THIS VIDEO BRILLIANTLY EXPLAINS CHILDBIRTH USING ONLY A BALLOON AND A PING PONG BALL THIS VIDEO BRILLIANTLY EXPLAINS CHILDBIRTH USING ONLY A BALLOON AND A PING PONG BALL
Giving birth is probably among the most difficult, miraculous, terrifying, grueling, and amazing experiences a woman will ever endure. And while everyone experiences birth... THIS VIDEO BRILLIANTLY EXPLAINS CHILDBIRTH USING ONLY A BALLOON AND A PING PONG BALL

Giving birth is probably among the most difficult, miraculous, terrifying, grueling, and amazing experiences a woman will ever endure. And while everyone experiences birth in a different way, you have to admit that delivering a baby earthside is nothing short of badass.

But even though so many of us have done the whole birthing-a-baby thing, certain aspects of it remain sort of murky and mysterious. We’ve all heard of contractions, dilation, effacement, crowning, and everything else, but it’s hard to totally comprehend how it all works, especially since we can’t, um, exactly see what’s going on inside of us during the momentous event.

But childbirth educator Liz Chalmers is hoping to change that. In a recent YouTube video, Chalmers, a mom of four and co-owner of Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Seattle, gives the lowdown on how labor and delivery actually work — all while using nothing but a balloon and a ping pong ball.

Yep, you read that right.

Chalmers tells Babble that she’s been teaching childbirth education classes for the past 12 years (and using the balloon/ping pong ball demonstration for 11 of those years). The YouTube video in question was actually made for her niece Charlotte, who is studying to be a childbirth educator. But the video has since caught the attention of, well, just about everyone, and has gone bonkers viral, with over 36K views on YouTube so far.

Once you watch, it’s easy to see why. Not only do visuals like these make abstract concepts that much easier to understand, but Chalmers’ calming, no-nonsense approach to the subject of pushing a baby out of your vagina is actually really soothing to watch.

For starters, here’s what you need to know: The main part of balloon basically represents the uterus, the neck of the balloon represents the cervix (which is what does all that dilating and effacing during labor), and the ping pong ball represents the soon-to-be-born baby.

At the beginning of the video, Chalmers drops the ping pong ball (i.e., baby) inside the balloon and blows it up a little, magically turning it into a uterus. Soon after, she begins to show how contractions work, squeezing the balloon, just as a woman’s body does during labor.

Chalmers demonstrates Braxton Hicks contractions first, gentle squeezing the sides of the balloon. According to Chalmers, Braxton Hicks don’t actually help the baby move down the birth canal, but do help “practice” the uterus for the big event.

Full-fledged contractions are next, which are obviously stronger, and help move the baby gentle down the cervix. Chalmers explains that these contractions actually originate from the top of the uterus (fascinating, huh?). And as she squeezes the balloon from the top, you can see the ping pong ball move down the neck of the balloon (cervix) and watch the cervix start to thin out (efface) as well as open (dilate).

How freaking cool is that?

Of course, this is also the part where labor starts to hurt like hell for most women. But Chalmers has got your back. Like the gentle midwife she is, she guides us through these difficult contractions in the video with reassurance and ease.

“Just squeeze and let go,” Chalmers says in the world’s most calming voice. “Squeeze and let go.”

Soon, the bottom of that balloon is bulging and it looks like the baby is ready to be born. Then, as quickly as it started, the baby (errrr, ping pong ball) is born, rather dramatically plopping out of the balloon onto the table in front of Chalmers — at which point Chalmers lets out a little chuckle. And you can’t help but chuckle right along with her at that point.

Of the ping pong birthing moment, Chalmers notes: “It’s always just an absolute riot in class. Everybody just laughs and has a blast with it.”

Clearly, humor is important when it comes to childbirth. And in speaking with Babble, Chalmers says that a general positive attitude like this is essential for the birthing woman.

“My favorite mantra for birth is ‘I can do anything for a minute,’” says Chalmers. “Let your uterus squeeze, and let go. Then squeeze, and let go. One minute at a time, with a lovely break in between. A typical labor isn’t 16 hours of unremitting pain. It’s more like 4 hours of pain sprinkled over 16 hours, a minute at a time. We can do anything for a minute.”

Yes, we can. And even if that minute is the most excruciating minute of our lives, it is just what we women have to do sometimes, isn’t it? Chalmers says that she is glad this video is going viral because this message of calm and positivity is exactly what she thinks birthing moms need more of — that, and an abundance of support from those around them.

