The birth sling is HERE!
Have you heard of the birth sling (it’s also called a birth hammock or labor sling) and is one of the most effective tools to support upright laboring and upright resting during labor.
There’s so much evidence supporting upright laboring positions - shorter labors, less pain, women feel more in control and it’s better for your baby too (less heart rate changes). All of these factors also reduce your need for an epidural AND reduce your chances of having an unplanned cesarean. Lying down in labor makes no sense and it makes labor longer, more painful and your baby is more likely to experience negative heart rate changes that may change the trajectory of your labor.
Seems like a no brainer - movement makes sense!
Yet many hospitals are still slow to invest in simple, affordable tools that encourage upright laboring. For a period of time some hospitals were prohibiting the use of birth balls and told parents they couldn’t use them…(fear of litigation). GentleBirth donated peanut balls to a local maternity unit who then kept them locked in a storage locker for months…parents had to keep demanding them.
What are parents to do when their own hospital isn’t walking their talk when they say they are supportive of physiological birth?
You bring your own tools or find creative ways to use hospital equipment!
For years I’ve used hospital sheets or a rebozo with a knot on one side of the door. But It’s not ideal to be wrestling with bedsheets in labor and having partners hanging out of doorframes so we’re bringing you another game changing tool to make birth better.
We’ve excited to partner with the brilliant Dr. Jessica Michaels who feels just as passionate about safe, satisfying positive births as we do. Dr Jess has designed a new sling that parents and birth professionals can use securely over a door or from the ceiling so you and your baby can labor more comfortably while your body labors more efficiently.
Share this blog and these videos with your doula and careprovider.
The Birth Sling FAQ
I want one - how do I order my Birth Sling?
Order your birth sling here.
How do I use The Birth Sling
Check out our video training here.
Are there any contraindications?
Ruptured membranes without engagement of your baby’s head.
Unstable blood pressure, balance and/or mentation
Any condition requiring bedrest.
What are the manufacturer’s recommended weight limitations?
What is The Birth Sling made out of?
Nylon Tricot fabric
How do I hang The Birth Sling?
The Birth Sling comes with two hanging options.
The door anchor – which can be used with most standard doors and the beam or branch anchor. This allows you to hang The Birth Sling over any exposed beam, through a ceiling mount (sold separately).
Am I an appropriate candidate for The Birth Sling?
It is recommended that anyone using The Birth Sling must:
Have a steady gait
Be able to call for assistance if needed and have the capacity to support yourself physically without injury.
Care of Your Birth Sling
The Birth Sling is recommended to be washed in low-temperature machine or hand wash using laundry detergents that are able to produce hygienically clean laundry without the presence of chlorine bleach. Using a laundry bag is also recommended to ensure the sling doesn't become tangled and/or damaged. The Birth Sling should be air dried. Birth slings that are very contaminated with blood or bodily fluids should be discarded and considered biohazard waste regardless of persons infectious status. Highly soiled: saturated, dripping, caked with blood or bodily fluid, has the potential to release blood or other potentially infectious materials if compressed, or can flake off during handling.