UK-based Bulgarian designer Stiliyana Minkovska has invented a series of ergonomic chairs to support women in childbirth.
Named Ultima Thule, or “beyond the borders of the known world”’ in Latin, the project consists of three parts, each matching the different stages of childbirth.
The first, Labour Silla, is an accommodating ergonomic chair which gives expectant mothers the space to sit, kneel, squat, rest, lean, and crawl until they find a position that’s right for them.
The second, the Parturition Stool, combines two embracing chairs to connect the mother in labour with her partner or the midwife assisting the birth.
The final element of the birth suite is the Solace Chaise: a chaise longue used for postpartum use or recovery, designed to create “a secure cocoon for the parent and the baby to bond, immediately after birth, in comfort and privacy”.
Minkovska says she came up with the idea for Ultima Thule when she gave birth to her daughter four years ago. “I felt like a medical object. There was something standing between the way my instincts were going and what I was told to do,” Minkovska told The Calvert Journal. “It felt alien and otherworldly.”
Having displayed her prototypes at the Design Museum in London just before the lockdown, Minkovska hopes that after more testing Ultima Thule could appear in hospitals too.
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