“Our mission is to provide innovative birth support tools which help the mother during normal childbirth have the easiest, fastest and safest birth possible. ”
The BirthBuddy is intended to be used as an assist during the second stage of a mother’s labor (the pushing stage), to substantially shorten the time for this stage by increasing the muscular force exerted during each contraction. Used as directed, this system causes the mother to use the precise abdominal muscles necessary when pushing the baby down the birth canal, thereby considerably reducing the time of this second stage of labor. Use of the BirthBuddy is especially effective for both first time mothers and for any mother who has an epidural (which often results in the mother having little or no feeling in the lower half of her body). The epidural can also cause a loss of sensation of contractions and movement (in addition to a decreased or non-existent urge to push). Use of the BirthBuddy provides both a physical enforcement and a visual guide for any mother to assist her in using the correct abdominal muscles.
Once it has been determined by a health care professional that the mother is completely dilated and ready for pushing, the use of the BirthBuddy can begin. The following instructions should be used for the most effective use of the BirthBuddy system.
The BirthBuddy, as pictured in figure 1(below), has both an open ended and a closed ended grip. The closed ended grip is flexible while the open ended grip is rigid. Both grips are ergonomically designed to be soft, and comfortable to hold on to for an extended period of time.
The BirthBuddy is designed to be used either by the mother and another person, or by the mother alone (with one end of the BirthBuddy attached to a stationary device such as a birthing bar).
USE WITH MOTHER AND ANOTHER PERSON
1. The mother assumes the pushing position (figure 2.1). The upper body is slight to moderately elevated with the legs bent and off to the sides. The mother’s feet are either placed in footholds or stirrups (figure 2.1), or they are held off to the side by other individuals (figure 2.2). There are many other pushing positions, although this is normally the most effective position for using the BirthBuddy.
2. The mother holds onto one end of the BirthBuddy, whichever is the most comfortable for her. The open ended grip is normally preferred because it is firm and provides more stability. The other person holds onto the other end of the BirthBuddy and stands (figure 3.1) or sits (figure 3.2) so that he/she is face to face with the mother. In case the mother inadvertently releases her grip on the BirthBuddy, the safest position for the other person is probably sitting on a chair with rollers.
3. During a contraction, with the body elevated and the legs off to the sides as far as possible, the mother takes a deep breath and holds it. She then places her chin to her chest and curls around her abdomen while both the mother and the other person pulls the BirthBuddy centrally away from each other and down slightly so that the BirthBuddy is over the pelvic region. The force of the pull should be strong enough so that the mother feels the stomach muscles tightening. The mother needs to be aware that she is focusing her energy in the abdominal and pelvic area and not somewhere else in her body. For instance, if her upper body or legs are tense, she is likely pushing with those muscles instead of her abdominal muscles.
4. The mother should try to hold each push as long as possible while holding her breath (counting to 10, or about 6 seconds, is a popular method). The mother should then let the breath out completely and quickly take another breath – hold that breath for another 6 second count and then continue this process until the baby has continued down the birth canal.
Typically, three to four pushes can occur during one contraction.
It is easier on the partner’s back if he/she is sitting opposite the mother, or if standing, has one leg (knee) resting on the bed.
The mother’s back should be rounded forward. This allows the pelvis to open up and for the baby to come down the birth canal faster. Arching backward causes the baby to go upward in the wrong direction. Also, the partner can help by saying to the mother, “push with your stomach.”
If it is noticed that the baby is lying off to one side of the mother’s abdomen, place a pillow under that side of her back so that the position of the baby is more centrally aligned with the birth canal.
If one position is not being effective, try other positions such as side-lying or sitting up straighter. Always make certain that the BirthBuddy is between the mother’s legs and over her pelvic region when pushing.
USE WITH THE MOTHER AND A STATIONARY DEVICE
1. The looped end of the BirthBuddy can be attached to a birthing bar on the bed, or other stationary device. If using a birthing bar, begin by pushing both sides of the looped ends of the BirthBuddy towards each other (figure 4.1). Place the loops through the end of the bar (figure 4.2) and bring the BirthBuddy to the center of the bar. Release the loops and the BirthBuddy will grab the bar and remain in a fixed position (figure 4.3). Figure 4.4 shows the mother’s position using the birthing bar.
2. It is important to test that any attachment device is absolutely secure before any pushing by the mother takes place. At this point, the attachment device takes the place of another person. Please continue with the instructions for use with “Another Person” above.
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The word BIRTHBUDDY is a registered trademark of Guardian BirthCare. The slogan, “Celebrating Birth,” and the BirthBuddy® logo are trademarks of Guardian BirthCare.
U. S. Patent No. 8,932,242. International Patents are pending on the BirthBuddy® birthing device.