Title:
Pregnancy push straps for use during delivery
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of pregnancy push straps each comprising a first strap forming a loop having a handle means positioned thereon, the first strap for engagement with the hand of the expectant mother via a handle and the opposing end of the loop for engagement with the expectant mother's foot instep when the expectant mother is in a supine position with the thighs substantially vertical and the calves horizontal, there being one push strap associated with each leg and used simultaneously, there further being a second strap forming a loop perpendicularly about the first strap, a portion of the second strap fixedly secured to the first strap and removably secured and adjustable to the first strap for positioning about the ankle of the user.



Inventors:
Pelligra, John (Manasquan, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/079689
Publication Date:
09/22/2005
Filing Date:
03/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/20; A41D13/12; (IPC1-7): A41D1/20
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TARLA R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CLIFFORD G. FRAYNE (BRICK, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for assisting a child birth effort of a pregnant woman, the apparatus comprising: a pair of push straps utilized by a pregnant woman during child birth, each of said push straps associated with a right hand and right leg, and a left hand and a left leg, each of said push straps comprising a first loop of material, said loop of material having a handle means positioned thereon, said loop of material in communication with the instep of the respective foot of the said pregnant woman, the handle in communication with the respective hand of the pregnant woman, the push straps utilized when said pregnant woman is in a supine position wherein the thighs are in a substantially vertical position and said pregnant woman's calves are in a substantially horizontal position during child birth; a second loop of material orientated in a plane vertical to said first loop of material for positioning about the ankle of said pregnant woman during child birth to maintain said push straps in position.

2. The apparatus for assisting a child birth effort of a pregnant woman in accordance with claim 1 wherein said second loop of said push straps is removably securable about said ankle of said pregnant woman.

3. The apparatus for assisting a child birth effort of a pregnant woman in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first loop member is adjustable by means of an adjustable buckle member to accommodate a pregnant woman of varying heights and sizes.

4. A method of assisting a child birth effort of a pregnant woman, the method comprising: grasping a handle member, said handle member being positioned on a first loop of material, wherein said first loop of material is of sufficient length so as to engage the instep of a pregnant woman's leg and a pregnant woman's hand on each lateral side of the body and a second loop about said ankle of said pregnant woman so as to position the thighs in a generally vertical position and the calves in a generally horizontal position when the pregnant woman is in a supine position so as to induce flexion of the hip and concomitant widening of the birth canal in order to aid in delivery.

5. The method in accordance with claim 4 wherein the first and second loops comprise non-elastic material.

6. The method in accordance with claim 4 wherein said second loop comprises a fastening means for securing said second loop about an ankle of the patient.

7. The method in accordance with claim 6 wherein the fastening means comprises a hook and loop fastener system.

8. The method in accordance with claim 4 wherein said first loop comprises a fictional adjustable buckle member for adjustment of the length of said first loop member determined upon the size and height of said pregnant woman.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

Applicant claims the benefit of provisional application 60/553,889, filed Mar. 18, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a device to aid in the child birth process, and more particularly to a pair of push straps attached to the feet which allows the expectant mother to exert upward pressure (pulling) accentuating flexion at the hips so as to aid in the widening of the birth canal during delivery.

2. Description of the Prior Art

During the birthing process, the infant is displaced down the birthing canal through uterine contractions of the expectant mother. In most instances, the width of the birth canal is sufficient, together with the positioning of the infant to allow for a normal vaginal birth. However, in some instances, the infant may have significantly greater head to shoulder ratios resulting in a medical condition known as shoulder dystocia. This condition complicates the normal vaginal birthing process and studies indicate that injuries were apparent in 20% of surviving infants who experiences shoulder dystocia. Possible injuries to the baby include, but are not limited to, neurological injuries, neuropsychiatric abnormalities, diaphragmatic paralysis, and bone fractures. Injury to the mother include lacerations, hematomas and hemorrhage.

One alternative to the normal vaginal birth would be a cesarean section for delivery of the infant. However, the condition of shoulder dystocia is usually unexpected and the obstetrician has to be prepared to handle the complication at any time. If the gentle downward traction of the fetal head does not deliver the anterior shoulder, a series of steps must be taken. Clinically, in the prior art, it is the well known routine of the McRoberts maneuver. This involves flexion of the maternal thighs against the mother's abdomen. This flexion straightens the lumbosacral angle and rotates the symphaysis cephalad, allowing for a widened birth canal, which may free the impacted shoulder with slight traction.

A shortcoming of the McRoberts maneuver is that the mother must pull on her thighs with her hands, which is many times awkward to perform. Applicant's invention provides a device which is cooperative with the foot in the lower leg of the expectant mother which allows her to exert direct, upward pressure with her arms to the strap fixed to her foot, thus directly flexing the hip. This device is shown to be effective with respect to the type of deliveries described and vaginal deliveries by maximizing the space in the birth canal.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide for a novel device against which a mother can exert pressure with her arms and hence comfortably control and help flexion of the hips during contractions so as to aid in delivery of a baby.

Another object of the present invention is to provide for a novel device which aids in the delivery of the baby by widening the birth canal.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide for a novel device which can be comfortably and easily slipped over the feet of a pregnant mother and allow her to control when she wants to push.

