EPI-NO Reviews and Testimonials
We'd love to hear your EPI-NO birth story!SHARE YOUR STORY
I had what I call the ''birth of my dreams''. I felt calm, prepared and in control to bring her into the world... Allison McCreath, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
Hi Kim, I just wanted to share my birth story with you and express my gratitude for all that you do to promote pelvic health within the scope of birth preparation and post-partum recovery. I had what I call the ''birth of my dreams''. I felt calm, prepared and in control to bring her into the world. The staff supported me in all my decisions including labouring in four point kneel or modified four point kneel (including even during all the verifications of my cervix).
I gave birth in right side lying position, with my upper leg supported in abduction and slight internal rotation. My instinct was to use my left hand to support and ''traction'' my ischial tuberosity on the left. For pain control my husband and the nurses pushed on pressure points on my feet or on my trapezius during the contractions (taken from the Bonapace method). I also took more time to create an environment for us...dim lights, calming music, meditation and listening to and expressing my needs. I also did not block my respiration during pushing...:))) I did not tear at all...not even a little bit smile emoticon At the end of the EPI-NO stretching sessions I was at 10.5-11cm diameter. I pushed a little bit further because my children have large noggins!! I did have to have help from my husband to hold it in place towards the end and I practised global relaxation techniques during the daily 10 mins stretching session.
The benefit of circumferential stretching and the practicing controlled expiration with PF relaxation with expulsion was so essential. The floating jellyfish image helped! I was so much more functional after birth with very little discomfort. The doctor asked me what was different from my other births. I told her that I had used the EPI-NO. She admitted having learned about it recently from another patient but not knowing much about it or where to refer people to purchase it. Her resident had not heard of it. I referred them to your website and discussed the benefits of stretching but also proprioceptive training for the expulsion phase :)) Now for rest and progressive exercises...I am doing your program and some gentle basic hypopressive techniques!
Thank you so much again Kim! Sincerely, Allison :))
The epi-no allowed me to approach childbirth with confidence, by allowing me to prepare and understand the stretching sensation... Megan - Vancouver BC
By using the epi-no I was able to give birth naturally with no tearing. The epi-no allowed me to approach childbirth with confidence, by allowing me to prepare and understand the stretching sensation. I only made it up to 7.5 cm, of the 10 cm goal. But it did the trick! I'm so thankful for this product and the assistance of Kim Vopni the fitness doula for making my birth experience and recovery so amazing.
The Prepare To Push e-course and the EPI-NO were very helpful and the physio who I saw after giving birth was very impressed with my core muscles!
The Prepare To Push e-course and the EPI-NO were very helpful... Dr Nurmohamed - Family Physician Vancouver BC
I had a long labour – started on a Wednesday evening and ended on the Friday at lunchtime with a few twists and turns along the way! My baby was transverse for most of it, and I ended up with not one but two epidurals! I pushed for three hours and then had a vacuum assist for the final part (only about one more push with it luckily!) I ended up with a second degree tear but to be honest I think it would have been a lot worse without the EPI-NO! I had managed to get to about 8.5cm before delivery so I'm sure it helped!
I'll be using it again next time (and keeping my fingers crossed that my daughters’ future sibling is in a better position!!
The Prepare To Push e-course and the EPI-NO were very helpful and the physio who I saw after giving birth was very impressed with my core muscles!
I highly recommend the Epi-No for anyone... Kathy - Midwife and mom of 2
My name is Kathy and I am a practicing Midwife in Ontario. I heard about Epi-no from a client and I thought what an amazing product. I used Epi-no in preparation for both of my deliveries. Not only did I have a great second stage but I also didn't require any suturing. This allowed me to focus on caring for my baby and not my bottom. I was surprised how prepared I felt for delivery. Not only physically but mentally too. I love that this product also can be used postpartum for years to come to strengthen the pelvic floor. I highly recommend the Epino for anyone who would like to increase their chance of having a vaginal delivery, reduce their chance of tearing & would like to strengthen their perineum.
I delivered with no drugs during labour, and absolutely no stitches... Sara Vancouver, BC
Growing up, I liked the idea of kids, but I actually never really wanted kids because I didn't want to go through pregnancy nor labour- I didn't see it as anything enjoyable (maybe too many bad movies??) but when I became pregnant, I was so thankful to come across the Epi No. I have to admit I had my reservations about it at first, but I was fortunate to know you from our previous work experience so I had more trust behind the product validity.
