What it is:
A birth stool is a low stool for the woman to sit on during pushing. While styles vary, all stools have a basic "horse-shoe" or "C" shape. This shape provides support for the woman while she sits, but allows an opening for the baby to be born.
How it works:
Sitting on a birth stool puts the mother in a position that is almost squatting, but provides support for her body. For some women, sitting on the stool makes pushing easier because of the familiarity of pushing while sitting on a toilet - a similar seat with an opening.
How to use it:
During the pushing stage, the mother sits on the birth stool with the opening facing forward. This allows the midwife to assist the mother in catching the baby.
Integrating it into labor:
Use the stool for a squatting position during pushing.
Have the mother place one foot on the stool to achieve a lunge position during labor.
Place a pillow on the stool. Allow the mother to use it as a support for her upper body while laboring in a hands and knees position.