ECO Physiotherapy Epi-noThe Epi-No is a German designed device to make natural childbirth easier. The goal of the Epi-No is to reduce tears and need for episiotomies.

Although there are no guarantees, there is research to suggest that using the Epi-No can reduce the amount of trauma experienced during childbirth. Perineal injuries have been shown to increase the risk for incontinence, decreased bladder control and painful intercourse following child birth.

The Epi-No consists of:

  1. A narrow silicone balloon
  2. A hand pump
  3. Pressure display
  4. An air release valve
  5. A flexible plastic tube
  6. Instructions
  7. A measuring template to see how much you were able to pump

The Epi-No balloon is soft and naturally shaped for easier insertion. It should ONLY be used with a water based lubrication to protect the silicone.

We carry the Epi-No Delphine Plus and it can be used for 3 purposes:

  1. Perineal Stretch: Inflating the balloon to gradually stretch the perineum and vaginal muscles in preparation for labour and birth. Can be started at 37 weeks.
  2. Birthing Phase: At the end of your stretch, you practice your pelvic floor muscle relaxation and allow the inflated balloon to gentle come out the vagina.
  3. Strengthening: the benefit of having the Delphine Plus model is the pressure display that allows for biofeedback so you can see how much pressure your muscles can generate. You can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles prior to giving birth as well as postpartum. Using the Epi-No postpartum can begin around 6 weeks. Always best to clear with your healthcare provider or pelvic health physiotherapist.

Always test the balloon before using to ensure no defects and to ensure you know how to pump and release the air. Always read the instructions in the box fully.

 

How to Use:

  1. Place water-based lubrication on the balloon or around the vaginal opening.
  2. Insert the balloon half way to the indent.
  3. Ensure the valve is closed and begin to pump air
  4. Pump air till you begin to feel a stretch around the tissues then stop there and hold that stretch.
  5. You may notice after a minute or two you no longer feel the stretch as strongly, you can add a bit more air till you feel that stretch again. Then hold.
  6. You can continue to pump air or hold where it is, depending on your comfort for 5-10 minutes daily.
  7. While balloon is inserted you can practice your relaxation techniques, which may include breathing, pelvic floor relaxation and/or visualization. If you wish to learn these types of techniques, try taking Hypnobirthing classes and/or seeing a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
  8. Once 5-10 minutes has past, relax the pelvic floor region and allow the balloon to exit the vaginal opening while inflated. You don’t have to do this part. You can deflate and remove till you feel comfortable keeping the balloon inflated.
  9. You do this once daily, from 37 weeks onward.

This device can be helpful for first time moms or moms who are trying a vaginal delivery after c-section because it exposes you to the different sensations and feelings of stretch you may experience during birthing. This can reduce fear and anxiety of birthing because you have already gotten used to the sensations with no trauma occurring.

You have been practicing for several weeks how to relax into these sensations versus becoming tense. Fear, anxiety and discomfort typically causes individuals to become tense and that can lead to more physical trauma.

Hopefully this information has helped you understand the Epi-No better.

References:

http://www.epino.de/en/epi-no-details.html

www.pelviennewellness.com

www.epi-no.co.uk

 

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