Auckland, New Zealand

I’m 31 years of age and this was my first pregnancy. It was a pretty standard pregnancy, I gained about 14 kg and remained working until 30 weeks, due to the demanding nature of my job.

I first heard about the EPI-NO training device during antenatal classes from several instructors, all recommending the use of the EPI-NO training device, saying how the mother had an easier birth, shortened 2nd stage of labor and how less likely they were to have a tear or episiotomy.

Anyway after I was able to get an EPI-NO training device, I started my training from 37 weeks as recommended. I used the EPI-NO training device daily for 30 minutes, doing 3 x 10 minutes of inflations and pushing the training device out. About 2 weeks after starting the with the EPI-NO training device I was able to push the inflated balloon at 10cm out, so I continued to practice my pelvic floor exercises daily until going into labor.

The birth started with irregular contractions at 3am on Thursday 12th Feb and gradually increasing with strength and decreasing in time apart. We went to the hospital about 1pm and after an examination were told that I was 6cm dilated. An hour or so later I was given pethadine and an anti nausea drug. After another examination I was told I was fully dilated. I remained on the bed and started the pushing phase. Though I’m not sure how long I was pushing for it seemed pretty quick. With the training from the EPI-NO device I knew how and where to push and breath while doing so, which I knew helped. I remember as the head was coming out the burning sensation, which didn’t last long. Then a few more pushes and it was all over, the baby was then placed on my chest. I was then given an injection to help with the delivery of the placenta, the next contraction and it was all out. The midwife then examined me and announced that there were no tears or rips, only a very minor graze (which she told me about 2 days later as it was so minor). The baby weighed 3620g, 50cm in length and had a head circumference of 34cm. Apgar score at 1 minute was 8, then 5 minutes later was 10. Gestation was 39 weeks and 6 days.

I’m relieved that I used the EPI-NO training device, only having discomfort from bruising for 1-2 days and not having to go through the ordeal of stitches and care that goes with the recovery when I was dealing with so much already. We were able to leave the hospital 48hours later, earlier than most other mothers in the ward, feeling great.

In a week or two I’ll be able to use the EPI-NO training device to re-train my pelvic floor muscles.

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