Labor Positions

Labor Positons: Knee to Chest

knee to chest
The knee to chest position for labor.

The knee to chest position is a variation of the hands and knees position in which the hips are higher than the shoulders.

How it works:

This, and other hand and knee positions, use gravity to allow the baby more room to move. Because this variation places the head lower than the hips, gravity may help slide the baby out of the pelvis enough to allow more room to rotate. Rotation helps the baby find the easiest (and fastest) way through the pelvis.

When to do it:

This position is helpful if a mother is feeling pressure on her back.

It may also help if the mother is experiencing a long labor.

This position can provide a comfortable resting position for a mother who does not want to sit or lie down.

Knee to chest can be used when trying the hip squeeze.

If she uses her arms to block her face, it can provide “privacy” for a mother who may want a time of quiet.


Incorporating it into labor:

Place a rebozo (long scarf), under the mothers belly before she moves into the knee-chest position. Once she is in the knee-chest position, pull up on both ends of the rebozo to relive some of the weight being supported by the mother’s legs.

Have the mother get into the knee-chest position, then have her move her knees further apart, causing the hips to lower slightly while the pelvis widens. The mother should look like she is in a frog position. Keeping the hips higher than the shoulders while widening the pelvis may give the baby more room to turn.

While the mother is in the knee-chest position, use massage or pressure on her lower back.

Jennifer (Author)