Once I got my hands on the Epi No, I was put at ease about the labour part and it gave me hope that I could get through it. I liked that I didn't have to rely on my partner to help me with perineal massage; that I could go at my own pace, in my own time, and to my own expectations. It made me uncomfortable thinking I'd have to communicate with my partner on whether he was doing it correctly, too slow, too fast...etc. With the epi no, it was all just me!!
The pressure gauge allowed me to put some data towards my progress of the kegels I was doing and this really helped me stay on top of doing them. I loved that I could get two uses out of the device- kegels and perineal massage!
I got to 7 cms with the Epi No before going into labour 1 week early. My labour was 16 hours, with the active portion being 1.5 hours. My daugther was born at 6.88 lbs with a head circumference of 33 cms. I delivered with no drugs during labour (laughing gas, phetinol and morephine during contractions), and absolutely no stitches! It was so awesome to sing the same praise that other women have said on your website- just the shock of the doctor and nurses when they looked and saw i wouldn't need stitches was so gratifying!!
I've told my nurses and my OB about Epi No and a couple random strangers who asked about my delivery- specifically surprised when I say it was "actually a very pleasant experience"... so I hope this word-of-mouth brings more awareness that there are things you can do to prepare your body for delivery. I am so fortunate to have had the chance to train with it.
Thank you, Kim, for bringing this product to public awareness and I hope more and more women will get this device. I had such a quick recovery and was able to be a fully functioning mom so much quicker than others. I could focus on my new baby right away as opposed to myself.
I've just delivered my 10.5 lb without any tear, inside or out, which I attribute to my regular use of my Epi-No... Susan Robertson, ON
I have to write you to tell you that I've just delivered my 10.5 lb without any tear, inside or out, which I attribute to my regular use of my Epi-No! I'm singing its praises to all my friends and the nurses and doctors were amazed that I didn't tear after delivering Rowan naturally. Now, I'll be using my Epi-No to strengthen in a few more weeks. I'd recommend trying to promote this product more in centres of wellness where pregnant women may frequent. I think that more people need to know about this amazing product!
The medical staff was extremely surprised... Michelle Peris, ND, Oakville, ON
As a Naturopathic Doctor I am a strong believer in prevention, so the Epi-No made a lot of sense when I was introduced to it. I felt that there were not many resources available to me on how to prepare my body for childbirth and naturally I had a lot of anxiety about it. Having something that I could use to prepare helped ease my anxieties about labour and tearing.
I really appreciated both aspects of the Epi-No, pelvic floor strengthening and also perineal stretching. It also put my mind at ease knowing that I had basically experienced the sensation of childbirth ahead of time and although birth is an intense experience I had prepared my body as much as possible. I felt this innate sense of trust that my body knew exactly what to do with using the Epi-No because I trained for this physically demanding event. Just like I would train for any other physical event, I felt it was equally, if not more important to have my body physically prepared for labour.
I had a very long and intense labour and despite my few complications I came out of labour without requiring an episiotomy or tearing. It was apparent to me that the medical staff was extremely surprised that I was able to go through my difficult labour without an episiotomy. I truly believe that this is due to using the Epi-No.
My practice is largely in women’s health and perinatal care and I inform all expectant moms about the Epi-no and its benefits before and after childbirth. Being proactive and invested in your health care is the best way to ensure you are in optimal health and I believe that the Epi-No is a great tool to be proactive in your childbirth.
I did not have so much as one scratch or skid-mark... Rachael, Vancouver, BC
When I found out I was pregnant for our first child, I started doing intensive research on avoiding injury during labor and delivery, especially since I have every risk factor in the book for severe tearing. When I came across the Epi-no, I was initially skeptical, until I started reading the clinical studies and case reports. As an attorney, I am hesitant to accept any statements that aren’t backed by well-done research, but as I read through the material, I became convinced it was worth the investment. The studies and reports were methodologically sound and the results were consistent across the board. I couldn’t be more grateful that we made the choice to purchase
When I accidentally tore a little just doing perennial massage, I knew I would need to be very faithful to use Epi-no if I was going to see any results, so when I received it at nearly 37 weeks pregnant, I began using it right away. I used it faithfully for a week and a half, and then had to be induced due a small fluid leak. Going into labor I was much more confident, knowing I had done everything I could to facilitate a successful labor, and also that I was familiar with the sensations of what muscles to use when pushing, and which ones to relax.
