Babies are born every single day, multiple times a day. Yet for some reason, giving birth just seems like this big, scary mystery that pregnant women mostly pretend not to think about until the big day, at which point everything becomes a big blur anyway.
Sure, most of us know the basics, like contractions and crowning and epidurals versus natural births, but when it really comes down to it, women are too freaking busy during the actual delivery to see what’s happening (mirror or no mirror) and partners are often freaked out as hell.
And that is what makes this birthing video so incredibly genius.
Meet Liz Chalmers, a midwife in Seattle who has been explaining what happens to the female body during birth for more than a decade now. Chalmers has been using a ping pong ball and a balloon — two things you can usually grab at the dollar store — to demonstrate what contractions, a uterus expansion and vaginal crowning actually look like in order to put expectant mothers at ease.
After all, it’s pretty amazing what the human body can do, isn’t it?
Anyhow, Chalmers has been using the instruments to teach in-person classes in Seattle, but recently she made a YouTube video for her niece, who is training to become a childbirth educator in New Zealand. Once the video was posted, human curiosity took off, and the demonstration has since been viewed more than 64,000 times.
That really isn’t surprising since the general consensus is that many of us don’t want to stomach actual birthing videos, but are still curious AF about what the process is like. This video is perfect for all of us who get squeamish about the process — there are lots of educational components without the actual blood and bodily fluids.
In the video, Chalmers inserts the ping pong ball into the balloon (which is pink, naturally), and then inflates the balloon and lets the ball settle into the neck. Then, through gentle squeezes (contractions), the neck of the balloon “crowns” (during birth, that means when the baby’s head starts to show) as the ping pong ball drops, and eventually shoots out like the perfect, little babe it represents.
Okay, so it’s a bit terrifying to watch the video since it does look as though the balloon might burst at any time, but it never does. And if Chalmers has been doing this for the past 11 years, something tells us it never will.
That should be enough to put pregnant minds everywhere at ease, right? For soon-to-be mums delivering vaginally, perhaps you can rest assured knowing that our bodies will do what they’re supposed to in the moment, and all we need to do is to try and relax. Okay, and push. But that’s a subject for a whole other video.