The stunning appearance of the BirthRite Backrest sets a completely different tone to the birthing suite from that dictated by the conventional obstetric bed. A definitive statement is made about the importance attached to birthing upright and to the woman’s independence and empowerment during her labour. The ambience created is clearly one of Childbirth With Dignity.
Once the labouring woman enters the BirthRite Floor Studio, is seated on the Birthing Seat and leans into the Backrest with her arms up on the armrests, labour immediately takes on a pace that is cognizant of her needs for comfort and independence. With firm and reassuring support, she can relax completely! And, for the first time, her little birthing team can deliver optimal face-to-face support, encouragement and labour care for long periods of time, as their comfort needs, too, have been accommodated.
Gone are the times when labouring women tried to get comfortable on well-meaning backyard-made wooden or padded “birth stools”, leaning into unwieldy and slippery hospital pillows stacked precariously against a wall or the side of the obstetric bed. Gone, too, are the times where the woman’s partner or support person had to sit behind her, crouched on a bed or chair for hours on end, holding pillows or hot water bottles into the woman’s back, and not moving for fear of exacerbating her pain.
The organic shape of the Backrest is inviting and enveloping, simulating as it does the presence of a supporting partner. Soft polyurethane head and elbow inserts encourage a relaxed yet alert position. For very short women, a small foam pillow is supplied in a hygienic heat-sealed vinyl cover: it can be wrapped around the neck of the Backrest and fastened at the rear with velcro straps, providing the necessary support in the right place.
The Backrest’s shaped lumbar support presses gently into the small of the woman’s back, right where labour discomfort is often felt. Hot packs can be placed there, too, adding to the relief. The armrests are designed to contribute to the woman’s complete relaxation by holding her arms up and away from her body at a comfortable angle. She is less likely to tense her body, or to push herself up off the Birthing Seat, in second stage. In fact, with arms, shoulders and torso relaxed, her bottom settles in an ideal position, well down into the opening of the Seat.
Interlocking between Backrest and Birthing Seat is achieved quickly and simply. The Birthing Seat is recessed on the underside, with provision for it to interlock with the tongue on the Backrest. Three different positions allow women of different heights to make individual adjustment for comfort.
The three differing stations of interlocking are also helpful when applying ventouse or forceps, as they can place the woman into a more reclined position for good access. If suturing is required post-birth, this can be accomplished easily from the third locking position.To adjust the woman’s incline, all that is required is lifting the Birthing Seat and placing it onto a different notch of the locking tongue. The Backrest will not topple over when the woman leans back on it, as her weight on the Birthing Seat holds the Backrest safely in place.
The Backrest has no moving parts, and its high-gloss fibreglass finish makes for easy spray-and-wipe cleaning.