" I founded Kaya Birth because I wanted to contribute, through design, to a conversation about greater access to choice during childbirth "

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Kaya Birth was founded in 2008 by industrial designer and sculptor, Kara Springer.  The project came out of extensive cross-cultural and historical research, and in response to the shifting landscape of childbirth in North America and around the world.


Women today are choosing to re-evaluate their relationships to their bodies and their health.  As new questions are raised, healthcare systems around the world are recognizing the need to respond with new and innovative solutions.

We began by studying the traditional practices of cultures around the world, and noticed a common range of positions that looked very different from what we see in hospital delivery rooms today

Hundreds of years ago in Hawaii, the children of royal families would be birthed at sacred sites where large stones were used to aid the mother's positioning during birth.  The scene above shows a lap birth where the partner's lap imitates a birthing chair and allows for delivery in a supported upright position.

Whatever the setting, women would be upright, whether squatting, standing leaning, or on their hands and knees.  These practices - the intimacy of a woman on her partner's lap, the strength of working with gravity to push through a contraction - greatly informed and inspired the development of the Kaya Stool.

And then we talked to you

Research Driven Development

Over years of research, speaking to hundreds of obstetricians, midwives, and new mothers, we found that having a sense of agency - feeling informed and able to participate in decision making - was a major factor in how positively women reported feeling about their births.

Birth is unexpected.  Even with a birth plan in place, things rarely go exactly as planned.  Even when things went off course, women who felt a sense of agency spoke in dramatically more positive tones about their experience of birth. 



At Kaya Birth we don't believe that there's one right way to give birth.  Not every woman should deliver at home.   Nor should every woman deliver in a hospital.  We believe the best place for a woman to give birth is in the place where she feels most comfortable and most safe.

The simple organic form of the Kaya Stool was designed with this in mind, allowing a woman to guide her own experience of birth in the location that she chooses, moving through the range of positioning she finds most comfortable and most effective.

We discovered that the latest research supports these upright positions as best health practice for women


The World Health Organization recommends freedom in position and movement throughout labour and the encouragement of non-supine (upright) positioning.



We recognized that a major obstacle to widespread use of these best health practices is the simple fact that hospital labour & delivery rooms are not designed for them.  The Kaya Birth Stool fills this gap allowing for a hybridized model of care in any birth setting


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Learn more about using the Kaya Stool