The Lithotomy Position: Is It Safe?
Lithotomy position is one of the most common positions used for childbirth. A lot of women use it during labor. But some experts say that there are risks associated with using this position. There are many different opinions about the benefits and risks of this position. This is why you may want to know about the position before it is too late.
The lithotomy position is common in hospitals. It is one of the most common positions for individuals in active labor. It is when an individual lays on the back in order to give birth. During this position, the woman’s legs are raised to give her easier access to the child’s head.
This position is used for a longer period of time than most people think. Most women will start in this position after the baby’s head is first born. The midwife or doctor will move the mother to this position as they are cleaning and checking on the birth. A lot of women will stay in this position until the placenta is completely delivered.
The benefits of this position is that the woman’s legs are up to reduce the amount of pressure on her back. This helps the sac around the baby’s head to come out easier. The pressure from the baby’s head also helps the woman to push. A lot of women say they are able to get a better contraction and expel more fluid from their bodies when they are in this position.
There are also risks that come with this position. One of the main risks is that the woman’s legs can fall asleep. The woman’s body will need time to re-adjust to being in a stretched position. It is suggested that she keeps her legs moving for the first few hours after this position. Some doctors will also ask the woman to roll over onto her back.
This will allow for more blood flow and help to prevent the legs from falling asleep.
There are also risks that come with the baby getting stuck. This can happen if the head is born later than expected. It is likely that the woman’s body will push out the baby naturally. There is a chance that the baby’s skull is not ready to be born yet. It is best to stay in the position until the baby is ready to be born no matter what the mother thinks.
The mother and baby will be in this position for a long period of time. The chances of the baby being in distress are higher than other positions. It is important that the woman keeps a calm presence and relieves herself when needed. The doctors can keep the baby from being in distress if they are on their guard.
Some women find this position to be very relaxing. They enjoy the fact that they do not need to do anything but lay there. Other women find it difficult to relax in this position. They will find that they need to do something to keep their minds occupied. This could be something as simple as counting or it could be more mentally challenging.
There is also the matter of pain relief. It is best to stay in the position and wait for the pain to pass. However, some women may need to take pain relief in order to deal with the pain. If this is the case, she should ask for what she needs. It is important that she takes the pain medication when she asks for it.
If she does not take it when she should, the pain may get stronger and the baby’s skull may get stuck. Otherwise, she may experience some serious negative affects.
Sources & references used in this article:
Complications of the exaggerated lithotomy position: a review of 177 cases by KW Angermeier, GH Jordan – The Journal of urology, 1994 – auajournals.org
Supine Valdivia and modified lithotomy position for simultaneous anterograde and retrograde endourological access by G Ibarluzea, CM Scoffone, CM Cracco… – BJU …, 2007 – urologiaclinicabilbao.com
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy in the oblique supine lithotomy position and prone position: a comparative study by AA Al-Dessoukey, AS Moussa, AM Abdelbary… – Journal of …, 2014 – liebertpub.com
Perioperative care of the morbidly obese patient in the lithotomy position by G Bennicoff – Aorn Journal, 2010 – Elsevier
Over 500 obturator nerve blocks in the lithotomy position during transurethral resection of bladder tumor by K Pladzyk, L Jureczko, T Łazowski – Central european Journal of …, 2012 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Lower extremity compartment syndrome from prolonged lithotomy position not masked by epidural bupivacaine and fentanyl by CY Kang, JC Carmichael… – The American …, 2012 – Southeastern Surgical Congress
Apparatus for adjusting lithotomy position of a patient by BJ Beerle, RJ Rose – Regional Anesthesia: The Journal of Neural …, 1993 – rapm.bmj.com
Translevator posterior intravaginal slingplasty: anatomical landmarks and safety margins by DW Boston, CR Boston, PD Suhovy – US Patent 3,612,509, 1971 – Google Patents
Ultrasound guidance can be used safely for renal tract dilatation during percutaneous nephrolithotomy by S Smajda, L Vanormelingen, G Vandewalle… – International …, 2005 – Springer