Do you know why the toilet is called ‘the dilation station’?
There are heaps of benefits to hanging out in the smallest room of the house (or hospital) for labour.
Making room for baby
During labour our bodies will naturally try to make room for baby. This may have you running (ok..more of a shuffle) towards the toilet as you may experience episodes of diarrhoea or needing to empty your bowels. It also a good idea to ask to be reminded to wee during labour as a full bladder can leave a little less room for baby to descend. So ultimately… more room in your bowels leaves more room for baby. If your waters have broken and you’re leaking constantly then sitting on the loo makes practical sense too.
When you sit on the toilet your body is conditioned to relax… otherwise we’d never wee right?! So your pelvic muscles relax in this position allowing your body to work efficiently in moving baby downwards. This position is also really perfect to open up your pelvic bones, and upright position that uses gravity… unlike sitting on a firm surface the toilet seat supports your hip bones to move gently making space for baby. In my personal experience, I found labouring on the toilet amazing for baby positioning.
After being told my baby was posterior, I retreated to the safety of the toilet. I sat on the toilet in the darkness and shifted my weight from hip bone to hip bone. During contractions I used the hand rail next to the toilet to support me while placing weight on my sit bones. At one point, I moves backwards to the back of the seta and leaned on my sacrum bones, that felt amazing! All my work paid off too, my baby was 5kg and out without 2 hrs of my toilet “exercises”
It’s the best seat in the house
The toilet is a fabulous comfort measure in labour too. If you straddle the loo backwards, place a pillow or towel on the cistern you can rest and snooze between contractions in an amazing pelvic opening position AND also let your birth partner have access to your hips and lower back for hip squeezes and massage.
The toilet is somewhere where we expect privacy. Hospital birth suite toilets are often big enough to fit a crowd of people but you can use this space to your advantage. Some women set up a birthing nest in the toilet room, placing a mat, birth ball and candles inside. Making the toilet your place to labour has several benefits, the best one being people generally don’t hang our in toilets watching people sit on them. For the most part you’ll be left be in the quiet and dimmed light to move gently through the stages of labour. Its also a space that you can commandeer for you and your birth support to speak privately or spend some time connecting and boost the love hormones. There is a “cosier” feeling to a smaller space so don’t be surprised if you feel safer in there too.