Once I got to 2nd stage labor, it became all the more clear how valuable the investment was. After four hours of very intense, long contractions my baby’s heart rate stopped coming back up and my medical team began seriously questioning how much longer it was safe to labor. Stopping Pitocin, administering oxygen and IV fluids and trying alternate laboring positions weren’t making my little guy’s heart rate any better, and they told me he needed to come out soon. Fortunately, it was now safe to push, but after the first push his heart rate dropped so steeply they were not even sure they should let me try to push even one more time. I knew if I didn’t get him out quickly, I would either end up with a C-section or an episiotomy, so when they told me they’d let me try “one more push” (my second) I gave it everything I had. Thanks to Epi-no, the birth passage had been prepared and I was familiar with what I was doing. My baby was out in five pushes, completely safe and healthy. Almost as exciting, I did not have so much as one scratch or skid-mark! And because the pushes were so productive, no medical interventions at all were needed.
I can’t speak highly enough of Epi-no – the medical and case studies were very accurate in describing its benefits. I tell everyone I know about it, and have mine safely stored away for now, because I WILL be using it for all my future pregnancies.
Everyone (including my midwife) could not believe that everything was intact... Kate, Vancouver, BC
I used the Epi-NO throughout the month prior to the birth of our daughter. I was a little dubious at first, but after 36 hours of labour and absolutely no tearing, everyone (including my midwife) who attended my labour could not believe that everything was intact. I have recommended it to everyone I know and will be sure to use it again should we have another baby.
Since I do a lot of horseback riding, I was very fearful about having an episotomy... Jacinthe, Montreal, QC
I bought the epi-no this winter in preparation for my first baby due in May. Maya was born on May 18th after only 5 hours of labor. She was 8 pounds 2 oz and 53 cm. Since I do a lot of horseback riding, I was very fearful about having an episotomy or a C-section because my pelvic floor was really stiff. Well, everything went extremely well. My midwife couldn't believe I ended up with only a small scratch, gone after 3 days! And pushing the baby was not painful for me due to the great preparation I had done at home.
I just want to say a big thank you for selling the epi-no. It made my delivery a really positive one. By the way, my boyfriend was not too warm about the idea of the epi-no before I bought it. Now, he is super happy I ordered it!
Your product made this life changing event so positive... Janet, AB
Thank-you for providing EPI-NO! I recently gave birth to a healthy son, and am thankful that your product made this life changing event so positive. I was able to use the EPI-NO for close to three weeks prior to going into labour. The doctor made it into the delivery room only moments before the birth of my son as usually first time mothers take up to two hours in the final phase with the endless pushing. Well sure enough, only three contractions later my healthy boy was born and the medical staff at the hospital were amazed that things went so quickly. I only had a small superficial tear and needed only two stitches, however I thought that was nothing considering I pushed for less than five minutes! No one at the hospital had ever heard of this product before but are now beginning to recommend it to other patients. I also am not shy to tell my friends about what a great product the EPI-NO is. Thanks once again.
The Epi-no was quite a success!!!!!! We're sold on this thing... Curtis and Amanda, Campbell River, BC
From Dad Curtis
Hey Kim, just wanted to touch base. We had our little boy on Nov.30th! Super exciting. All went really amazing..........and the Epi-no was quite a success!!!!!! We're sold on this thing! The midwives have had a few clients now that have used them and with the same great results. Our little guy's name is Gage - 7 pounds 15 ounces. 30 min pushing and he came flying out! Literally! ;)
From Mom Amanda
I heard about the use of an EPI-NO and thought to myself…”well that makes sense”. I like the analogy of comparing perineal stretching to doing the splits. You wouldn’t expect to miraculously do the splits one day, and while the tissues and muscles of your perineum are surely different than the other skeletal muscles in your body, why would you expect your perineum to miraculously stretch in childbirth. It is known that both Kegel exercises and perineal massage/stretching prepare the perineum and pelvic floor for childbirth and the EPI-NO helps you do this VERY effectively. I wasn’t always sold on the concept of having to actually USE the EPI-NO and was a little nervous about it all. I must admit, it wasn’t easy to get going with the exercises but once I made it a daily routine it became a lot easier. I started the stretching exercises 4 weeks before my due date and really felt like I was working hard to prepare for birthing our child. I actually kind of felt as though I was preparing for a marathon and training everyday. We were having a home birth and I wanted to do everything I could to make it go smoothly.
