Lying on your side
On all fours
Lying on your back
Sitting on the toilet
Standing with your legs firmly planted and at a comfortable width apart allows you to lower yourself into each contraction. This can be done in the shower, leaning on a table or a chest of drawers or being supported by your partner or support person. If you are being supported you can face them with your hands around their neck or over their shoulders, with them holding you, or have your back to them with their arms under your armpits to hold you as you lower. They may need to lean up against a wall to do this to support themselves and save their lower back.
If you do not need to be held, or you have more than one support person, then heat packs can be applied to where you need them. Make sure whatever you are leaning on is at a comfortable height. Pillows can be used to rest your head on in between the contractions. A mirror can be placed on the floor between your legs if you wish to see the progress you are making as your child's head starts to be seen in the vagina.
Standing may not suit you if you are tired and need more rest or if you have had pain relief and are physically unable to be upright. Many women feel like dozing between the contractions in the 2nd stage and it is difficult to completely relax in this way if you are standing. Your caregiver may suggest you stand if they feel gravity is needed to help the baby come down the birth canal.
For some women, squatting is a natural position they find easy to assume and maintain for long periods of time. But for many women it is not a position they will use in every day life, making it hard to utilise in labour. If you wish to practise squatting during the pregnancy, it can help strengthen and stretch your legs in preparation in case you need to use it in the labour.