Banner Churchill Community Hospital recently introduced a new innovative way to help our mothers in labor have easier and faster deliveries. It’s called the Peanut Ball.
Peanut balls are peanut-shaped vinyl exercise balls that help relax and open the pelvis of maternity patients who have received epidural anesthesia.
By using a peanut ball, a mother-to-be may have a shorter first and second stage labor and a lower chance of getting a C-section, according to research conducted at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, a study that followed 200 pregnant women who were carrying a term baby and who had an epidural.
Research showed that while epidurals may reduce pain, they prolong labor by an average of 40 to 90 minutes and increase the risk of lengthening second stage labor (pushing) to more than two hours. In addition, epidurals are associated with higher numbers of births by cesarean section and more instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries, including the use of a vacuum or forceps.
Suzette Benecke and Tammy Foster (pictured), Labor and Delivery RNs at Banner Churchill Community Hospital said that they have both provided a peanut ball to their patients and saw the positive impact on the whole experience. “When a mother-to be receives an epidural, she is not able to get up and walk around freely”, said Benecke, “the peanut ball allows them to work on widening their pelvic diameter in a safe way”.