Help! My labour has stalled! What should I do? 

Help! My labour has stalled! What should I do? 

Help! My labour has stalled! What should I do? Labour can stall or slow down for many unknown reasons. If you find that your labour has stalled don’t stress! There are many natural and effective ways you can help encourage labour to progress. 

If you find that your labour has slowed try these evidence-based techniques:⁠
  • Return home if possible – When in a calm and familiar environment research shows that your labour is more likely to progress smoothly, your oxytocin levels will remain nice and high, and your level of relaxation will be optimal because you feel safe and secure.  ⁠
  • Pass the time watching a movie (especially comedies!)
  • Deepening Techniques⁠
  • Nipple/ Clitoral stimulation – This helps your body naturally release oxytocin. Oxytocin plays a role in initiating labour. ⁠
  • Move positions – Try different upright positions as this can encourage your baby to descend further into the pelvis⁠. Some ways to stay upright during labour include standing, sitting leaning forward over the back of a chair, leaning over a pillow, sitting or leaning over a birth ball, kneeling, squatting, on all fours, and the ‘slow dance’ position.
  • Acupressure Points –  Acupressure is said to increase blood flow to the uterus which influences hormonal responses and stimulates uterine contractions (surges).
  • Light Touch Massage – Light touch massage helps your body naturally produce oxytocin which we know helps initiate labour. ⁠
  • Go for a walk and/or climb stairs – By staying active gravity will help your baby move down the birth path. ⁠
  • Shower or water immersion⁠ – Water can be used as a comfort measure and help progress labour smoothly.
  • Have a nap ⁠- Listen to what your body is telling you – do you need a rest? You can sleep on your side or rest in a leaning-forward position.


You can learn these evidence-based techniques and more within our Positive Birth Program. You can click here to find a face-to-face class closest to you or click here to purchase our online course.

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