How to Use an Epi-No?

Preparing you pelvic floor for delivery can be quite challenging… However, this tool can make it way easier! Even if you are a pelvic floor massage addict, you can still use it as a supplement! Thanks to this balloon you will be able to contract your perineum during the pregnancy (and afterwards), to relax it, facilitate the childbirth and even to train to expel your baby correctly. But how does this miraculous balloon work? Epi-no What is it

What is an Epi-No?

When you receive your Epi-No, you discover several things in the box! A balloon attached to a dial and a small pump, a pocket and a cardboard to measure the diameter of the balloon. In addition, lubricant and condoms is a must have to use with Epi-No. As protecting Epi-No with a condom is way easier than to clean it for hours! The lubricant is to make sure you do not irritate your internal mucous membranes. Especially as per protocol, Epi-No is supposed to be used every day and that throughout the pregnancy. So better to use lubricant to decrease the risk of perineal irritation. The protocol I am going to give you is not the one included in the Epi-No record. This is the one I recommend to my patients based on what I have tested over the years and what worked for my patients. Always seek advice from your doctor, midwife or a women’s health physiotherapist before using it. There are several cases where it is advisable not to use it (placenta previa, premature dilatation etc.). So, a medical opinion before using it is always necessary. Start by checking if it is working properly: Close the tap, Put 2 puffs to inflate the balloon slightly and then deflate it by opening the small tap. Install yourself half sitting with legs bent and slightly apart, the position should be comfortable.

How to Use an Epi-no?

From the beginning of pregnancy to 36 weeks
  • Place the balloon at the level of the vagina (like a tampon) with the central part (narrowed) at the labia majora and hold it with your fingers.
  • Contract 10 times quickly then 10 times, trying to hold 6-8 seconds (the needle should go up one digit on the dial)
From 36 weeks to childbirth
  • Place the balloon at the level of the vagina (like a tampon) with the central part (narrowed) at the labia majora and hold it with your fingers.
  • Contract 10 times quickly only

How to Stretch your Perineum with an Epi-No?

  • Place the balloon at the level of the vagina (like a tampon) with the central part (narrowed) at the level of the labia majora and hold it with your fingers.
  • Inflate the ear with several pressures until you feel that you are stretching the perineum but still bearable.
  • Keep it in for 20 minutes, do not hesitate to add 1 or 2 pressures if you feel that the stretch is more bearable.
  • Every day try to increase the number of initial pressures (1 more puff every day)
  • Write down on a paper the number of pressures you have made to remember the next day.

How to practice pushing your baby out with an Epi-No?

  • Deflate epi-no completely, then re-inflate by up to 10 pressures the first time then   :
    • Blow in the whistle (as if you wanted to inflate a balloon)
    • Tilt the pelvis backward (touch the ground with the lower back)
    • Pull on the string to pull out epi-no (which will already be naturally pushing outward through your breathing and contraction of the abs)
    • Repeat this action 2-3 times, increasing one pressure each time. Every day starts at one more pressure than the day before on the initial expulsion.
  • You will have completed your training when you will be able to withstand the stretch and expel a balloon inflates with a diameter of 8.5-10cm

Does I still need to do Perineal Massage if I use Epi-No?

Yes, Perineal Massage is still very useful and will complete the work you did with Epi-No. For more info about Perineal Massage, have a look at this video:

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