My first labour and birth wasn’t great. Ok so it wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t a good experience either. I was unprepared and ended up with SO many interventions.
An induction, pitocin drip, epidural, on my back labouring for 9 hours, coached pushing, an episiotomy, ventouse suction and a bad hemorrhage.
One intervention led to another. It wasn’t quite as traumatic as some birth stories I’ve since heard, but I felt cheated afterwards. One thing was for sure, I knew that I wanted my next birth to be different. That’s why I decided to put a lot of time during this pregnancy into researching methods and products that might help me achieve the birth that I wanted. In doing so, I found the CUB support.
The CUB stands for ‘Comfortable Upright Birth’ and it is basically a labour support tool that is a cross between a traditional yoga ball and a birthing stool. It inflates and deflates very quickly and so is fully portable to bring with you to the hospital. On first look it really appealed to me because of the many positions you can use it in. And the one thing that I definitely want to change about my experience this time around, was to be upright for much more of my labour. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try and push a baby out when lying on your back. There is no way that women through the ages gave birth this way! We have made birth into such a ‘medical event’ and it is more convenient for doctors if we lie on our backs and don’t move. But it is so counterproductive. You could compare it to trying to have a bowel movement while lying on your back. That would be very difficult!
Even if you have an epidural and are not able to labour standing/squatting/sitting, you can still use the CUB to support your legs and open up the pelvis to make delivery easier.
There are so many positions to use it in including: sitting upright, supported kneeling, on all fours, partner/midwife support, leaning on a bed and side lying (with single chamber inflation.) The good thing about the CUB compared to either a yoga ball is that it will not move or roll over so is easier to sit on or lean over for long periods of time. The yoga ball is still fantastic for bouncing on- but for alternative positions, the CUB can make things easier to manage. It’s also easier to manage than a birthing stool because it is a lot more comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Birthing stools are using made from hard wood and metal and can be very uncomfortable to sit on. There also may be none available at the time of your delivery so it is great to have the option of having your own with you at all times!
The research behind upright and active birth is astounding. Here are some facts about remaining upright during labour and delivery.
-Being upright during labour and birth can give your baby an extra 30% more room for the baby to born.
-The chances of your baby becoming distressed during labour when upright is decreased by 54%.
-The 1st stage of labour (as you dilate from 3 to 10 cms) can be significantly reduced if you stay upright, active and mobile.
-Being upright during birth has shown to result in up to 23% reduction in medically assisted deliveries.
-There is a 21% reduction in the need for an episiotomy for women who give birth in an upright position.
-There is a much reduced need for an epidural with mothers who remain upright during labour.
-There is a 29% reduction in the rate of emergency C-sections for those who remain upright and mobile during labour.
All of that sounds very positive to me! The thing is, even with the best of intentions, you could still end up with lots of interventions and complications. But why not stack the odds of a more natural birth in your favour? If that’s what you want of course.
So for me, I’m going to be using the CUB, along with all my other coping methods for pain and focus on the big day. I will most likely be induced as I am a Type 1 Diabetic, but honestly, I’m really looking forward to the birth experience this time. It’s all about mindset.
I’ll be sure to let you know how I got on with the CUB during my labour and delivery.