Women’s Stories on the BirthRite Birthing Seat

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

Thank you very much for allowing us to borrow your Birthing Seat. We found it extremely helpful at our homebirth, particularly as it was just Greg and I present when our baby was born. Greg did not have to support me as the Birthing Seat gave me complete support, so he was able to catch the baby.

Second stage was very rapid but because I breathed the baby out, and my muscles were more relaxed when sitting on the Seat, I did not tear. My abdominal muscles also seemed to work more efficiently — in short, the seat is a great design and something I recommend to my friends.

— Bronwyn and Greg Dyer
Newcastle, NSW, Australia

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Incredible. This is just one way to describe the life-changing event that was the birth of my first child, Samuel. Months of preparation, a qualified team of midwives, and an amazing tool previously unbeknownst to me — a Birthing Seat, designed by a midwife in Australia — made this experience unforgettable.

My midwife introduced me to the BirthRite Seat several months before I was due to give birth. I happen to work in the same clinic in which my midwife practises, and was there the day that it arrived from Down Under. I remember the wonder and excitement as different women throughout the clinic tried it out for size! I imagined myself giving birth as I sat on the Seat, yet found the thought surreal and difficult to envision.

As my due date approached, the possibility of giving birth on the Seat became slim, as I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension and instructed to remain on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. Through several false alarms and hospital visits, I was motivated to remain strong in order to have the chance to give birth on the Seat. On March 10, 2004, that chance became a reality.

After twelve hours of labor at home, my husband and I finally made our way to the hospital to prepare for the arrival of our son. I had no time to be apprehensive, as my mind was intent on the miracle that was unfolding before me. My husband and I had been focused and determined at home; we were not about to let that slip away as he wheeled me into the delivery room.

As the nurses went about their routine of gathering health information and preparing themselves for the birth, I awaited the moment that my midwife stepped into the room. Upon her arrival, I heard nothing else but the sound of her voice. Her confidence reassured me as she guided me through the most difficult part of labor. Throughout my pregnancy, I had gained complete trust in her wisdom and experience. It was at that moment that I leaned on that wisdom and found the strength to go on.

After what seemed like ages, my excitement grew as my midwife announced it was time to sit on the Seat. Graciously I complied, and, with my husband supporting me from behind and the Lord from above, I was able to give in to the birthing process. For the first time in many hours, I felt comfortable as my hips fit perfectly into the grooves of the Seat. My midwife positioned herself on a little stool in front of me, and we locked eyes as I pushed. Exactly sixteen minutes later, I had my beautiful son in my arms.

I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to give birth on the Birthing Seat. The majority of my labor pains were felt in my lower back, and to have had to push lying on my back would have been horrendous. I believe that the pushing stage of my labor was very brief due to my position on the Seat, and I felt extremely comforted with my husband situated behind me. On top of it all, I received comment after comment about the beautiful shape of my baby’s head!

The birth of my son was exactly how I dreamt it to be. I am sure that I would have had a much different outcome if it were not for the BirthRite Seat.

— Megan Livingston
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

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I am so glad I had the BirthRite for my labour. I wanted an active labour and was very much against being on the bed. I wanted to remain as upright as possible. I had an 18-hour labour — 16 of those I spent upright — and would never have been able to do it without the BirthRite. My labour did not progress past 7 cm, and, due to my backward facing uterus, vaginal examinations did not reveal which way the baby was facing as no one could get in far enough. But it later turned out he was posterior.

I went to 7 cm fairly quickly and was very focused on the contractions. I alternated my time from walking around the birthing suite and being supported on the BirthRite with my husband sitting behind me. Once it was established that I wasn’t progressing past 7 cm, the oxytocin drip was turned up, which made the contractions for the next 3 hours extremely powerful. My midwife was very impressed how I coped with them, but I couldn’t have done it on the bed. I spent the entire 3 hours on the BirthRite, focusing on the contractions and visualizing my baby coming. My midwife was certain that I must have been close to fully dilated due to the strength of the contractions. But another internal showed I still hadn’t progressed. As my membranes had been ruptured for over 36 hours by now, it was decided I should get up on the bed and have an epidural.

I think if I hadn’t been allowed to labour the way I wanted for 16 hours before I would have been devastated at the prospect, but I managed to labour exactly the way I had wanted to, so I was OK. Two hours of epidural did nothing either, however, and it seemed that my baby was quite stuck. So I had to have a Caesar, which involved a lot of tugging to get my 4430 gr posterior baby out.

I was thrilled to have him in my arms and also thrilled at the way I laboured upright and with dignity. My husband was amazed at how I handled the pain; he said his bum was killing him by the end as he sat for so many hours behind me. But even he could see how beneficial it was for me to use the BirthRite when I was labouring. I felt empowered by what I went through in labour. It’s something I can’t explain but I guess as a midwife you know what I’m talking about. I welcomed each contraction as my body tried to bring me and my baby closer together: it was an awesome and very moving experience.

I hope that, one day, the hospital will purchase a BirthRite Seat. Doctors and midwives were very impressed.

— Liza Page

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Thank you so much for allowing me to hire the BirthRite Seat for the birth of my first child. I especially appreciated having the Seat days prior to my labour so I could become familiar with using it and to find the most comfortable position.

Interestingly, I found the BirthRite to be invaluable in managing my chronic lower back and sciatic pain. I suffered from constant back pain from three months onwards in my pregnancy and it was especially bad during the last month. The BirthRite Seat was simply Magic: all I had to do was sit on it and the back pain would disappear!

I used the BirthRite Seat throughout the first stage of my labour, which lasted some 40 hours. Standing, pacing, kneeling, rocking and sitting on an exercise ball were all useless. The only comfortable position I could find was sitting on the BirthRite. I know I would not have coped anywhere near as well as I did without it.

I’d also like to mention that, although I am only 157 cm tall, I found the Seat very comfortable to use and sit on for extended periods of time.

— Christa Goretzki
Doncaster, VIC, Australia

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At the hospital, the first thing I did was sit on the BirthRite Seat. I felt immediately comfortable and was relieved not to have to continually move or search for a comfortable position. I was able to remain calm, relaxed, surprisingly still and breathe my baby out gently.

— Robyn Barraclough
ACT, Australia

Last altered: 2014-04-27 [ISO 8601] Copyright © 2006–2014 BirthRite. All rights reserved.