The Aniball medical aid should be used beginning with the 37th week of pregnancy. Exercise for approximately 15 – 30 minutes during each session. However, this time is meant as being indicative, as each woman needs her own individual amount of time for proper relaxation, so exercise can take longer. At the beginning of the exercise, take the position that suits you best (lying down on your back with slightly kneeling knees, in a kneel, lying on the side, standing, croaking …). Childbirth in the position in which your body feels most comfortable is usually the safest.
What Aniball consists of
- inflatable balloon made of medical silicone
- mechanical pump
- connecting reduction
- two-way valve
Introducing the balloon
Take the position you chose according to the previous paragraph. Stay calm and relaxed. Even during the exercise, try to stay relaxed, without feeling spasms in your neck, arms and hands or buttocks. The ability to stay calm and relaxed (not only during the this pre- paratory exercise, but also during actual delivery) will positively affect the whole process.
The silicone balloon can be inflated for 1 – 2 strokes to give it some resistance. It is also possible to insert the balloon completely deflated. For comfortable and safe installation, it is recommended to moisten the surface of the balloon only using water based lubricants intended for internal use (see Operating Instructions). Now grab the balloon behind the plastic neck, bring it with forward with
larger rounded part and push it into the vagina.
If the balloon is already securely inserted inside the vagina and it does not cause pain or other unpleasant feelings, you can begin to inflate it. A pump with a valve at the end of the tubing is provided for inflation. During inflation, the volume of the balloon increases and the pressure inside the vagina increases (this pressure is triggered by the motion of the balloon against the vaginal wall, stretching the surrounding muscles). You will also experience a very similar pressure during childbirth. How much inflation is needed is, again, very individual. In the first exercise, however, it should be moderate and perhaps be a maximum of 5 pumps (this including the pumps you performed before insertion). During further exercise, you can increase the number of pumps, but always with great care to your own body and never through pain. Whenever your balloon size looks too big and unpleasant, you can deflate the balloon with the valve to reduce its volume.
Guidelines for exercise
Remain in the position that you selected for the exercise.
- Conscious control over movement
During the first exercise, learn to control the balloon’s movements inside your vagina. This needs a dose of conscious effort and focus on your body. The balloon can, depending on the activity of your pelvic floor muscles, move within the vagina, either out or inwards. If the pelvic floor muscles are actively withdrawn, the balloon sits deeper, but if you manage to relax these muscles consciously, the balloon will have the opportunity to move closer to the vaginal entrance. Training the controlled movement out of the vagina will be required to prepare for the upcoming delivery.
You can now test this conscious effort. Try to pull the balloons out with the pelvic floor muscles and feel its movement (it should now move inwards deep into the vagina). Then release with a touch of muscles (see how the balloon moves out of the vagina). It is important to get control over these movements and realize that only the relaxed pelvic muscles allow the balloon (as well as the baby) to move downward through the delivery paths. The purpose of this exercise is not to expel the balloon completely out of the vagi- na. Complete the procedure to pull the balloon and move it down ten times.
- Ejection of the balloon
Release again and move gradually to expel the balloon itself. Take advantage of what you have learned in the previous exercise. Relax the muscles of your pelvic floor and feel the balloon come out of the body without forcing it out. The goal of the exercise is to expel the balloon only through proper breathing (more precisely breathing in) and conscious relaxation of the pelvic muscles.
When exhaling, try to keep the balloon in the position it was after the insertion phase and do not pull it back into the vagina. With another touch, release your pelvic floor and move the balloon again a little lower. Now you will expel the balloon in a controlled manner, until the vaginal opening is gradually tightened and the balloon can be pulled out. The balloon should not slip out of the vagina too quickly, so keep it in place by holding the plastic neck (same as you do during insertion). Rapid expulsion indicates a loss of control and could result in injury. Even your baby will be held during the actual delivery, so feel free to hold Aniball.
The pressure you create during the entire ejection process should only come from the pelvic floor area, not your head. Tensioning of the neck, shoulders, hands, as well as contracting the abdomen and contracting the buttocks is not desirable, and indicates an inappropriate function of the pelvic floor muscles during the ejection process. In such a case, it is very good that you started practicing and gained the opportunity to prepare for your birth.
- Expansion of the balloon
You started practicing after the 36th week of pregnancy, and you are approaching the date of your delivery with each passing day. It is therefore advisable to gradually get used to practicing with a larger balloon circumference that should be close to the size of your child’s head. However, be careful! There is no need to increase the size of the balloon at any cost. If you are worried about the balloon being too large or you do not feel good about it and you are comfortable with the current smaller size, do not force yourself into increasing balloon size. Even having control over balloon movements inside the vagina and physically preparing your body for the future passage of the baby is a success, and you can be satisfied with your preparation. The expulsion of a balloon too big can bring great pain or even the possibility of injury to the surrounding tissues. In any case, there is no reason to increase the balloon at all costs. We recommend that you will always practice with a size that is both tolerable and relatively pleasant for your body and for your psyche. Do not expose your body to pain and injury. Do not compare with other mothers who may have a wholly different pregnancy. Each of us is unique and our bodies can respond differently or have different levels of hormones necessary for the childbirth.
You can use the enclosed meter to check the size of the balloon circuit. However, as stated above, numbers are not your goal! The goal is to be a healthy, calm and ready mother who can control the pelvic floor to ensure easier passage for the child with minimal injury to her own body.