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Birthing Aids

The birthing chair (or seat) has leg supports, handgrips, and an adjustable back that can be set at various heights depending on the laboring mother's wishes. The opening in the seat corresponds to female anatomy. The pelvic and lumbar regions have ideal support. The back is also optimally supported in a semi-reclining position that is appropriate for both the dilatation and expulsive stages.

The horseshoe-shaped birth cushion is placed on the floor or on a bed for a woman who wishes to squat. It has two handy grips, so the laboring mother can support herself with her arms during the expulsive phase.

The birthing ball, 65 centimeters in diameter, is used in childbirth classes and during labor.
The expectant mother sits astride the ball, and the ball's swinging motion alleviates pain. You can also use the ball for support when crouching. It enables you to make very small movements with your pelvis; during the dilatation phase this makes the contractions more bearable and improves the mobility of the uterus.

The bean bag is a soft, large pillow made of washable fabric covering an inner bag filled with polystyrene balls. It conforms to the body's natural shape and the mother's different positions during the dilatation and expulsion stages.

The birthing stool, a sort of upholstered seat, helps women to have the most natural possible birth. In the crouching position, gravity and the baby's weight press on the cervix and help it to dilate. The stool is widely used in northern Europe. It can be placed in a bathtub for a water birth or in a shower for an invigorating, beneficial water massage. It consists of two parts: the seat, which opens to the front, encourages pelvic movement and provides comfortable, secure support; and a graduated bowl catches any blood. If the partner so desires, he can sit behind the laboring mother and hug her during the contractions.

The Roma birth wheel was invented by an architect from Basel, and has been used successfully for about ten years in many hospitals all over the world. It has three parts: a frame consisting of two metal spirals, a seat with head and lumbar supports, and two motors. The seat is constructed so as to comfortably support the back from the tailbone to the upper thighs, without restricting the natural mobility of the pelvis during the various stages of labor. The wheel's construction lets the laboring mother assume any position she wishes, and helps the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles work together. One of the two motors rotates the spiral to match the mother's movements; the second raises the entire structure to facilitate obstetrical interventions. If a procedure (forceps, vacuum extractor, episiotomy) becomes necessary, the seat can be stably secured in its mounting.
Page created on: 03/09/2012
Last modified on: 03/09/2012
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