Hands & Knees

Hands and knees position, all fours, knees and elbows and kneeling over a birthing ball. Crawling and stretching exercises, too! These are similar positions that actually assist the baby with the movements of birth. Read how making your belly the perfect hammock can help prepare for labor and make progress for your birth. But this may not be enough to rotate a posterior baby, read why. This is the safest position for birthing a breech baby, read why!


Hands and knees position with pelvic tilts (cat-cow) and crawling are useful exercises for both strengthening and relaxing the pelvis.

The belly is down and the abdomen becomes a hammock for the baby.


Crawling adds movement to the joints of the pelvis. Now you have all the second 2 principles in play:  gravity and movement.


Hands and knees position is the one for late pregnancy Rebozo relaxation.








Hands and knees for breech, or Knees-elbow position, as Dr. Frank Louwen calls it, may be the best position for breech birth. The mother kneels and is leaning forward. Her womb and pelvis are angled for success in birth. Hands and knees puts the mother's body into position to support the baby's own, spontaneous cardinal movements. These are the movements of the birth dance that have baby turning this way and that at the waist and neck to make the journey through the pelvis.There are many details to keeping breech birth safe, but Knees elbows (when the baby is actually coming out) and the no touch till the head needs catching are important to increase safety. Read more about Breech.





When Hands and Knees Position is Not Enough!
During Pregnancy

Spending time everyday on hands and knees can help a baby have their back towards their mother's front - in women who have just the right tone to their uterus. Not too firm, like a first time mom. Not too "torqued" like someone who has twisted to do body work on others, twisted to see the computer, to hold a child, etc. etc. Women who've been in car accidents, sports accidents, falls, abdominal surgeries, including previous cesareans. These are all women who would benefit from more than just Hands and Knees.

During Active Labor
Many times, spending 30 minutes to an hour on your hands and knees while moving your hips instinctually is enough to 

Not all women have the same tension or looseness in their abdomen or pelvis. Not all babies have their heads aimed ideally into the pelvis. Working with the ligaments is something that can be done in pregnancy to help the baby fit better in labor.

Important: For some women, simply getting into a gravity-friendly position won’t rotate their baby. Give a position 20-40 minutes of regular contractions to test its effectiveness in labor. If labor doesn't begin to progress, start with the 1st Principle. A very small number of women have a combination of variables so that they will have to start with the 1st Principle before 8 months gestation to avoid a surgical birth. Rarely, the pelvis bones are too contracted, too small, and will not allow a baby to be born naturally. Its important to work with an experienced midwife or physician who can assess labor progress and mother and baby’s well being.






When not to: