Women’s Stories on the BirthRite Birthing Seat

(See also comments from Midwives, Obstetricians and Others.)


When I was in labour with our first child, the midwife suggested using a birthing stool, and not long after I sat down, our daughter was born. It seemed only natural therefore to use a birthing stool again for the birth of our second child. I was delighted to learn that Liz has the BirthRite Seat for hire, especially as we planned a home birth.

I experienced the BirthRite Seat as an invaluable aid whilst in labour with our son. I could take the weight off my legs by sitting down and gravity would still do its work. My contractions were more manageable when sitting on the Seat. I could completely concentrate on my breathing, as I didn’t have the added discomfort and distraction of tired and sore legs. Using the Seat definitely helped to speed up my labour, and, with the professional help and calming influence of the midwives (I was very lucky to have two great midwives present, of whom Liz was one), it actually enabled me to have a completely natural birth, using only breathing techniques to manage the pain.

My husband also experienced the use of the Seat as very positive, as he felt that he could really help during labour. He sat behind me on the bed (the Seat was in front of it), and that way he could support me during contractions and I could lean back and relax against him in between contractions.

We both look back at the birth of our son as a very calm and positive experience and would recommend the use of the BirthRite Seat to anyone wanting a natural birth. After the birth my husband and I were so relaxed we ate Chinese takeaway in bed while Toby slumbered in his Moses basket next to us.

— Anna Maria Willis
Mum to Joanna aged 2 and Toby aged 4 weeks
UK


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We had a boy, James Rhys, 4005 gm, 53 cm long and 36cm head circumference, born on 29th of April 2007, a few days after the Birthing Seat arrived.

I laboured mostly at home this time. I didn’t want my labour to slow down when I went into hospital, as it has done some other times. Also, we had the SES (State Emergency Service) repairing our roof after our ceiling sprang a leak. One of my support people was joking with them: “I hope you have good hands. You might have to catch a baby”.

Most of transition was probably done at home, too. I was mostly moving around or sitting on a chair in the kitchen. I could feel my pelvis starting to open beautifully during this time and had a show, but my waters were still intact. I also wanted to ensure the baby was nicely down in the birth passage. Kaitlin (Baby No. 4) was also born in the sac, but I had a long 2nd stage, as although I was fully dilated, she was still high up in the pelvis.

When we got to hospital the first thing I did was sit on the Birthing Seat. I felt immediately comfortable and quickly adjusted my position for comfort. I was relieved not to have to continually move or search for a comfortable position. Just that in itself allowed me to quickly relax into the birth, despite doctors putting in a cannula in between very frequent contractions. (I have a history of significant haemorrhage.) I was able to remain calm, relaxed and surprisingly still.

Second stage was about 35 minutes, about the same amount of time that we were in hospital before the baby was born. James came out in the sac, with it bursting as he emerged. My midwife was satisfied that I wasn’t haemorrhaging too drastically as she had good view of the blood clotting in the enclosed area in the bottom of the Seat. It still ended up being about 1 litre, but not life-threatening or needing a transfusion like previous times (2 litres first time, several litres last time).

Overall I was extremely happy with your Birthing Seat. Although the doctor and midwife at the hospital were not familiar with using a birthing seat, they seemed very happy with it. Certainly some of the midwives are keen for it to be used again. I would certainly recommend it to any birthing mother. A friend of mine will be using it for a home birth in the next month or so.

— Robyn Barraclough
Mother
Canberra, ACT, Australia


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On the day of childbirth, it made me so comfortable to get off the obstetric bed and moving around on the ground and sitting on the yoga ball. All the professional guidance in breathing patterns as well as the back massage by the midwife has made the birth of my baby so natural and productive.

The first time I had a trial of birth on the BirthRite Birthing Seat was when my cervix was 6 cm dilated. With each surge, the pain started from my lower abdomen and the small back and then spread all over and climbed to its peak, during which I felt so powerless in the fight against the intense pains and found breathing very difficult. However, after sitting on the Birthing Seat, I breathed as guided by the midwife and felt the pain going down and out with each exhalation till the end of the surges, which made me so ready for involuntary pushing at the arrival of the following surge. Then I went back to the bed to rest for a while, and tried the Birthing Seat again. Now I embraced stronger surges spaced with shorter intervals, which made me, a woman giving birth for the first time, go wild, scream and shout, and be totally at a loss. During this series of surges, I had to make more efforts to concentrate, breathe and to control myself. During the breaks, I would do the bottom exercises to ease the pressure on my legs. During the whole process of childbirth, till the crowning and birthing of my baby’s head, the midwife has been guiding me to be completely relaxed and to avoid closed-glottis pushing, to improve my perineal outcome. During the birth of the head, I still felt it very hard to follow the midwife’s instructions, but the use of the Tri-Positional Birth Mirror successfully distracted my attention from solely giving birth and allowed me to witness the arrival of my baby myself.

Happy parentsAnd, as far as I am concerned, it does mean a lot to have the partner (husband) supporting the woman and being actively involved in the whole process of childbirth. I still remember a friend telling me how she suffered the pains during childbirth even with the company of her husband all the time. Admittedly, the company of your partner would not stop your pains, but it gives the woman a whole lot of mental support, especially at such a historic moment for the whole family. The thoughtful design of the Birthing Seat allowed my husband to hold me tight from the back. From the moment I got pregnant, it became more and more inconvenient for my husband to hold me from the front and such hugs from behind made me so empowered for birth. Each involuntary pushing urge is accompanied by my husband whispering gentle encouraging words into my ears which, together with his hug, made me feel we are giving birth together! This is just a terrific experience. Right after the birth of the baby, it was lifted up to me, a woman who has just delivered the baby. At this moment, my baby in my arms, in the arms of my husband and both of us melting our deep love into the looks at the baby just forms the most beautiful picture in the world. Later, I wrote my feelings for this historic moment into the baby’s album.

In addition, when it comes to the prenatal classes, I think they are very important for women giving birth for the first time. Another important thing for the pregnant woman is the communication with midwives and doctors. It seems every woman tries to avoid talking about the details of the intense sensations during childbirth, but it is still helpful to get some knowledge from others about their birthing process and what helped them through. It helps in many aspects, especially in shortening the duration of labor and reducing perineal injuries. As for me, I did not learn enough about modulated breathing in pregnancy. So, during the birthing process, I have been so busy catching up with breathing skills that I finally got it at the last moment. Therefore, I think it is very important to have prenatal classes with very detailed talks and thorough practice of natural birthing skills such as breathing, relaxing, visualisation, focus and upright positions. Even the fear of the pains needs to be discussed. These little talks can help you to better control yourself.

Labor is a wild but fruitful event. Even though I have undergone great pains, I still enjoyed the birthing process. The images of the arrival of the baby and the tight hugs of the family will stay in your head for months. Every time you look at the pink cute face of your baby, you will recall the moment the baby came to the world. And every time, you will be so moved to tears.

— Juan
Mother
Beijing, China




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