While doing the stretching, I would practice my breathing and coping strategies. It was helpful to not only practice these coping strategies while doing the stretching exercises, but also progressively become familiar with the feeling of the rectal pressure felt in childbirth. It was actually a very empowering experience. I felt like I had some control over something at a time when so much was out of my control. My labour and birth experience was textbook. I pushed for half an hour and literally our little guy flew out in 6 pushes. Don’t get me wrong, it as A LOT of work, but I was extremely happy it progressed so quickly and the pushing phase was only 30 minutes. In reality, my pushing stage was so fast that I should have torn or at least pushed for much longer since it was my first child. My midwives were coaching me to slow my pushing down, but my pelvic floor muscles were so strong and perineum so easily stretched that my son was birthed with barely any crowing! I only needed one small stitch. I credit our amazing birth experience first and foremost to using the EPI-NO, and also to practicing birth coping techniques, and working with gravity while I was labouring. I would highly recommend using an EPI-NO to any women preparing for birth. You would spend $200 on a great pair of jeans, so why not to prepare for your child’s birth!! Now, I just have to find the time to do the post-natal retraining exercises while caring for a newborn!!!
I recommend it to all my patients... Dr. Jon Barrett, Chief of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, ON
One of the most common morbidities relating to vaginal birth is perineal trauma. Interventions to decrease this risk have been largely poorly studied, results varied. The EPI-NO system has been shown in clinical trails to reduce the rate of perineal trauma and need for episiotomy. I have found it highly acceptable and easy to use in my practice and therefore feel that it behooves every Practitioner to inform his/her patients/clients of this product. In addition to its use ante natally, I have found the EPI-NO extremely useful in improving patient's ability to perform Kegel exercises post partum – another intervention which has been shown to reduce the risk of post partum incontinence. I recommend it to all my patients who are planning vaginal birth and who wish to minimize perineal trauma and maximize return to normal pelvic floor function.
NO tearing, NO ripping, NO stitches... Debbie, Guelph, ON
I wanted to thank you so much for making the EPI-NO available for purchase in Canada.
I became pregnant for the first time in July 2009 and a friend of mine had told me about the EPI-NO. She had heard about it from her sister. They had both used it and found that it had worked for them. I was intrigued by the idea and I am a true believer in your analogy of childbirth being like running a marathon and needing to train.
A few months after my friend had told me about the EPI-NO I started looking it up on the internet. At 5 months pregnant I purchased one and at 30 weeks I signed up for your individual session. I wish I had signed up earlier L But at least I have the knowledge now J When I saw you, you informed me that I have a 2-3 finger diastasis. This gave me the motivation to get started with the EPI-NO and the exercises you taught me. I started using the EPI-NO for stretching at 36 weeks. I was nervous to get started but when I started using it, it was easy. I continued to use it daily for 4 weeks and ended up stretching to 9cm. I didn’t use it for the last 2 weeks as I ended up getting 8 stretch and sweeps to induce labour (which unfortunately didn’t help).
This was my first baby, which I had heard can come late. And mine did! He was almost 2 weeks late and weighed a healthy 9lbs 7oz. To all the nurses, midwives and doctors surprise there was NO tearing, NO ripping, NO stitches! YES 9lbs 7oz! I was told by several nurses that I was the talk of the nursing station because this was my first baby, and with his size and the fact that I did not need an episiotomy nor did I tear, they were all shocked! Was I EVER happy I had used the EPI-NO because I had NO idea I was carrying a baby that big. I only gained 30lbs and the weight seemed to be all in my stomach area. So with the way I carried my 9lbs 7oz baby am I ever glad Kim was able to teach me preventative exercises and some for recovery to help me with my pelvic floor and abdomen. I have now signed up for the Restore your Core seminar.
I have and will continue to recommend Kim and the EPI-NO to all my pregnant friends!
Thank you soooooooo very much Kim!
EPI-NO gave me the confidence I needed for delivery.... Your greatest fan, Barbara Ann
Dear Kim, (Part 1)
When I first heard about EPI-NO, and its ability to train women's birth canals to make delivery easier and to prevent tearing I was surprised. Not that I didn't think EPI-NO would work, but I had never heard of such a thing!
My friend first introduced me to EPI-NO after her successful "no tear" delivery of her 8 pound son.
I was more than happy to order your product and begin my 'training' as per the instruction booklet.
I began my exercises approximately 5 weeks before my due date. Initially I thought "How am I going to get up to 10cm, when 5 seems difficult?" After training for 5 weeks however, I did manage to get the size of the balloon up to 10 cm. Just in time too!! My baby girl was born almost 5 weeks to the start of my exercises. And, to everyone's surprise...no tearing, no ripping, no stitches!!! I felt very strong in delivery and only had to push for about 40 minutes. My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, so in reality, I didn't push for very long!!!
