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Using a Birth Stool

A birth stool helps you into a physiological upright posture during labour and birth. A birth stool can help provide balance and support to labouring women. Different positions and various movements can help with progress and comfort during labour. Following are some suggestions on how to use a birth stool.

With a Partner

A birth stool allows your partner to provide physical and emotional support during labour and birth. There are several ways you and your birth partner can use a birth stool together.

Your partner can be seated behind you, or can kneel in front or behind the birth stool to provide support for a number of comfortable birthing positions. Massage and the application of heat can help decrease the discomfort of labour, and a birth stool can get you in an ideal position for your birth partner to massage you or apply a heat pack.

Using a birth stool
Using a birth stool
Using a birth stool

 

 

 

Squatting

Squatting during birth increases the pelvic opening and helps with the descent of the baby further down into the pelvis. From the seated position on the back ridge of the stool, slide your body forward to achieve a squat supported by the front ridge. Practicing squatting during pregnancy with the aid of a birth stool can help to strengthen your legs for squatting during birth.

Using a birth stool

 

Kneeling

Many women find that kneeling reduces pain during birth. It is an ideal position in the first stage of labour, helping with the strength, frequency and regularity of contractions.  The birth stool can be used to support a kneeling position during contractions as well as while resting in between them.

Kneeling with the upper body leaning forward onto the birth stool can help with the progression of labour during the second stage. If your baby is posterior or you are experiencing back labour, kneeling can provide comfort and allows easy access to your back for back massage or for the application of counter pressure during contractions. 

Using a birth stool

 

Rocking

Movement during labour is an effective way to cope with discomfort and pain. Rocking uses gravity to help with the progression of labour and can help to increase dilatation of the cervix. Swaying, walking and other movements can also help you deal with the pain of contractions. A Kaya birth stool can support a rocking or swaying motion in a number of orientations. 

Using a birth stool

 

At Home

In the time leading up to your birth a birth stool is a great tool to help you get comfortable with positions for your upcoming birth. You and your birth partner can experiment together with the positions that you find most comfortable, so that during labour you can be ready to easily transition between the ones that work best for you.

Using a birth stool

 

In Water

Being in water can help reduce the pain of labour and increase your comfort. The buoyancy provided by water also makes it easier to move freely between positions, aiding comfort.

The Kaya Birth Stool can be fully submerged in a tub or birthing pool by lowering it so that the large hole at the bottom and the three small holes are tilted slightly upwards in order for air to escape as the interior fills with water. In deeper pools the Kaya birth stool may be used in its upright position to support a seated or squatting position. You can also try turning the Kaya birth stool on its side to support you in a side lying position in water.

Using a birth stool
Using a birth stool

 

Standing

Standing or lightly lunging in the ‘stork’ position with one foot on the Kaya birth stool is useful in progressing labour during its first stage. This position increases the efficiency of contractions and helps them to progress labour.

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Article uploaded 22nd June 2015

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