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27th Jul 2021

A mum labouring on the toilet went viral – and it made other mums rave about the position

Trine Jensen-Burke

labour positions

In which position did you labour?

When I was in labour with my babies, both my midwives at the hospital in Oslo where  I gave birth were big believers in the importance of labouring moms to keep active. They encouraged me, gently and kindly, to move about the room. With their help – and my husband’s – I walked up and down the corridor outside the labour ward, used a birthing ball, and tried different positions in order to help my body do what it trying to do.

Women’s bodies are beautifully designed, our bodies have this knowledge buried deep within of just how to deliver a baby – sometimes we just have to trust it and let nature do its thing.

However, despite what we know about the benefits of active labour, so many mums are still labouring – and giving birth – on their backs.

Which is no doubt why this photo of a mum labouring on the toilet went viral recently – and literally had the internet at large raving about the position.

Effective and powerful

A doula from North Dallas Doula Associates recently shared a photo on Instagram of a woman labouring on the toilet, raving about the position. In the picture, we see a mum-to-be with one foot up on a birth stool, but apart from that, she is literally sitting on the toilet.

Captioning the image, she wrote:

“All of my clients know that I love using the toilet for labour. 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!”

“It’s the BEST position”

The post quickly gathered a lot of interaction, and comments, with many mums keen to share their own experience of labour.

“It was literally the only place I could get comfortable enough to labour,” 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 labour,” another mum chimed in.

One mum was worried about the obvious and wrote, “What if one while pushing makes a number 2”. To which a different doula, who also recommends the position, responded, “You will make a number 3 and that’s a baby.”

Speaking to Babyology, midwife, maternal and child health nurse, author and mother of four, Belinda Joyce, explains why the position is actually very good, and should be used more by labouring mums:

“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.

Many hospitals, Joyce explains, have birthing stools available which allow this same position on a padded seat similar to a toilet seat, which allows for better access by midwife and doctors is they are needed to assist with the birth.

Did YOU have an active labour, mums? Did you find it made things easier? Let us know in the comments.