EPI-NO gave me the confidence I needed for delivery. I felt prepared!! As this was my first pregnancy, I think the fear of the unknown is difficult. After doing exercises with EPI-NO, and strengthening my pelvic floor, I felt great in delivery! The nurse that helped deliver my daughter was also surprised at how easily my daughter came out, and that I didn't experience any tearing, or need an episiotomy.
I attribute my successful delivery partly to genetics (mom needs some credit :)), and of course, to EPI-NO. I don't think my delivery would have been as easy, and I truly feel I would have torn without it.
As it happens, I just came from my doctor this morning. I was there for my 6 week post partum visit. He said I looked great and he didn't feel the need to give me an internal exam as I had such an easy delivery. Whether or not that is sound medical advice I don't know. But, I felt great leaving his office knowing that I was one of his only patients that had such a successful delivery. While I was in the waiting room I did tell 2 other expectant mothers to check out EPI-NO.
Thank you again for EPI-NO!!! I look forward to using it for my second child (God willing there is one!)
No ripping, no tearing. Very easy delivery and again, my perineum intact! Thank you again EPI-NO! Barbara Ann, Ottawa, ON
Dear Kim, (Part 2)
Your new marketing strategy should be EPI-NO and EASY-YES! Delivering baby #2 was a piece of cake! Baby Seán was born at 1:32 a.m. on July 4th weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces. Funny...they called me at 5 p.m Friday to induce me because they had an opening/clean slate but I was already 4 cm dilated when I got there and having contractions. The contractions were more annoying than painful, so I had no idea I was in labour. So, in the end, they did not have to induce me. By 10 p.m. I was having painful contractions, and had an epidural. A short while later I said "I think the baby is way down there...should I push?" The nurse said "let's have a practice push". Well, he almost came out! They quickly called the doctor and a few pushes later and out he came - No ripping, no tearing. Very easy delivery and again, my perineum intact!
Thank you again EPI-NO!
The device is simple to use and I think it is a great tool for prevention of tears... Gail Pateman, Vancouver, BC
I used the Epi-No to prepare for the birth of my 7lb 6oz daughter in May 2008 (my first!). I used it for both the stretching of the perineum to avoid tearing and for pre-natal strengthening. I'm sure the "pre-habilitation" helped because the delivery was very quick - my water broke at 6pm on Friday, I went into hard labour at 3am on Saturday, arrived at the hospital at 8 am the same day 9 3/4 cm dilated and pushed for 15 minutes; despite this, I only had a very small anterior tear (but no muscle damage and it didn't need stitches!) My recovery was also fast and I've been using it for the rehabilitation and I'm now better than my pre-natal strength.
The device is simple to use and I think it is a great tool for prevention of tears. I also think it's great because the user gets an awareness of the pelvic floor muscles before the trauma of a vaginal delivery so that it is easier to recruit the muscles during the early stages of recovery. The instructions that are included are very clear about how to tell if you are doing a correct pelvic floor contraction, but if you have any questions, I would suggest that you see a physiotherapist trained in pelvic floor muscle assessment (Dawn Siegel and Corine Van Doorn at Hollyburn Physiotherapy Clinic both have specialized training for this). My doctor was skeptical about its efficacy, but I think the results speak for themselves. I'm very happy with the results and I personally and professionally think that more physicians should be recommending pre-natal pelvic floor stretching and strengthening to their patients to prevent future problems associated with tearing and muscle weakness, such as incontinence. The pelvic floor muscles are just like any other muscle group that you can train for strength and flexibility…they're just a bit harder to access!
EPI-NO was the best thing I've ever bought in my life... Irina, Montreal, QC
EPI-NO was the best thing I've ever bought in my life! I gave birth to my second daughter earlier this month (Feb 09) and I had a wonderful birth experience. It was a completely natural birth without any interventions. I did not tear at all and the delivery was very fast - I pushed no longer than 5 minutes. She was 3.500 kg. The doctor was looking for a tear but was very surprised that there was none. Everything got back to normal right away after the birth. I was worried about the episiotomy scar I got with my first daughter - afraid it would tear, but it didn't!
I started to use the EPI-NO from 36.5 weeks and I used it routinely in the morning and evening until my delivery at 41.5 weeks. Unfortunately, the doctors I encountered had no idea about the EPI-NO which is sad, because it could save many women from unnecessary interventions and heavy recovery.