A further object of the present invention is the patient controls the force of flexion of the hips, eliminating possible back and pelvic injuries by the delivery team.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A pair of pregnancy push straps each comprising a first strap forming a loop having a handle means positioned thereon, the first strap for engagement with the hand of the expectant mother via the handle means and the opposing end of the loop for engagement with the expectant mother's foot instep when the expectant mother is in a supine position with the thighs substantially vertical and the calves horizontal, there being one push strap associated with each leg and used simultaneously, there further being a second strap means forming a loop perpendicularly about the first strap means, a portion of the second strap means fixedly secured at a first position and a second position to the first strap means and removably secured and adjustable to the first strap means at the first position, the second strap means for positioning about the ankle of the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent, particularly when taken in light of the following illustrations wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the left push strap of the present invention in a closed secure position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the left push strap of the present invention in an open unsecured position;

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D are side views demonstrating the positioning of the push straps on an expectant woman;

FIG. 4 is a side view demonstrating the use of the push strap of the present invention from the left side;

FIG. 5 is a schematic cross section of the birth canal with the use of the push straps of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a schematic cross section of the birth canal without the use of the push straps of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the push strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of the push strap 10 of the present invention in a closed and secured position and in an open, unsecured position. Push strap 10 is comprised of a first strap means 12 having a first side 14 and a second side 16. First strap means 12 is fabricated from a web-like material, preferably a reinforced nylon webbing.

First strap means 12 is formed into a loop 18 in which a first end 20 of first strap means 12 is secured to an adjustment buckle 23 and second end 22 passes through adjustment buckle 23 and is slidably adjustable through adjustment buckle 23 to allow for adjustment of the size loop 18 to accommodate the pregnant womans height and reach. Once the correct size of loop 18 has been achieved, adjustment buckle 23 frictionally engages second end 22 of first strap means to maintain the loop size. Prior to forming the loop 18, a tubular slideable handle means 24 is slideably positioned on the first strap means 12. Tubular slideable handle means 24 is preferably formed with a resilient cushion-like material 26 about its outer surface 28.

Push strap 10 (see FIG. 2) also includes a second strap means 30 formed of the same material as first strap means 12. A first end 32 of second strap means 30 is secured to first strap means 12 with a stitch at point 34 and a mid portion of second strap means 30 is secured by a stitch to the opposing side of loop 18 at point 36 leaving some slack between the two securing points. This portion of second strap means 30 accommodates the back of the ankle. The second end 38 of second strap means 30 has formed on its inner surface 40 an adjustable securing means 42, cooperable with a second portion of a securing means 42 formed on the outer surface of first end 32 of second strap means 30.

In this configuration, second strap means 30 forms a substantially perpendicular loop 44 (FIG. 1) to the loop 18 formed by first strap means 12 and the adjustable securing means 42 (FIG. 2) allows for the adjustment of the loop 44 about the user's ankle as described hereafter. Preferably, the adjustable securing means 42 utilized on second strap means 30 would be a hook and loop fastener means.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D are side views of push strap 10 being adjusted to the left leg by an expectant mother. During delivery, abdominal contractions serve to displace the fetus down the birth canal. The wider the birth canal, the easier the delivery, especially in difficult births where shoulder dystocia is present.

The push strap 10 is adjusted by opening the hook and loop securing means 42 on strap 30. The user holds the left handle 24 with the left hand with the palm facing the floor and places the left foot through the loop 18 created under the handle. The heel is placed down in the cradle defined by loop 18 and that portion of strap means 30 secured to loop 18 by stitches between points 34 and 36 to support the foot under the heel and instep and behind the ankle. Strap 30 is then brought in front of the ankle and secured to itself by the hook and loop securing means 42. Adjustment to the length of the push strap loop 18 is accomplished with adjustment buckle 23. The adjustment should be accomplished so that the handle means 24 is midway between the top of the knee and the bottom of the foot. The handle means 24 should further be adjusted as close to the ankle as the user can reach while lying on her back in order to allow for maximum pull. A push strap 10 thus described would be associated with each leg.

The expectant mother assumes the position illustrated in FIG. 4, that is in a supine position with the thighs extending upwardly and the calves outwardly in a horizontal orientation, the expectant mother would exert pressure onto the push straps 10 with her arms in an extended orientation. This action would translate into flexion of the hip, which in turn would aid in the widening of the AP diameter of the birth canal as illustrated by A in FIG. 5 as compared with a smaller AP diameter of the birth canal as illustrated by B in FIG. 6 of the unflexed hip.

The push straps 10 of the present invention are light weight, easy to put on and remove and are easily washable. Further, while push straps 10 could be made from a first strap means 12 and second strap means 30 of varying lengths to accommodate various sized expectant mother, Applicant has found that most expectant mothers can be accommodated with a push strap 10 in which the first strap means 12 is formed from a strap web of approximately 33½ inches, and the second strap means is formed from a strap web of approximately 22 inches with the second strap means 30 secured about the first strap means 12 such that the bottom of the loop 18 formed by first strap means 12 is 6 inches below the stitching securing second strap means 30 to first strap means 12. Nevertheless, push straps 10 could be fabricated so that the loop 18 formed by first strap means 12 could be longer or shorter.

The preferred embodiment of push strap 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4, allows adjustment of the length of first strap means 12. A second embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 7 could be fabricated from the same materials but would not include an adjustment buckle. First send 20 and second end 22 would be stitched together to form a continuous loop and dimensioned as aforesaid to accommodate the majority of pregnant women or fabricated in varying lengths to accommodate differently dimensioned pregnant women.

The use of the push straps as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 aids in the widening of the birth canal during delivery and is of particular importance during difficult deliveries, examples of which have been discussed.

While the present invention has been described with respect to the exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications or changes can be achieved without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore it is manifestly intended that the invention be limited only by the scope of the claims and the equivalence thereof.