This viral vid by midwife Liz Chalmers might as well be called: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About How Childbirth Works, But Were Too Afraid To Ask.


Originally, Liz simply shared a DIY explain-it-all on Facebook for her niece, who is training to become a childbirth educator.

But it’s now had well over 2.3million views – no doubt in part thanks to the simple way she explains how all that birth stuff really happens, using only a balloon and a ping pong ball.

First, we should probably explain that the main part of the balloon represents the uterus, the bit of the balloon you tie up (the neck?) represents the cervix and the ball represents the soon-to-be born baby.

Liz blows up the balloon and pops the ball in the opening, which signifies that mum-to-be is almost ready to drop.

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She then does something amazing to show the difference between regular old contractions and Braxton Hicks.

The Braxton Hicks are demonstrated on the balloon with a tight squeeze to the side, as seen above. You can imagine the ‘ow’, but you can also see the ball isn’t moving an inch. So, they’re sore, but they’re not actually helping baby move along.

As for the contractions that do help prep for baby’s arrival, well, Liz starts by demonstrating them with a squeeze at the top of the balloon (i.e. the top of the uterus).


“Squeeze and let go,” she says, over and over, and before you know it, the neck of the balloon is showing effacement – which basically means the cervix is softening, thinning and shortening in preparation.

After some more squeezing, you can see the shape of the balloon’s really changed...


Eventually, you can see the ‘cervix’ is starting to dilate…

balloon dilate

The ping pong ball becomes more and more visible through the bottom of the balloon’s neck with each squeeze, until eventually its time for one… last… push.

Boom! The ping pong pall comes flying out. Baby is born. All is well!

And now, we have a much better understanding of what’s really going on in there while we’re giving birth to our babies ?

Watch the full video here

Images: Youtube/Liz Chalmers

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