Birth Stool

University of Twente


Assisting a home confinement where the mother uses a birth stool, commonly causes neck and back injuries to midwives. In the new design the mother is placed higher to increase visibility and accessibility, while the birth stool is still easy to transport through its modular design.

Project group members
Hieu Nguyen, Joska Sesink, Mike Stok and Mireille Weghorst.

The original birth stool is a solid, heavy product that comes with a bowl for blood and other fluids. It positions the pregnant woman in a supported squatting position that opens the pelvis. Midwives need to monitor the dilation and assist in the confinement that can sometimes take several hours. The uncomfortable position of the midwives imposes high stress on the neck and back which causes injuries on the long-term.

The birth stool is supported by the bed to ensure stability. Moreover the partner could take place on the bed behind his wife to support her during labor.

A functional prototype was built to test the concept and evaluate the design with midwives in practice. The response was promising and the design seems to relieve the muscle stress because midwives found out they could take on a more comfortable position while doing the same tasks.