In my experience, the closer you are to the end of your pregnancy the more you think about childbirth and how you'll make it through relatively unscathed. Thankfully, there are birthing class, online resources, and knowledgable health care providers to help us moms figure out how we want to experience childbirth and which way is best for us. That's why it's helpful to be knowledgable about the best positions for labor, regardless of whether or not you actually use them.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), research shows that each labor position has its pros and cons. For instance, a Cochrane review of studies including 5,218 women showed that most women benefit from an upright labor position and staying mobile during the first stage of labor. Standing and moving around seems to help your baby move into position, help with pain, and even shorten the duration of labor. When it comes to pushing, however, another meta-analysis showed that the lateral position, or side-lying, reduced the risk of perineal tearing, especially when compared to upright positions like standing, squatting, or sitting.
For most pregnant people there is no one position for labor that's truly the best, per se, and so it might be a good idea to try different positions during the course of your labor and delivery if you can. According to the ACOG, it's best if you see what works for you during labor and delivery and adjust accordingly. So with that in mind, and because knowledge really is power especially when you're bringing another human being into the world, here are the best positions for labor and delivery, according to the experts: