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  • Writer's pictureHannah Hunt

Finding Success with Mechanical Methods: Top Tips

Midwives and obstetricians experienced with using DILAPAN-S tell us how they achieved great outcomes and what advice they would give to other midwives.


On Friday April 26th at 1pm, Calderdale Hospital will be hosting a webinar on how to find success with mechanical methods. Learn how they successfully introduced mechanical methods, overcame barriers, and reduced the amount of time women spend in hospital. This webinar will include valuable insights from a rare example of a hospital offering multiple mechanical methods.


Register here to join the event for free.




Top tips


  1. Make a DILAPAN-S box or trolley - This will make the process quicker and easier for you and your patient. “We have a DILAPAN-S box in every unit where DILAPAN-S is used. It has all equipment and patient info leaflets. It’s so helpful, especially on busy days, to have everything you need ready to go” Phoebe Langar, Midwife at Kettering

  2. Use a USS wedge to tilt the cervix - Positioning is key for a successful insertion, and many hospitals find it helpful to use a wedge. “Lithotomy isn’t always necessary, and we like to avoid using it as it medicalises the procedure. We use a wedge which we found is really effective” Jill Sturt, Consultant Obstetrician at Gateshead

  3. Pre-cervical ripening for an unfavourable cervix - Whilst it is possible to insert 4-5 dilators in the vast majority of cases, it can be tricky especially when you’re new to DILAPAN-S to insert a full set of dilators in a closed cervix.  “We found it works really well if the cervix isn’t favourable to insert as many dilators as you can, then remove them and do a full insertion after.” Lauren Day, Lead Midwife at Cardiff

  4. Try both insertion techniques - You will likely find it easier to insert either with a speculum or digitally, depending on which technique you’re most confident with, as well as the patient’s anatomy and station of the fetal head. “Some colleagues find inserting digitally to be far easier, but I found it easier with a speculum. Practitioner preference will always play a part” Rebecca Villasanta, Midwife at Calderdale

  5. Be patient with yourself! - Like any new skill, it takes time to learn. Don’t panic if you don’t get it straight away and be confident that you will get better with practice. Be prepared for the journey, it won’t happen overnight!” Kate Conway, Matron at Royal Surrey


To arrange a virtual training session for your hospital, get in touch with our team here.

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