It may not be the most scenic of positions, but labouring on the toilet is extremely popular and effective for some women.
A doula from North Dallas Doula Associates posted a photo on Instagram of a woman labouring on the toilet, raving about the position. The picture shows the mum-to-be with one foot up on a birth stool, but apart from that, she is literally sitting on the toilet.
“All of my clients know that I love using the toilet for labor. It’s the best way to release a pelvic floor and help a baby descend into the pelvis,” she wrote. “The contractions are super intense on the potty, but that’s because they are super productive!”
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All of my clients know that I love using the toilet for labor. It's the best way to release a pelvic floor and help a baby descend into the pelvis. The contractions are super intense on the potty, but that's because they are super productive! Trust me when I tell you, this is one of the all time best labor positions!!!! #birth #childbirth #prepared #unmedicated #bestdoulasindallas #dallasdoula #ndda #northdallasdoulas #bestdoulasindallas #strong #strongaf #naturalbirth @kayabirth
Why is it so good?
Belinda Joyce, midwife, maternal and child health nurse, author and mother of four, knows a thing or two about labour and also speaks highly of sitting on the toilet during the process. “This position is excellent in active labour for both comfort and progress,” she says.
“In my experience, women rarely want to move away from this position. It increases the internal diameters of the pelvis allowing the baby to descend deeper and move into a better position.”
However, Belinda advises against staying on the toilet for a long period of time. “It is best not to stay in the position for too long on the hard toilet seat as it can cause some swelling,” she says.
What if the baby comes?
Many women might be worried about the unlikely chance of the baby falling into the toilet, and Belinda says you do have to take care as the situation progresses.
“It can become a problem as 2nd stage (pushing) begins, as the birth can occur on the toilet and it is difficult for the midwife or doctor to assist with the birth if required or to catch the baby,” says Belinda.
“In many hospitals and birth centres, there are birthing stools available which allow this same position on a padded seat similar to a toilet seat and also allows access if required during the birth and to catch the baby!”
What do the mums think?
The post attracted a number of positive responses.
“It was literally the only place I could comfortable enough to labor,” said one. “Oh yeah! Been there and it’s the best,” commented another.
“I went from 6cm to pushing after a trip to the toilet in labor,” another mum chimed in.
One mum was worried about the obvious and wrote, “What if one while pushing make number 2”. To which a different doula, who also recommends the position, responded, “You will make a number 3 and that’s a baby.”
For another mum, this was not an issue when it came to the toilet, and she instead saw it as an advantage.
“This was my favorite position when I was in labor actually!” she wrote. “It was soothing for me, personally. I also preferred to poop because it helped with the pressure!”
As the doula from North Dallas Doula Associates posted on Instagram, “Trust me when I tell you, this is one of the all time best labor positions!!!!”