Positions For Birth, Part 2

"The Loo"

Perched on a toilet may not have been where you imagined yourself spending your labor, but you wouldn’t be the first. Many women rave about the comfort and effectiveness of cozying up to the toilet during their birth. Let us shed some light:


This is a technique that we might suggest to encourage contractions to become longer, stronger, and closer together, and to encourage baby down. Depending on what is happening in your labor, it can be helpful to spend about 20-30 minutes in this position, or longer if it’s comfortable and you have no desire to move! This position is optimal for opening your pelvis up, and the open space of the toilet underneath you allows room for you to rock or sway, and gravity to work for you through your contractions.


So what we are suggesting doesn’t exactly fit the criteria for getting comfy in labor, so we’ll tweak your toilet to make it a cozy nest. Gather some pillows, rolled up toils or blankets, and prop them on the back of the toilet for a place to rest your arms and head. To make the seat more comfortable, lay some towels on top of the seat, leaving the space underneath your bottom, open. This “laboring on the loo” tutorial has some great pictures to give you an idea of what it can look like for both home and hospital settings.

The Process

It’s time to get on the toilet. If you’re at home, and your toilet has a back, you’re going to straddle the toilet backwards and rest your arms on the back of the toilet. Keep your hips wide and open, and depending on the height of the toilet and your comfort, propping something up under your feet – rolled up towels or yoga mats, this will more effectively open up your pelvis.

If you’re laboring in a hospital or at home with a back-less toilet, turn front facing on the toilet and have your partner in front of you on the birth ball as close to you as possible, with your legs straddled on either side of him. Prop up pillows on his back and make yourself comfortable as you lean into him in this position. For a great visual to illuminate what this set up can look like, check out this detailed blog on “laboring on the loo”.

If your labor is progressing quickly and contractions are long and strong, you may find this position uncomfortable and unnecessary. Listen to your body! It’s telling you what to do. This can be very effective for a labor that isn’t progressing. Get comfortable, dim the lights and light some candles, and spend some time in this slightly strange but super effective laboring position.