Being sorta curious and having assisted at something more than 100 births -
where I cleaned up a lot of stool - I DAGS and found this:
along with 644 other hits.
Have the lady stand up whilst giving birth, the present habit of lying down
is the result of fashion, started by a king about 150 years ago, who wanted
so see his mistress giving birth, so all the other idiots followed his
Women have been giving birth standing up, sucesfully, for hundreds of
thousands of years.
For those that may not know- the idea behind a birthing stool is to
ease the tired muscles from giving birth in the squatting position.
And just to be perfectly clear, it's the woman who sits on the stool
when she gets tired, not dad. ;-)
Those that I have seen (and believe me, I saw one in particular up
close and personal, and with a whole lot of
never-look-at-a-woman-the-same-way-again details) were like a toilet
seat on legs. About the same height, and with plenty of room for an
adult to get their arms positioned underneath.
A midwife might be a good resource for the good and the bad of how such
a stool ought to be designed, since I believe the stools tend to be
used more often in natural child birth.
Not personally, but it's a common project at some of the green
woodworking workshops hereabouts (I suspect there are more stools than
There are two designs - a vaguely kidney-shaped stool and the "toilet
seat" / horseshoe shaped sort. The rest of it is your basic green wood /
Windsor stool. Obviously the horseshoe design gives more support under
the thighs - AIUI the kidney sort is OK for use with an assistant
(supporting the mother from behind) but if they're sitting on it alone
and they try to push, they fall straight over backwards!
Compared to a typical stool, the legs are very short and more splayed
than usual. You should use green techniques for attaching the legs
(round tenons wedged into through holes in the seat) - these legs are
more likely to work loose if over-stressed sideways, rather than
breaking off. The horseshoe design is very short grained. I'd use elm
for a seat - maybe you could use maple on your side of the Pond. As with
all these stools, an Arbortech cutter is an easier way to shape seats
than a drawknife or adze (but make card templates to check profile).
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