Published Dec 2, 2023
I'm talking about the dilation beads and belly beads (for lactation). I've seen a few nurses wear them but I'm not sure if they are something anyone truly uses/finds helpful or they just look pretty. They are around $10 each on Etsy. I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on them. Thanks!
Ohm108, MSN, NP, CNM
The majority of the new grad L&d nurses on my floor have them on their badges. I asked a few of them about it and they have all told me as new nurses that they do feel that is useful to be able to double check their dilation after a SVE exam.
I have never used them, I learned by checking (after consent) cervixes by completing SVEs as a student and as a practicing midwife.
LLLovely, BSN, RN
I've never heard of them until just now. I think they would not have been useful for me. The dilation boards are useful because you can actually put your fingers inside the holes and compare to how the cervix felt. For me, this is better than a chart or beads, which are essentially like a ruler. It just doesn't feel the same. The basic boards are usually floating around hospitals because they are supplied by companies that make OB related products. For example, the ones we have at my current facility were made by a company that makes fetal fibronectin tests.
Belly beads might be useful, but I hate having extra stuff hanging from my badge. I do have a belly balls teaching tool. When I first started nursing, we had a supply of them that we gave to all breastfeeding mothers. I kept one and found that most hospitals do not supply these as an educational tool for parents, so I use my own. You can make a kit of your own easily by printing off a PDF from online and buying your own shooter marble, ping pong ball, and plastic Easter egg, then putting it all inside of a ziploc to use to teach parents. Sometimes, the midwives where I've worked have brought in a bag of shooter marbles to give one to new breastfeeding families, so that they can keep touching it to remind themselves that baby's tummy is small. Those are inexpensive and could be great as I find that families learn better when they can touch and keep things.
Just my two cents.
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