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Birth stool? (Like to sit on, not accidental poo)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience with using a birthing stool? I'm pregant with my second and my mw for my first (who was generally incompetent and highly self interested) told me that they cause tearing but then tonight my prenatal yoga instructor said they are awsome and she used one and it was awesome. She said it makes it really hard for a care provider to catch the baby underneath so now I'm thinking my first mw was, per usual, thinking about herself and not me when she talked them down.

Does anyone have any ideas about this, or any personal experience?
post #2 of 16

I think, like squatting, there are mixed ideas about birth stools.  I've read equally that the upright position is associated with both more and less tearing.  Like most things, I wonder if that has to do with the mother's body, the position of the baby, and so on.  I wonder if you could feel if it was ok or not.  On the other hand, in my previous two births my body had an idea of how I was going to push and that was that (and squatting was not it, and my body hated sitting on the birth ball - my second I was pushing on hands and knees and could not move from the spot) and I tore with both so who knows.  Do your midwives offer a birth stool or are you thinking of buying one?  Maybe you can convince them to buy one?  Then you can try it and see if it feels good or not.


I think these look pretty cool.  http://www.kayabirth.com/

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don't think I'd buy one because like you said who knows what will work once you're actually in labour and I wouldn't want to waste the money.

What was wrong with the birthing ball?
post #4 of 16

Well, there was nothing wrong with it.  But you know how people say sitting on it helps bring the baby down, or feels good?  Do hip circles on the ball, etc?  I tried that and it was really awful while I was in labor.  I did way better being upright and lunging and going up and down my stairs.  But my baby was OP.  I ended up using it when I was pushing so I could lean over it and that was nice, so it's not like it was bad, it just didn't work for sitting on.  I don't think sitting on anything would have worked for me, but every body and labor is different.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
My baby was OP too. I remember the contractions felt really painful right from the start, never mild. It only recently clicked that it may have been because baby was OP.
post #6 of 16

I've heard that kind of pain is pretty common with OP babies.  It's unreal.  I think people who have never experienced it have no idea what it is like.  My first was OP and had a nuchal hand and it was some of the worst pain I have ever felt.  I had no idea how bad it was until after my second, when I realized my first labor felt like transition for most of the ten hours.  My just OP baby was "easy" right until the end and then I was paralyzed with pain, but it only lasted half an hour.  Crazy stuff.  My midwife did say that second babies come out easier than first and I didn't believe her, but she was not kidding.   I do think the OP position had something to do with me only being comfortable in certain positions, though.  

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
That's what I've heard, that with OP certain positions don't work. I know a woman who did UC who birthed baby in OP and had to be on her hands and knees.

OP with a nuchal hand? Ouch!!

I read that in most cases OP babies turn on their own before birth, i think I remember reading 80-90%.

This time I'm going to try to determine if baby is OP much sooner so I can try to spin him/her into position.
post #8 of 16
This is just my own experience but I used a birthing stool with my 3rd (home birth 3 months ago) and I loved it. No tearing and no problems catching the baby. What is OP, posterior?
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks that's great to know about the birthing stool.

OP = occiput posterior
post #10 of 16

I tried one and didn't like it. Not sure why. I think I'm maybe an "all fours" type a gal. While your MW may well have been self-serving I don't think the experience of one yoga instructor or a few positive experiences are a good way to decide whether the use of a stool increases the chances of tearing, yk?  Have you searched something like Midwifery Today to read about them? Maybe there's some research.  


Also, I imagine the stool is similar to the toilet. I don't think I would have liked birthing on the toilet but I did labor there and liked that. But, I think it has something to do with the associations I had with the toilet being a place of privacy. I liked the toilet more than the stool because of that, I think. 


Good luck! 

post #11 of 16

i would say "yes" to a birthing stool


.... for my third, i spent about half the evening - whilst in labor- sitting on the toilet in the hospital room

= this is exactly the position you have when sitting on a birthing stool

the hospital , very thoughtfully, provide 2 toilet rolls side by side

& i saw on the photos afterwards that i had used up ALL of one roll in just a few hours

am now all for sitting during labor

(i also used a birthing ball in the actual room and made various hip mouvements from my oriental dancing class

because it felt good at the time)


they DID bring a birthing stool in the room (at my DH resquest)

... but actually at the time of transition, i felt the urge to return to the toilet

when the last 2 or 3 mighty contractions arrived, i just got up from the toilet, by instinct,

the head came out in one push, i put one hand down in disbelief

next contraction, the rest of the body came out, of course i put out my second hand

and i stood there just standing in front of the toilet, stunned for a few seconds

as the various nurses etc were racing down the corridor

they said afterwards that when they heard me howling twice as i did, they knew the baby was being born


am too old now to have another baby .... but that third birth seemed to me to be the most physiological of my 3

so, sitting, wherever, on a ball, on a toilet, on a birthing stool,... i think that's the best

(... but you might feel the urge to be in other positions when the time comes


what helped me too was to keep with me a copy of drawings of a variety of positions that could be used ...

so as to be able to remember what other options i could have ....

post #12 of 16
I've labored on the toilet every time. I've had 6 babies. The only time I tried the birth stool it didn't work because I had to run to the toilet and clear out. smile.gif
post #13 of 16

I used a birth stool w/ dd2. We were just trying to get her head to get the lip out of the way so I could push in the water, but I was so exhausted I just pushed her out right then and there. I was done.


A small tiny tiny tear, didn't need a stitch, didn't feel it, nothing.

post #14 of 16
I can't leave the toliet during labor. #2 and #3 were both there. Both were op and rotating. Last had a nucal hand. Midwife didnt have a problem with delivery even though our bathroom is so tiny she had to stand in the shower the whole time. Couldn't tolerate the birth tub.

I have water broken, intense, 2 hour labors.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

post #16 of 16

I used a birthing stool with my DD. I did most of my labouring on all fours but the midwives suggested the stool for pushing (they bring it with them) and it was fine (unlike laying down which I tried for a very short time and it felt awful!). DD's head was in a bad position (forehead tilted up instead of chin to chest) so it took a long time to push her out. She did shoot out as soon as her head cleared and the midwife's assistant dived in and caught her head so it can be done.


My labour was pretty fast for a first time except for that pushing phase and my midwife suggested to avoid the birthing stool for baby #2 as it's likely to appear pretty quick already being my second and the stool would just make it faster. Too fast increases the risk of tearing, I would think. Sitting on it is kind of like squatting (at least to me, but I'm 6' tall) and squatting is supposed to open the birth canal, right? So I think it makes sense that it would speed things up.

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