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ALTERNATIVE POSITIONS FOR CHILDBIRTH—Part I: First Stage of Labor

Authors

  • Joyce Roberts C.N.M., Ph.D.

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    • Joyce Roberts received her M.S. in nurse-midwifery from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Currently, she holds a faculty position in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois. She is also serving as a nurse-midwife at Cook County Hospital where she is continuing her research in positional variables in the conduct of labor.


  • Part II of this paper, discussing the second stage of labor, will appear in the September/October 1980 issue of JNM.

University of Illinois at the Medical Center, College of Nursing, Rm. 848, Department of Maternal-Child Nursing, P.O. Box 6998, Chicago, IL 60680

ABSTRACT

A contemporary theme in maternity care is the provision of alternatives for childbirth. This paper focuses on alternative positions during the first stage of labor. The variation in positions used through history are examined. Empirical observations of the influence of positions on labor and various physiological considerations are also discussed. The paper includes recent research findings of the effect of specific positions on labor. Maternal position is viewed as a feature in the conduct of labor that must be considered within the context of a variety of factors influencing both a safe and satisfying labor outcome.

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