The Birth Shell for the Second Stage of Labour: A Modern Tool to Support Physiological Birth

Ank de Jonge, PhD; Liselotte Kweekel; Tine Oudshoorn; and Gré Keijzer-Landkroon

Most women in the Western world give birth lying on their backs. This has not always been the case. Before the 17th century, upright positions for giving birth were common; the supine position became common practice only when instruments such as forceps were introduced. In parts of the world where Western culture has not yet had much influence, many women give birth in an upright position. In Western countries, there is a growing awareness that the routine use of the supine position may have disadvantages. In its practical guide, Care in Normal Birth, the World Health Organization recommends that women be encouraged to adopt positions that are comfortable.


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