Labour hopscotch is a visual tool used in all maternity units.
The framework was designed by an Irish Midwife, Sinead Thompson, to assist women in labour. Labour Hopscotch is a visual birthing tool that provides structured guidance by outlining 20-minute rotating “steps” to perform during labour.
Ask your midwife about labour hopscotch if you're interested in using it as a visual aid.
The 7 parts of labour hopscotch have names to help you remember the exercises and relaxation steps.
They are called:
- Mobilise - this includes exercises to tilt your pelvis that you can do during pregnancy, and during your contractions when you're in labour.
- Toilet - this step is to relax your pelvic floor muscles and remind you to pee so as not to block your baby's head from descending.
- Stool - this includes using a birthing stool to tilt your pelvis.
- Water - this includes staying hydrated during labour, and using water therapy to relax.
- Mat - this includes getting on all fours on a yoga mat.
- Birthing ball - this includes leaning on the birthing ball, or sitting on a birthing ball and moving in a 'figure of 8' to tilt your pelvis.
- Alternative therapy - alternative methods of pain relief, including aromatherapy, massage, acupressure and homeopathy (tell your hospital team if you are using alternative therapies).
Labour hopscotch also encourages using:
- Breathing exercises
- TENS machines
You can start these positions from around 20 weeks of pregnancy. Check with your midwife or obstetrician that you can start these exercises.
You can also use these exercises and tips while you are in labour, during your contractions. They will help your baby have more room to move through your birth canal.