By Sarah Geo Walton, Birth and Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator from Reno, Nevada
I am so excited about this new birth tool called the CUB. It can be taken ANYWHERE so it is suitable for home, birth center or hospital births! I’ve written two posts about how this innovative device can be used wherever you choose to birth for a possibly quicker, easier and safer experience.
A bit about the CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth support)
The CUB is an inflatable, versatile support stool that can be sat on or leaned over like a birth ball or used during pushing to give birth on, much like a traditional birth stool.
It was created to help birthing people labor in positions that are upright and out of the bed. These positions allow more space in the pelvis, utilize gravity and have shown in research to make labor shorter, smoother and safer for the parent and their baby by lowering complications during the birth process.
Research on birthing in upright positions suggests that being upright throughout labor and birth can increase the space within your pelvis by 28-30% so first stage can be shortened by up to 50% and pushing can be more effective. This can lead to a significantly shorter labor. It also shows that your baby is 54% less likely to have distressed fetal heart rate abnormalities.
With labor being shorter with a happier baby, less intervention may be needed, decreasing the need for a medically assisted birth by 23%, episiotomy by 21% and emergency cesarean sections by up to 29%! (Source: https://www.cub-support.com/research-on-upright-birth/)
How CUB Can Help In The Hospital
Being in an upright position can be pretty important throughout labor in order to take advantage of gravity, encourage mobility and movement and help with optimal positioning of both the birthing person as well as their baby.
It is wonderful to see that birth balls have become an acceptable and approved tool for labor in most hospitals, but many patients complain of feeling incredibly unstable on them. If we are trying to encourage positions where the person in labor feels safe, supported and can easily rest, the instability of the ball can be a deal breaker. This means that patients will often choose to get back into the hospital bed. The flat base of the CUB is the cure for this wobbly and unsteady seat!
The CUB has multiple inflatable sections, granting it several size options depending on the height of the person and which position they are most comfortable laboring it. It is also made of a nonporous material and can be easily cleaned, making it a sustainable option for Labor and Delivery floors to offer to laboring people again and again.
The CUB is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways, all of which are encouraging of the most labor efficient positions. Whether using as a seat or something to lean over, being able to move freely can help the baby become optimally engaged in the pelvis more easily. This can lead to contractions being more effective and labors being much shorter.
Being in the supported squat-like position that the CUB comfortably allows, opens up the pelvis up to 30%. When we are talking about the tight path a baby has to take to be born, that additional space can make all the difference.
In addition, research shows that birth in an upright position can lower fetal distress and heart rate abnormalities by a compelling amount.
Adopting the use of the CUB, could directly lower the need for labor augmentation and intervention such as pitocin, artificial rupture of membranes, epidural, episiotomy, forcep or vacuum assisted delivery and birth via cesarean section. While these interventions can absolutely be solutions in certain situations, it is well known that they are often overused. When it comes to implementing tools to avoid them, the CUB appears to be a low risk beneficial option.
With the CUB’s potential to shorten the time spent in labor and lower complications from interventions, it could allow parents more time to bond with their brand new baby and that is an outcome we should all be striving for.
You can also read this blog here
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