28 Mar Birthing Aids
When you write your birth plan, you may like to add in the types of equipment or supports you’d like to use. What kind of support or aids in would you think about using in labour?
- Birthing ball – these are available in most birth centres and hospitals. They are very comfortable to sit on and help relieve pressure from your pelvis. They also encourage you to open your pelvis and are helpful to sway on. Your birth partner can help steady you by supporting you from behind.
- Combi Tracks/Rails – Some centres and hospitals have these rails and you can use them in various ways to help to stay upright if you wish in labour.
- Bean Bags and Mats – These can help you feel more comfortable, and you may wish to use them to ‘nest’ into. Beanbags can be a great support to your upper body whilst mats can help your knees feel more comfortable. Ask your midwife or health care provider if they have these for you to use.
- Birthing Pools – Pools are very comforting to some women in labour. Again it can help with the feelings of security and nesting, as you are contained in your own personal space. We will look at the benefits of water in labour in a different section. The buoyancy you get from being in the water takes pressure off the pelvis allowing an easier movement of the bones.
- Beds – there are various type of beds that are specially designed to help in labour, some are foam and lower to the floor, whilst others are more mechanical. Some beds can be raised up high so you could lean against them. It’s worth trying to find out what is in your area.
- Stools – Birthing stools are generally quite low to the floor. They have a section in the middle cut out and are slightly tilted forwards to take the pressure of your sacrum. The first use of birthing stools was recorded by the ancient Egyptians, they appeared to understand that gravity was helpful in birth!
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