For thousands of years, expectant mothers, during the "pushing" stage of labor, have been pulling on such things as ropes, towels, sheets, dog toys and another person's hands in order to force themselves to use the correct muscles to push the baby down the birth canal. All of those tools and methods have serious drawbacks. Sore hands, cramped fingers, rope sores, tired arms, and stressed wrists and elbows are the main problems that occur. Lack of flexibility (ropes and sheets) and too much flexibility (exercise bands) are also major problems with those methods.
A search for the "perfect" tool found nothing available. So, we formed a professional medical design team and laid out the following specs for what we thought would be the "perfect" answer to the problem. This is what we wanted:
- Ergonomically designed grips that are stable, moisture absorbent, and soft enough to hold comfortably for an extended period of time.
- A tool with the exact length and precise flexibility that is naturally easy to use, and that is also strong enough to cause the mother to exert the necessary force to push the baby down the birth canal.
- Two types of grips that can be interchanged between mother and partner in order to reduce fatigue.
- Grips that can be used at different angles so that the mother can easily change positions.
- A grip at one end that can easily and quickly be attached to a stationery device, such as a birthing (squat) bar, and grip it tightly.
- A birth support tool that is as small and light weight as possible.
After designing and building fifteen different prototypes, the design team decided that we finally had developed the best possible birth support tool to help mothers push effectively during that exciting, but very difficult stage of labor. We called it a BirthBuddy and applied for US, Canadian and EU patents. A final updated US utility patent was issued in January 2015 and the Canadian patent in June 2016. The word BIRTHBUDDY® as a registered trademark was issued in 2014. EU patents have been approved for issuance.