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5 Best Positions To Induce Labor

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Sep 27, 2023

    5 Best Positions To Induce Labor

    Labor is not the most comfortable phase of your pregnancy. The baby is signalling that it wishes to come out now and your body is telling you that this might be the pain you have never experienced. In medical terms, labor is the pain felt during uterine contractions. Your birth canal is not open enough to push the baby out, and your body is going towards the final stage of childbirth. In some cases, home remedies or techniques are used to induce labor. What are these interventions and are there possible positions to induce labor?

    Many women believe that they enter the labor phase as soon as their amniotic fluid starts flowing out of their vagina. This is not true. Commonly known as water breaking, it doesn’t signify the start of labor. Also, your water doesn’t break all at once. The fluid may gradually start dripping out. Therefore, there is no need for the mother to panic and rush to the hospital as soon as her water breaks. However, they must still seek consult with doctor as leaking bag of water may be an opening to possible infections (Chorioamnionitis).

    Labor is actually when the contractions begin and you start feeling the cramps and the pain. This will mostly occur naturally within 24 hours of your water breaking. If not, the doctor induces labor using certain medicines if the baby’s age is appropriate for delivery

    While there are too many theories as to how you can go ahead with labor, remember that each body is different. Every childbirth can vary from another and how your body copes with this unbearable pain is dependent on that.

    5 Best Positions To Induce Labor

    Here are the five best positions that can help induce labor, speed it up, give you maximum comfort, and also facilitate a smoother delivery.

    Sitting position

    This upright position is usually considered the best out of all. This is because sitting can allow gravity to assist labor. The baby is naturally pushed towards the birth canal and you’re in one of the most comfortable positions possible.

    You can sit on a birthing ball, a chair, the toilet seat, or any other chair which allows you to sit and open your legs a bit. This position is relaxing and should be the first one that you try.

    Getting down on all fours

    For this, you need to be on your hands and knees either on the bed or on the ground with a mat. This will enable your pelvis to open naturally and ease back pain at the same time. Back pain can be grueling at a time like this, especially if you’re carrying a heavy baby.

    If the baby is in an uncomfortable position, then being on all fours can also bring the child back to a normal and more childbirth-friendly position.

    positions to induce labor


    This position can help put pressure on your pelvis and push the baby towards the birth canal. Though squatting might not be the easiest to induce labor but is one of the most effective ones.

    Squatting can help open up the pelvic diameter, which can ultimately lead to smoother childbirth. This is because gravity is pushing the baby down. Though, this could be problematic if the baby is not in a favorable position.


    Walking is basically gravity’s friend to induce labor quickly. Though it shouldn’t be done while you’re having contractions.

    But, walking or being in an upright position can escalate your labor. The baby will move deeper into the birth canal, you will experience less back pain and forthcoming contractions will be easier to tackle.

    Walking is not recommended for women with high blood pressure. This activity helps open your pelvis and induce labor. The movement should be done with the help of a partner or a wall to give you steady support. However, keep in mind to not rush into it.


    Lying in this position on your side can help maintain fetal heartbeat as well. You can ask your partner to massage your back while gravity makes way for the baby to push itself down towards the birth canal.

    Side-lying can help, especially when you’re tired of any of the above activities. Do not lie on your back as it can hinder the baby’s oxygen levels and heartbeat. Lying on your side can also help with contraction pain.

    While all the above labor positions will help you have a smooth delivery, you can choose the one that suits you the best and is comfortable for you. After all, a mother needs to be comfortable and stay calm through her labor, so that she doesn’t get exhausted too soon.

    Assuming positions to induce labor: How can you pass this phase smoothly?

    Listen to some soothing tunes

    Labor contractions or pain can be worse than period cramps. You can divert your mind from the pain by listening to your favorite music. Make sure it is something slow and soothing that helps you keep your mind calm.

    Natural scents could help

    Some natural scents like that of fresh flowers can also create a soothing effect. The scent can help you relax and try to think about better things than the horrible pain.

    Deep breathing is the key

    Easier said than done, deep breathing while you concentrate on each breath will also aid in diverting your mind. Only a mother can tell how intense the pain is during labor. Concentrating on something else than the pain may not be so easy. However, try and keep track of your breathing to calm your mind.

    Pep talk to self

    Only a mother knows what she goes through during labor and delivery. She may not be prepared to talk about or listen to someone giving her a pep talk in such a situation.

    Nevertheless, a little pep talk to self will do no harm. It will instead help a new mom-to-be think about all the good things that can happen once her baby arrives and be happy.

    Physical contact with your partner

    All your partner can and should do during this phase is, hold your hand or give you a gentle back rub to tell you that the two of you are in this, together.

    These points along with the labor positions can make your delivery less stressful, especially for women becoming mothers for the first time.

    Learn more about giving birth, here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

    Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Sep 27, 2023

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