Welcome back to my “5 Random Facts…” series. Today, we are talking about Labour & Delivery! I definitely have a lot of random facts in my brain (and in my library or resources, text books, and articles). I hope that, in addition to being kind of interesting, these facts will help you in your journey as a parent or parent-to-be!
1. There is a labouring position called ‘The Flying Cowgirl’ (Google it at your own risk)
There are actually many positions that your nurse or midwife may help you into that will allow your baby to become ideally situated in your pelvis!
The Flying Cowgirl requires you to lay on your side with your pelvis tilted forward and (ideally) a peanut ball between your legs.
Some other favorite labour positions: hands-and-knees, squatting on birthing ball, and the good ol’ fire hydrant pose!
Look up Spinning Babies or Bundle Birth Nurses for some photos and additional resources on labour positioning!
2. Counter Pressure is a great way to manage pain (and get your partner involved in the labor process)
This involves a strong and steady pressure being placed on your hips and low back during contractions.
There can be a lot of discomfort as the baby’s head moves down through the pelvis. Putting pressure in the location of this discomfort can help make the pain more manageable.
Effective counter pressure requires COMMUNICATION between the labouring person and partner: only you can guide where to apply pressure and how much pressure to apply.
3. You can (and should) labour, push, and deliver in a variety of positions- even with an epidural!
Communicate with your care team: yes, they should be providing you with some guidance on positioning, but you can also let them know which positions you want to try, and which you prefer. Some may allow you to feel more relaxed (great in the first stage of labour) while others help you to feel more powerful (great while pushing).
Positioning may be guided by: your preference, your care team’s suggestions, or your baby’s size, position, or location in your pelvis. Emergency situations, such as fetal heart rate abnormalities, will also play a role in delivery positions.
4. Your water can break a little…or a lot!
It can break before you’ve ever had a contraction, at any time during early or active labour, or even right at delivery. An ‘en caul’ delivery means baby was born in the amniotic sac! It is pretty rare, and is considered a sign of good luck in many cultures!
Your water can break at home, at work, in your car, or at Costco.
In any case, you SHOULD visit your birth centre or care provider whenever you suspect that your water has broken.
It is important to assess the baby’s heart rate and discuss risks/benefits of labour choices. Things such as hospital admission vs. going home, induction vs. expectant management (which is a fancy way of saying “watching and waiting”) are excellent topics to discuss.
Pre-labour is a fantastic time to discuss all of the options- it is the perfect way to listen to recommendations, consider the options and to truly give informed consent!
5. After delivery, your baby won’t be the only one in diapers
Lochia is the vaginal discharge you get after delivery (yes, even after a c-section).
It is dark red at first and may even consist of some small clots. Note: anything larger than a small plum is concerning, and any amount that saturates a pad in one hour or less requires assessment from your care provider.
From about Day 4 to Day 10 post-delivery, the amount decreases, and the color will become more watery pinkish to brownish.
After about Day 10, it becomes even lighter, taking on a creamy or yellowish tint.
Moral of the story: you can expect to be wearing some large mesh underwear and absolutely huge pads for at least the first week after your delivery. Pro tip: some people find adult diapers to be more comfortable and leak-proof!
For more helpful facts, tips, and advice on Labour & Delivery, make sure to check out my online course, Birth Preparation!
You can find the Birth Prep Course (as well as my Prenatal Breastfeeding Course) at:
As always, stay tuned for more “5 Random Facts!”