Every woman should have the option to actively participate in her birth, and active births are much more prevalent now than they were 50 years ago.

Often times the nurses at the hospital will tell a mom to go and walk around if she's not dilated to 4cm yet. This is part of active birthing.

Midwives will encourage a labouring mom to use different positions in order to help labour progress and baby to turn into a good position. One example of this is when my midwife told me to put my foot up on a stool and do a lunge during a few contractions. She wanted to be sure baby was secure in the birth canal before allowing me to hop into the warm birthing tub (which was SO relaxing).

But another way you can practice active birthing is by slow dancing with your husband. Sound romantic? Well during labour it will be less romance and more of just feeling his closeness and support. I wish I had known about slow dancing when I was in labour. Slow dancing allows your pelvis to rock... back and forth... back and forth... and this can give baby more room to descend into a good position in your pelvis. Standing in an upright position can help with dilation too, as gravity assists in helping your bub's head apply pressure to your cervix.

Did you use active birthing in your labour? If you gave birth in a hospital, did they encourage you to move around during labour?

Here's a wonderful video from the Active Birth - Slow Dancing page which shows different positions you can use for slow dancing, and how it can help you to have a faster labour.