Labor is one of our superpowers! Birth can — and usually does — unfold powerfully and effectively, when in a supportive environment, accompanied by people who understand the importance of environment for allowing the necessary hormones to flow,” Chalmers explains. “That is more likely to happen with good support. It is so much harder to squeeze that balloon when sitting in front of someone who is terrified of the balloon malfunctioning.”

Amen to that.

Women’s bodies truly are amazing, and all women need good support so that they can have the positive birth experience they deserve. And let’s hear it for women like Chalmers who are out there empowering and educating women to help make that happen.

Obinna Onyia

  • Keina Hamilton

    2017-11-07 #1 Author

    Cool explanation! Child birth is so amazing!

    Reply

  • Keina Hamilton

    2017-11-07 #3 Author

    Cool explanation! Child birth is amazing!

    Reply

  • Jazmyn

    2017-11-07 #4 Author

    This was a very great article! Good insight for mothers to be!!!

    Reply

  • Adebimpe

    2017-11-07 #5 Author

    Really interesting

    Reply

  • Shaiauna Banks

    2017-11-07 #6 Author

    Very interesting.

    Reply

  • john gracie

    2017-11-07 #7 Author

    Pumpkim baby…..Lovely dad

    Reply

  • john gracie

    2017-11-07 #8 Author

    Pumpkin baby….Innocent baby

    Reply

  • Shauna-kae Brown

    2017-11-07 #9 Author

    Interesting stuff!!

    Reply

  • Abegail fulgar

    2017-11-08 #10 Author

    Amazing!! Interesting!!

    Reply

  • Abegail fulgar

    2017-11-08 #11 Author

    Amazing! Interesting!

    Reply

  • Erica

    2017-11-08 #12 Author

    Omg wow that’s crazy

    Reply

  • Kinesha

    2017-11-08 #13 Author

    I have to show this to my niece LOL she’s going to be so amazed

    Reply

  • Tre

    2017-11-09 #14 Author

    Awesome couldn’t have explained it any better.

    Reply

  • Matthew

    2017-11-09 #15 Author

    Pretty sure it’s great demonstration for a first timer

    Reply

  • Matthew

    2017-11-09 #16 Author

    Pretty good demonstration for a first timer

    Reply

  • Karla Dunn

    2017-11-09 #17 Author

    Awww very great article and a lot of amazing information.

    Reply

  • India Smith

    2017-11-09 #18 Author

    This is very educational. Child birth was amazing for me

    Reply

  • Chimika Madison

    2017-11-10 #19 Author

    Child birth is an amazing thing to experience even if you had an C-Section 💜

    Reply

  • Tiara

    2017-11-10 #20 Author

    Very great artical for first time mommies I did this with my first child but my second I didn’t have time she just came.

    Reply

  • Chrissy

    2017-11-10 #21 Author

    Child birth is amazing

    Reply

  • Mariah

    2017-11-11 #22 Author

    Child birth was amazing 💙.

    Reply

  • Kay

    2017-11-11 #23 Author

    Labor is easy for some and tough for others….

    Reply

  • Natrice p

    2017-11-11 #24 Author

    This would make for a cool game at a baby shower! So amazing!

    Reply

  • Jackiee

    2017-11-11 #25 Author

    So interesting !! Wow

    Reply

  • Bashane

    2017-11-11 #26 Author

    Child BIrth Is Everything

    Reply

  • Champel

    2017-11-12 #27 Author

    Very Interesting

    Reply

  • Dominique

    2017-11-12 #28 Author

    Real Neat….and educational

    Reply

  • floralucas

    2017-11-13 #29 Author

    this is so brilliant. amazing i wish more mommys must watch this! 😊

    Reply

  • Kyneshia Bond

    2017-11-13 #30 Author

    That’s amazing! The woman’s body is phenomenal

    Reply

  • Audrey

    2017-11-13 #31 Author

    This is a wonderful way of explaining childbirth! Kuddos!!

    Reply

  • Yanna

    2017-11-13 #32 Author

    This a creative and brilliant way to explain child birth!

    Reply

  • Latarious

    2017-11-14 #33 Author

    Child birth is everything, but also painful.

    Reply

  • Taviaa

    2017-11-14 #34 Author

    Thats a very interesting way to look at child birth

    Reply

  • Sundance Kidd

    2017-11-14 #35 Author

    Wow very interesting you learn something new everyday, and I love ping pong 🏓

    Reply

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