A birthing stool is a stool which has been specifically designed for use during childbirth. Women were attended (in their homes) by midwives and female relatives, and sat on birthing stools for the delivery. It allows a woman to sit or squat while giving birth with support to help her if she begins to feel fatigued. Many advocates of natural birth support the use of a birthing stool, which may also be called a birth support stool or a birth stool. This birthing stool was modified from a solid-oak bar stool, and my wife labored on one just like this with our first child. We have a wonderfully-successful homebirth!
The chair measures 20 in. (width) x 20 in. (depth) x 29 in. (height) and was finished with a low-VOC finish (very low in harmful vapors and safe for birthing on).
The concept of sitting or squatting during labor is ancient, and widely practiced in many cultures, and the use of the birthing stool is also quite old.
The Pharaoh of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live. The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live? The midwives answered Pharaoh, Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive. So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. - Hebrew Scriptures, 1300-1400 B.C.
This birthing stool is designed to bear up to a substantial amount of weight and pressure, and it is low to the ground so that a laboring mother can plant her feet firmly. Most importantly, a birthing stool has a hole in the middle, allowing a midwife (or birth attendant) to monitor the progress of the labor and providing a space for the baby to slide through.
Typically, a laboring mother does not remain on a birthing stool for the duration of her labor. She is encouraged to walk around, squat, and keep her body moving while she practices deep breathing. The birthing stool is used for difficult parts of the labor, and to provide support when the woman wants to sit. While on a birthing stool, the mother may be massaged or use compresses to ease the pain of labor.
In a 1991 study in the Netherlands, few differences were observed between groups of women using birthing stools and women laboring in a semi-prone position. The researchers noted that the groups experienced similar delivery times and rates of complications. However, women who used birthing stools seemed to experience less pain, and they also expressed more satisfaction with the labor and delivery process, suggesting that the use of a birthing stool is beneficial.
While some people associate the birthing stool with home births, this tool can also be used in hospital deliveries. Many hospitals offer birthing suites and extensive midwifery services which encourage women to arrange their own birth plans, using the methods they feel comfortable with to deliver, and these methods may include the use of birth stools, birthing balls, and other tools which are designed to increase the comfort of a laboring mother.
Disclaimer: This stool has been built with careful craftsmanship and is intended to hold up under most normal birthing situations. The purchaser (and/or user) of this stool agrees to not hold liable the seller for any malfunction due to overweight user, overuse, mishandling during shipping, or any other conditions which may cause injury to the user. The purchaser and user agree to examine the chair before use for their own safety and use it at their own discretion and at their own risk. To purchase this item is to agree to release the seller from all liability associated with the use of this chair.
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