Tug of War
What it is:
The tug of war is a method of teaching the mother proper pushing technique, and encouraging her to push effectively. The mother pulls on a piece of cord or cloth while she pushes.
How it works:
By pulling against a force, the mother is made to use the abdominal muscles necessary for proper pushing.
How to do it:
Position the mother into a semi-reclining or squatting position. Give one end of a towel, rope or rebozo to the mother while the coach keeps the other. During a contraction, have the mother pull on the towel while the coach gives resistance as if they were having a tug of war. Be sure the mother is properly supported so she will not lose her balance.
Implementing it in labor:
Wrap a towel around the squat bar on a hospital bed. Have the mother hold both ends of the towel and pull during contractions.
Using the tug of war may change the center of gravity enough to support the mother using a squat position on the floor during a contraction.
The tug of war may be useful for moving the baby down the canal quickly if it becomes necessary to get the baby out.