19 randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of women (n=5764) in the second stage of labour were conducted to compare upright or lateral positions with supine or lithotomy delivery positions. Results indicate that evidence on the effectiveness of various delivery positions is inconclusive because of the mixed quality of trials. The upright posture may offer some benefits but may increase risk of blood loss.
This Evidence Update was adapted from Gupta JK, Hofmeyr GJ. Position for women during second stage of labour. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD002006.pub2. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002006.pub2.
Maternal Health Series, Effective Health Care Alliance Programme, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, 2 pp.
Should women deliver upright or on their side (compared with standard practice of lying on their backs or in stirrups)? Evidence Update, Maternal Health Series, February 2005