Note: MCSP ended in December 2019. No new content is added to this site.

Alternative Birth Positions training materials

Publish Date: August 2016
Author: Sheena Currie

A key component of implementing respectful maternity care is protecting a woman’s right to assume the position of her choice during labor and birth, which has benefits for the woman, the baby, and the health system. This package of training materials for alternative birth positions can be used in three ways: 1) as a stand-alone training; 2) integrated with other maternal and newborn health training; or 3) in sections as on-the-job training as part of facility-based quality improvement efforts.

To download the entire package of materials, click here.

And to download the individual files, click on the following links:

  • Session outline, which explains the session objectives, suggested times, content, teaching methodology and resources to be used.
  • Overview presentation, highlighting the background, evidence and rationale for supporting birth (and labor) in alternative positions as a key component of respectful maternity care. The presentation guides participants in skills demonstration and practice on supporting birth in alternative positions. It also provides key references and other useful resources for supporting birth (and labor) in alternative positions.
  • Role play guidance, which provides an opportunity for learners to appreciate the importance of good communication and respectful care when providing information and supporting women in their rights and choices in childbirth.
  • All-fours guide for doctors and midwives with instructions and pictures on how to facilitate birth in an all-fours (“birth in hands-knees”) position. This position in particular can be challenging to support without additional practice; therefore, this guide is meant to build providers’ skills and confidence. Assisting birth in other positions (sitting up, squatting, etc.) is very similar to the semi-supine position and standard guidelines should be followed.
  • Job aid with pictures demonstrating various alternative labor and birth positions.

Alternative Birth Positions training materials (294 downloads)