Balloon simulation perfectly shows what contractions are like

Photo: Liz Chalmers/YouTube
Photo: Liz Chalmers/YouTube 

It's a video that was intended for her niece, who is studying to become a child birth educator in New Zealand, however Washington educator Liz Chalmers soon discovered she had a much wider audience after her childbirth visualisation video went viral.

The video has been shared nearly 24,000 times and it's just so effective, we can see why. Using just a balloon and a ping pong ball, Liz perfectly demonstrates Braxton Hicks contractions, followed by the way real labour contractions shorten (efface) the cervix.

You'll want to show your partner, your boss and all of your friends, even if it's just for a bit of sympathy, because you will be feeling all of the labour pain after viewing this amazingly effective demonstration. Liz credits the visualisation technique to Teri Shilling who runs Stomp Out Boring Childbirth classes.

Liz starts by inserting a ping pong ball into a semi-inflated pink balloon. The balloon becomes the uterus, the air vent becomes the cervix and the ball becomes the baby's head.

Here's Liz showing how Braxton Hicks contractions are just the body's way of practicing for the main event and don't contribute to the thinning of the cervix.

Here's the real deal. The contractions start at the top of the uterus and work their way down the walls to push the baby down to shorten the cervix.

We're not sure the majority of babies pop out quite as fast as that ping pong ball, but this is by far the best demonstration we've seen of what a contraction looks like.

Even if you've never had a contraction, we're sure you're feeling some of that pain in sympathy.

Make sure you watch the whole video below as Liz explains each stage.