What Childbirth Looks Like, As Depicted By A Balloon & A Ping Pong Ball

Whether you're preparing to give birth yourself, or you're simply curious about how childbirth actually happens, a new viral video will answer your questions.

Last week, Liz Chalmers, a co-owner of the Puget Sound Birth Center in Seattle, Washington, uploaded a video in which she uses just a balloon and a ping pong ball to depict childbirth — and it's actually very accurate.

Chalmers wrote on the description of the YouTube video that she learned how to do the simulation from a workshop called Stomp Out Boring Childbirth Classes. She originally made the video for her niece, who she writes in the description is currently preparing to be a childbirth educator in New Zealand. However, after she uploaded it on Facebook, it went viral, with more than 23,000 shares and more than 2.3 million views at the time of writing.

In the video, Chalmers puts a ping pong ball into a balloon and blows up said balloon, lodging the ball at the balloon's opening to simulate the end of pregnancy and the start of labor. First, she begins squeezing the side of the balloon to show Braxton Hicks contractions, or "practice contractions."

To depict what it's like when contractions actually begin, she begins squeezing from the top of the balloon (the "uterus" in this scenario) to show how the cervix thins out to prepare for birth.

At this point in early labor, she says in the video, "not much dilation is happening just yet," but as she keeps squeezing and letting go, the moment finally happens.

Quite unceremoniously, as you can see, the ping pong ball pops out and goes flying across the room (a reminder that this is a simulation and not meant to be taken literally).

So there you have it — the miracle of birth, as explained by a balloon and a ping pong ball.

Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.

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