About EPI-NO

EPI-NO is available in New Zealand in Dr Horkel's original design:

  • EPI-NO Delphine Plus: Childbirth & Pelvic Floor Trainer design with Biofeedback function for pelvic floor exercises. 


EPI-NO Delphine Plus and Delphine are dual-purpose birth training devices. EPI-NO exercises enhance the function of the natural pregnancy hormone Relaxin to prepare the perineum with gentle stretching exercises commencing at 37 weeks. EPI-NO also strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and is used throughout the pregnancy, then following the birth to restore pelvic floor muscle strength, promote bladder control and sexual health. 

1. Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises

These exercises commence early in the pregnancy. A strong pelvic floor supports the weight of childbearing, and is more resilient in it's recovery after the birth. In these exercises the balloon acts as a sensor and is only minimally inflated. During these exercises pelvic floor muscle strength can be progressively measured on the dial of the hand pump. These exercises continue after the birth of the baby.

2. Exercises to Stretch the Perineum

EPI-NO stretching exercises commence at 37 weeks and continue until the end of the pregnancy term. These exercises gradually stretch the perineum in daily sessions of 20 minutes comprising four cycles of 5 minutes in duration. In these exercises the balloon is inserted 2/3 and gradually inflated at the perineum (the vaginal os). 
Fig 1. Position of EPI-NO when deflated

Women training with EPI-NO will normally achieve a dilation of between 8.5cm and 10.0cm over 3-4 weeks. Women achieving 8.5cm should achieve the extra 1.5cm when the baby’s head is crowning. Following these stretching exercises the balloon can be withdrawn while inflated, simulating the experience of control during the birth. 
Fig 2. Position of EPI-NO when inflated to 10.0cm after 3+ weeks of training

Clinical Studies in Germany, Singapore and Australia indicate a reduction in perineal damage in women who have trained with EPI-NO. One German study also indicated a shorter 2nd Stage Labour, a reduction in anxiety and the use of analgesics, and better APGAR Scores for EPI-NO babies.

It is recommended that women consult their health professional before commencing EPI-NO exercises. 

EPI-NO was invented by Dr Wilhelm Horkel, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at his Starnberg, Germany clinic and is now available in over 20 countries worldwide. With over 50,000 EPI-NO births since 2004 in Australia EPI-NO is growing in the Asia-Pacific Region.

"The human body performs to maximum efficiency in any physical activity when correctly trained and prepared. Childbirth is no exception" Dr Wilhelm Horkel, Starnberg Germany (EPI-NO inventor)

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