Effects of Using Sitting Position versus Lithotomy Position during the Second Stage of Labour on Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes and the Childbirth Experience of Chinese Women: A Prospective Cohort Study

Li Fu, Jing Huang, Danxiao Li, Huide Wang, Lili Xing, Tao Wei, Rui Hou*, Hong Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing research concerning the effects of the sitting birth position during the second stage of labour on maternal and neonatal outcomes remains controversial, and there is a lack of studies to explore its effect on the childbirth experience. The objective of this study is to explore whether the sitting birth position would influence maternal and neonatal outcomes, as well as the childbirth experience. The prospective cohort design was conducted in the study from February to June 2023, a total of 222 women (including primiparous women and multiparous women) were enrolled in our study, and they were divided into the sitting position cohort (n = 106) or the lithotomy position cohort (n = 116). The pre-designed questionnaire and Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) were used for data collection during hospitalisation. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact test, t-tests, or the Mann–Whitney U test were utilised to assess differences between groups. Multivariate linear regression and logistic regression were employed to control possible confounders. The study found that primiparous women in the sitting position cohort had a shorter duration of the second stage of labour, higher spontaneous vaginal birth rates, lower episiotomy rates, and a better childbirth experience (p < 0.01). After adjusting for confounding factors through multiple linear and logistic regression analyses, the results remained consistent with those reported above. No neonate in each cohort had Apgar scores at 1 min and 5 min postpartum less than 7 or a Cord artery pH less than 7.00, regardless of parity. Based on the findings, we recommend that women could take the sitting birth position into account when giving birth for a positive childbirth experience, especially for primiparous women. The study could also serve as a reference for healthcare providers in the management of childbirth positions and the development of high-quality maternal care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2996
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2023


  • childbirth experience
  • labour stage, second
  • maternal and neonatal outcomes
  • prospective studies
  • sitting position
  • term birth

Cite this