New Birthing Sling Said to Reduce Labour and Interventions
The Birthplace at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has added a new birthing aid to their medical tools to assist women giving birth.
The new aid is a birthing sling which is said to shorten labour and reduce interventions – like the use of epidurals and cesarean sections.
The hospital is the first to add the birthing sling to their list of aids to help women give birth naturally.
What is a Birthing Sling?
A birthing sling is a strong but soft fabric that is tied in the shape of an ‘O’. It can support up to 226kg and allows a woman to remain upright when giving birth. The sling is a modern take on other aids of fabric and rope that women would use throughout history to give birth.
How Does the Birthing Sling Shorten Labour?
The sling allows the mum to be upright as she’s giving birth. It’s beneficial for mother and baby for an upright position as this allows gravity to assist. The birthing sling is also said to allow mum to listen to her body and find a comfortable position to give birth. Using the sling, she can comfortably move herself into an upright position which can often be hard to do when contractions are more constant and extreme.
As the sling helps women to remain upright during birth, this position helps with the effectiveness of contractions, dilation and the baby’s descent through the birthing canal. A shorter labour can be achieved if a woman chooses an upright position to give birth and the sling helps with this position.
How Does the Birthing Sling Reduce the Risk of C-Section Birth?
A c-section birth is often the last resort during a natural delivery. It’s often as a result of prolonged labour. The birthing sling is said to reduce the risk of cesarean section as it helps a woman remain upright while giving birth and this allows each push to be more effective.
The birthing sling is a new aid that may make its way through to birthing suites abroad. While it definitely is seen as a positive way to assist with birth, it may not be the right birthing aid for all women.
The Birthplace at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital chose to add the birthing sling as part of their birthing aids after their recent renovations. One of the goals as part of their renovation was to ensure there were aids available to reduce interventions during vaginal births. At this stage they are the only hospital to use the birthing sling, but if it continues to have success in reducing interventions during birth, we could see birthing slings make their way into all labour wards as a way to reduce interventions during a natural delivery.
In the meantime, similar benefits can be achieved through the use of exercise balls, bed sheets and even a labour bed that is set to an upright position.
For more information about birthing slings, head here.