Advantages of the BirthRite Birthing Seat

The principal advantage of the BirthRite Birthing Seat is that it gets the labouring woman off the obstetric bed!

Once this is achieved, the benefits of holistic midwifery and childbirth with dignity naturally follow — for the labouring woman, her partner, the birth attendants and the hospital or birthing centre.

Eye contact (woman)Eye contact (midwife)

Whilst sitting comfortably and well supported on the Birthing Seat, the labouring woman can easily maintain eye contact and optimal interactive engagement with her partner and attendants. Not only is this reassuring for her, but it also helps her maintain her focus. As well, the sitting position provides her with the feeling of being in control of the birthing process, enhancing the reality of her birthing experience.

Woman relaxing in labour

The woman will appreciate using the Seat during labour to relax and to rest her legs from walking. She will find it easier to breathe more deeply: apart from improving placental oxygenation, this encourages her to be more focused and less fearful. Ultimately there is reduced need for analgesics and other forms of intervention.

Remaining upright assists with cervical opening, rotation and descent of the baby. Observations on the BirthRite Birthing Seat during the later stages of labour demonstrate that the woman’s seating position leads to an improved alignment of the baby with the birth passage, resulting in a more efficient birth. Mothers typically comment that they can instantly feel “where the baby needs to go”, once they are seated on the BirthRite Seat. Imagine the boost in confidence and encouragement!

Breathing baby out on Birthing Seat

In second stage of labour, it is recommended to wait patiently for the woman’s own involuntary bearing-down efforts instead of getting her to push. As the unique shape of the BirthRite Birthing Seat promotes speedy descent of the baby, its use during bearing down considerably reduces the intra-abdominal pressure needed, compared with supine or semi-reclining positions. In fact, with appropriate guidance from her midwife, she will in most instances be able to breathe her baby out slowly and gently. This technique is demonstrated in the teaching film, The BirthRite Experience, in a sequence remarkable for its simplicity.

The mother can observe her baby’s progress in BirthRite’s Tri-Positional Birth Mirror placed in front of her. She can ease the baby out herself by reaching down and/or pick the baby up after the birth and hold it in her arms while waiting to give birth to the placenta.

Clamps on cord

On the Seat, the placenta often swiftly slides down into the vagina, ready for a gentle push by the woman. Alternatively, the weight of two clamps attached to the cord is usually sufficient to encourage birth of the placenta. Both placenta and any fluid loss are easily kept and measured in a kidney dish placed directly underneath, allowing accurate monitoring of the woman’s wellbeing.

Partner catching baby on Birthing Seat

The Birthing Seat creates a more inviting environment for all participants. The woman’s partner is much more inclined to become actively involved than when confronted with the more intimidating conventional scenario on the obstetric bed. It is possible for the mother to have good views while her partner catches the baby— an exciting opportunity for the couple to work together and bond with their baby!

“Our midwife helped me to discover the courage to deliver my daughter with my own hands, whilst my wife sat well supported on the BirthRite Seat, an experience I will always cherish. My daughter still delights in the knowledge that my hands were the first to touch her when she gently slithered into the world.”

— Dean Chapman
Newcastle, Australia

The unfolding birth is well observed by the birth attendant due to the BirthRite Birthing Seat’s convenient height. The BirthRite Midwife Seat or a footstool, placed alongside or in front of the labouring woman, provides physical comfort for the attendant.

Midwife’s view of perineum on Birthing SeatDoppler monitoring on Birthing Seat

The seat angle of the BirthRite Birthing Seat affords excellent views of the perineal area and the emerging baby — much valued by obstetricians and midwives in observing perineal stretching and progress of the presenting part.

Manual or automatic monitoring of the baby’s heart rate is easy and accurate, due to the slightly reclined position of the woman’s upper body.

When encountering shoulder-difficulties, the McRoberts Manoeuvre can be performed very swiftly on the BirthRite Seat, and, if it is necessary to change into the all-fours position, the woman is easily brought forward onto her hands and knees.

Obstetric specialists have given positive appraisals of the BirthRite Birthing Seat in facilitating births of large and breech babies. In the case of breech births, use of the Seat can effectively reduce the time of cord compression, as the woman achieves excellent pushing. Fundal or suprapubic pressure is easily applied. Should manipulation be required, ample space is provided by the area underneath the woman.

With twin births, the upright position and increased uterine efficacy facilitated by the Birthing Seat help to encourage the second twin into the pelvis in a favourable position, whilst accurate external monitoring can be maintained throughout.

The BirthRite Birthing Seat represents a unique investment in client care. Being able to offer the woman choices is much appreciated by prospective parents. They are given access to a birthing method that has proven user appeal and benefits, and they feel they are in the hands of avant-garde carers.

Hospitals and birthing centres which encourage active and upright birthing can anticipate more rapid progress in labour, lower intervention rates, shorter stays, fewer complications and reduced involvement in litigation, all of which helps to keep budgets in check and make administrators’ lives easier.

Teaching hospitals need to give their midwifery students the broadest possible range of obstetric experiences. It is unconscionable that this does not include experience in upright birthing with purpose-designed facilities. Midwifery educators find that the special features of the BirthRite Birthing Seat, developed through years of thoughtful observation of women in labour, make it the ideal teaching resource for fruitful discussion and practice of upright birthing and for introducing their students to the exciting world of holistic midwifery. They also appreciate the addressing of controversial issues in the supporting teaching film, The BirthRite Experience.

Padded pouch for Birthing Seat

The Seat’s compact, portable design and versatility make it an invaluable asset for private midwifery practitioners, especially for those who attend home births.
Last altered: 2013-06-07 [ISO 8601] Copyright © 2006–2013 BirthRite. All rights reserved.