Most women give birth in hospitals where the delivery bed was designed for the benefit of the obstetrician. Despite research showing the benefit of upright positions in labor and birth, most women in the UK still give birth in the semi-reclined position, pushing against the forces of gravity. The author argues that unnatural positions make labor and birth more painful and difficult for modern women than it was for their ancestors.
Margaret Jowitt has been working towards making birth a safer and more rewarding experience for mothers and their babies. Since 1996 she has edited Midwifery Matters, the magazine of the Association of Radical Midwives. Margaret lives in the UK.