By Camille Nyman, Doula and Childbirth Educator from Maryland
If doulas were a tool you could purchase on the internet, you'd be hard pressed to find anything that fit the bill better than a CUB!
For the uninitiated, a CUB (short for Comfortable Upright Birth) is a U-shaped, inflatable device intended for birthing people to use in a variety of ways. It's completely portable, wipeable, and versatile. Much like some of what doulas aim to do in the delivery room, the CUB encourages women to utilize a host of positions and pain relief techniques. It invites users to find the place and position that they are most comfortable birthing in, then meets them where they're at.
I first encountered the CUB when I was training as a certified childbirth educator. The concept amazed me- it was squishy like a birth ball, but more stable. It was portable and adjustable for varying heights. It functioned as something to sit on and something to lean over. It left room for a support person to come behind a laboring woman without being awkward. I was amazed! I immediately began searching for where this fascinating tool might already be in use in my local community. It was then that I discovered that almost no one in the USA was using the CUB yet. Disappointed, I returned to my 'usual' bag of tricks when attending births and didn't think much more about it.
A few years went by, and I ended up attending a rather long and difficult birth. Many tools and positions were attempted, and the CUB repeatedly kept coming to mind. I just kept thinking to myself how incredibly useful it would be in that situation.
One of the most frequent complaints I hear from my clients as they labor and/or push is that they feel unstable. The desire to find their 'anchor' in labor is visceral and surprising to them. Birth balls are fantastic, but don't fit the bill; for someone struggling to find their center of gravity, they can be unnerving. They also don't readily adjust for women of marked height differences. Who wants to purchase multiple balls for each room in a hospital? (Read: no one.) Birth balls can roll away. Peanut balls are amazing when you need to lean over something firm and comfy- but not so great for sitting on. Birth stools are excellent for getting you into a better position to squat supported during pushing but often my clients complain they hurt if you sit on them for more than a few minutes. The CUB answers every single one of these issues.
The CUB can be deflated and tucked in your trunk or birth bag, ready to go when you need it for your birth. It can be inflated to a size that feels right to you. It can be sat on, leaned over, shared with a partner. It's a jack of all trades in labor. If someone expresses a need for movement and flexibility but is anxious about not feeling 'stable' when doing so, the CUB is the solution.
The CUB is a tool that meets you where you're at; what's more quintessential 'doula' than that?
Meet Our Authors
Do you want to become a blog or vlog author for the CUB? Contact us now