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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 638093, 7 pages
Research Article

Women’s Choice of Positions during Labour: Return to the Past or a Modern Way to Give Birth? A Cohort Study in Italy

1Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padua, 3 Giustiniani Street, 35128 Padua, Italy
2Dipartimento di Salute della Donna e del Bambino, U.O.C. di Ginecologia e Ostetricia, Via Giustiniani 3, 35128 Padova, Italy

Received 24 February 2014; Revised 3 April 2014; Accepted 29 April 2014; Published 15 May 2014

Academic Editor: Anna T. Grazul-Bilska

Copyright © 2014 Salvatore Gizzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Childbirth medicalization has reduced the parturient’s opportunity to labour and deliver in a spontaneous position, constricting her to assume the recumbent one. The aim of the study was to compare recumbent and alternative positions in terms of labour process, type of delivery, neonatal wellbeing, and intrapartum fetal head rotation. Methods. We conducted an observational cohort study on women at pregnancy term. Primiparous women with physiological pregnancies and single cephalic fetuses were eligible for the study. We considered data about maternal-general characteristics, labour process, type of delivery, and neonatal wellbeing at birth. Patients were divided into two groups: Group-A if they spent more than 50% of labour in a recumbent position and Group-B when in alternative ones. Results. 225 women were recruited (69 in Group-A and 156 in Group-B). We found significant differences between the groups in terms of labour length, Numeric Rating Scale score and analgesia request rate, type of delivery, need of episiotomy, and fetal occiput rotation. No differences were found in terms of neonatal outcomes. Conclusion. Alternative maternal positioning may positively influence labour process reducing maternal pain, operative vaginal delivery, caesarean section, and episiotomy rate. Women should be encouraged to move and deliver in the most comfortable position.