'Peanut ball' reducing C-section rate

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... the tool for nurses and doctors seeking to help women deliver a baby is a peanut-shaped exercise ball.

Banner Health now equips all of its hospital labor and delivery wards with so-called peanut balls.

The idea stemmed from nurses seeking to curb rising Caesarean-section rates at hospitals nationwide. C-sections are more expensive, pose health risks for patients and take longer to recover from.

... peanut balls could provide a natural alternative to more invasive birthing techniques such as C-sections or vacuum pumps.

... The ball is used on women who receive epidural ... The peanut-shaped ball fits comfortably between the patients' legs, opening their pelvis to create a path for the newborn.

... The C-section rate for the group of women who used the ball was 13 percentage points less than for the group that did not use the peanut ball ...

The best way to lower the caesarean rate is for women to experience one-on-one continuity of care from the same midwife from pregnancy right through to when the baby is 6 weeks old. Women cared for in this way can expect very low rates of caesarean, and of the it interventions that generally lead to caesarean. caesarean rates for women cared for in private midwifery practice are around 5%.

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