I'm excited about a new tool that I've added to my practice that allows laboring moms to remain upright and active throughout the birthing process. Sitting, kneeling, lunging, rocking, all fours and squatting is easier to achieve with the benefit of comfortable support. This increases the available space within the pelvis and will stimulate more effective contractions. These various positions will give her and her baby an increased opportunity to achieve a safer, easier, and more comfortable birth.
- Available space in the pelvis can be increased 28-30%
- Contractions can be more effective
- 23% less likely to need medical assistance
- Baby is 54% less likely to become distressed
- Shorter labor and 29% reduction in emergency cesarean
- 21% reduced episiotomy rates
- Reduced need for epidural
According to the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, a respected international organization that defines best practices based on research, giving a laboring woman the freedom to move and choose her own position is most likely beneficial (Enkin et al., 2000). Activity provides distraction from discomfort, a sense of greater personal freedom, and a chance to release the muscle tension that can increase pain. In fact, women who use movement in labor report that it is an effective method of relieving pain (Storton, 2007). Restricting women's movement may result in worse birth outcomes and may decrease women's satisfaction with their birth experiences (Storton, 2007).
The birthing ball has been a favorite tool for pregnant and laboring moms for the past several years and the birthing stool is hundreds of years old. The CUB is a hybrid of the two and is a simple, easy to use tool that can help to decrease common obstetric complications, reducing emergency intervention and caesarean section rates.
This came with a hand pump and takes about 4 minutes to inflate both chambers. It's been easy to carry in a backpack along with the pump and antibacterial wipes. It can also be used with a single chamber inflated which sits mom in a lower position to the floor. The single chamber can also be used with mom on the bed. Another favorite is with her support team in front and behind, CUB on the bed, mom standing and stretched over the CUB, one or both chambers inflated. A great combination of a resting/upright position.
This product is new to the US but is used in 2/3 of UK hospitals. The CUB can be used in hospitals, home births or in birth centers. Lightweight and portable the CUB can be moved to wherever it is needed quickly and easily, helping to maintain an upright position for birth wherever you are.
I'm offering this as an option to all of my clients who are interested. For other doulas, midwives or even moms who want more information, I would love to talk to you!