Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Study to look at effects of epidural birthing position

  • 2 Comments

A new study will assess whether adopting an upright position during the late stage of labour with an epidural gives a greater chance of having a straightforward birth.

The most effective form of pain relief in labour, an epidural analgesia is chosen by up to 30% of women in the UK each year. At present few women who have an epidural are encouraged to be upright in the late stage of labour.

The £2.6m study will involve around 3,000 women. Half will be encouraged by a midwife to adopt an upright posture – including walking, standing, sitting out of bed or sitting bolt upright in bed – right up to the birth, while the remainder will be asked to adopt a lying down position. The results are expected in 2015.

The research has been commissioned by the NHS Health Technology Assessment programme.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • REA MULLIGAN

    I think this research ia important as so many women are forced to adopt a lying down position for their birth, which they often complain not to be as comfortable as the crouching / standing / straight back position. I look forward to the results of this research and hope that it highlights the need to push (as it were) for upright positions in future births.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I also look forward to the study results with anticipation. The upright position for delivery, as in standing is wonderful, but as for the straight back sitting position in bed, I am not so convinced.
    I worked on labour and delivery in the USA for 2 yrs, 90% of the women in that hospital had epidurals, the lying position was favoured for delivery and I saw only 2 vaccum deliveries. These were due to fetal compromise in 2nd stage.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.