position for about 10 minutes.
2. Slowly rotate to a left-lying jackknife position.
Take the right leg and bend your knee. Then bring your knee up to your chest as far as possible and lie it down on the bed. Stay in this position for about 10 minutes.
3. Rotate to a supported kneeling position.
You will not be able to do this step if your legs are completely numb. From the jackknife position, have your partner help you come up into a kneeling position. You can place your elbows on the bed or perhaps put two or three pillows under your head. Stay in this position for 10 minutes.
4. Have a partner help you while you ease into a right-lying jackknife position.
Lie on the right side and bring your left knee up to your chest as far as possible and lie it down on the bed. Stay in this position for about 10 minutes.
5. Shift into a right side-lying position.
Lie on the right side with your left leg stacked on top of the right leg. Stay in this position for about 10 minutes.
6. With assistance from your partner, move from a right side-lying position to sitting upright.
Slowly roll from your right side to your back. Raise the back of the bed so that you are in a semi-sitting position on the bed.
Tips and Warnings
- If you want, repeat this “rotisserie” technique once every few hours to keep movement as part of your labor even with an epidural.
- You can stay in these positions as long as you are comfortable, whether it is before or after the 10-minute mark.
- If your legs are completely numb, you may have more trouble getting into these positions. You will need a partner to help you get into these positions.
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