GLOBAL STUDIES CONFIRM MULTIPE MOTHER-CHILD BENEFITS FROM EPI-NO CHILDBIRTH SYSTEM TRAINING
The EPI-NO is a device that was developed in 1999 by a team of German medical doctors and engineers. Its purpose is to assist women, through EPI-NO childbirth training, to improve their odds for avoiding having to undergo an episiotomy during delivery. The episiotomy is a controversial procedure whereby a doctor makes a surgical incision during delivery that cuts through the perineum. The incision is intended to increase vaginal size and thereby facilitate childbirth.
The frequency of episiotomy varies from hospital to hospital and country to country. Nevertheless, a 2004 study found that episiotomy rates have risen precipitously. The study found that episiotomy to be the most often performed surgical operation on women in the world.
Why An Episiotomy?
A doctor may decide to perform an episiotomy for a variety of reasons. These include a perception that the fetus is distressed after entering the birth canal, the baby’s head is perceived to be too large, the baby is breech, its shoulders get caught, or if the process of delivery proceeds so quickly that the doctor believes the vagina will be overstressed.
Unfortunately, as millions of women will attest, there is a significant number of serious side effects from episiotomies. Some post-delivery problems that are more severe and more commonly observed in women who have undergone episiotomy include increased bruising, infection, swelling, incontinence, and bleeding.
Episiotomies Come Under Scrutiny
Questions have arisen for some time about whether or not episiotomies justify the considerable problems associated with them. It has even become questionable if the procedure is even useful.
The National Institute of Health reports that a broad analysis of episiotomies showed that there is no benefit to this surgical practice. Although some practitioners claim an episiotomy will improve a woman’s sexual functioning, the analysis found there was no evidence of this. Indeed, the review, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, pointed out that women who had undergone episiotomies experienced an increase in pain during sexual relations after pregnancy and that these women experienced a longer recovery period after childbirth before resuming normal sexual relations.
Moreover, a Japanese study conducted at the Nippon Medical School, concluded, “episiotomy . . . should be avoided in patients who are [delivering] a first child whenever possible.”
The EPI-NO Childbirth Training Alternative
Scientists in Germany conducted a landmark study of the EPI-NO childbirth training system. They wanted to know if the device was effective in decreasing the likelihood of episiotomy. They also looked to find if there were any noticeable differences in the health of infants born to mothers who had or had not used EPI-NO childbirth training.
The study examined fifty women pregnant for the first time. Half the women used the EPI-NO while the other half did not. The two groups were then compared for factors including frequency of episiotomy, how long the women were in labor, use of pain medication, and babies’ health at birth (using the APGAR rating system).
The study found a “significant reduction” in episiotomy rates in women who had used EPI-NO childbirth training compared to women who had not. Less than half the EPI-NO women underwent episiotomies. But in the group of women not using EPI-NO, more than 4 out of 5 (82%) did receive episiotomies.
Furthermore, women not using EPI-NO childbirth training experienced twice as many perineal tears. The duration of second-stage labor for women in the EPI-NO group was only half that of the other group; and the EPI-NO group required less analgesia during delivery. Perhaps most important, babies born to EPI-NO women were healthier according to one-minute-APGAR-scores.
Australian Study Confirms EPI-NO Childbirth Training Benefits
After noting the impressive results of the German study, doctors in Australia conducted a similar study using 48 women pregnant for the first time. Their results, too, showed the impressive advantages for women who used the EPI-NO device.
The Australian study also demonstrated “significantly improved outcome” for women using EPI-NO childbirth training versus the control group. Researchers found EPI-NO women come through delivery with a “highly significant increased chance of an intact perineum.” The study concluded that all first-time mothers should be given the option of using the EPI-NO childbirth training system.