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Birth Ball TrialEL
Putting birthing balls to the test
01 February 2018

Research into the effect birthing balls can have on pain perception during early labour is being explored on the Island.

As part of her PhD, Clinical Doctorate Midwife, Dominique Mylod will be recruiting pregnant women who are ‘low risk’ and plan to stay at home during the early stages of their labour. 

Birth balls in pregnancy can help to reduce back pain and make it more comfortable for women to move around. The trial, which is the first of its kind, will be looking to see if women report reduced pain before going into hospital to give birth. 

Dominique Mylod is the Island’s first clinical doctorate midwife and has a unique partnership with Bournemouth University and St. Mary’s Hospital, where Dominique combines her clinical work with research. Speaking ahead of the trial, Dominique said: “Women tell us that they find birth balls beneficial during pregnancy and we know that they not only help with comfort but they also help to adopt upright positions which can help to labour effectively. What this trial will tell us is whether women who use the birth balls feel better during their early labour at home and avoid coming into hospital too early, because that is associated with more complicated labours.” 

St. Mary’s Maternity Department has received a generous donation from the Federation of the Isle of Wight Women’s Institutes and Birthease to fund birth balls. Iolanthe Midwifery Trust has also funded the research of which Dominique was presented with a national award in September 2017. 

Dominique continued: “We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received and we now have lots of birthing balls that are ready to be used and we look forward to supporting those pregnant women who are happy to be part of the research.” 

The ‘Ball Assisted Latent Labour’ trial will be recruiting from 1st February and will be completed by the end of 2018.


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