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Akron City Hospital Tries Out New Chair for Childbirth

Jennifer Doyle, Summa’s perinatal outreach educator, is talking about birthing chair – the latest model from Finland. A woman in labor could sit or stand in an upright position, as in ancient times.

"Once it’s locked in place it can go up or down and it can raise all the way up to probably five-and-a-half feet high," Doyle says.

Doyle wants to test it comparing 30 mothers who use it against 30 mothers who give birth in a standard hospital bed.

“Do we shorten how long moms have to push, do we lessen birth trauma, and do we make it a better experience for our moms and out babies?" she says.

The device is called RelaxBirth, made by a company looking to do business in Akron’s bio-medical corridor. So far the device has only been used once at Akron City, but the mom only had to push for one minute. Healthcare providers don’t expect it to go quite that easy for most births.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.