Brooke Bernal is in her fourth year of teaching high school family consumer sciences. As part of the curriculum, and near the end of each teaching unit, students are treated to an in-depth discussion of childbirth that doesn’t just gloss over the basics. Instead, Bernal is committed to teaching her students how birth works and she has the perfect prop to do it.
Using a balloon and a ping pong she has come up with a genius demonstration of how labor works. It’s one of the greatest teaching moments we’ve ever seen and we’re not alone. The video on TikTok has garnered over 5 million views and has received over 1 million likes.
Brooke Bernal uses a simple balloon and ping pong ball to demonstrate childbirth. Her humble demonstration is so effective!
Isn’t that something? Curious as to how she came up with the labor and delivery demo, Buzzfeed reached out to Bernal to find out.
“A teacher posted a video of her doing it with her class and I loved it,” the teacher explained. “I have no idea who the original creator is, but shoutout to them for being so creative.”
Shoutout, indeed. The balloon acts as the uterus, birth canal, and cervix while the ball is a prop for the baby.
To achieve the demo all you need to do is to place a ping pong ball into the ballon and then blow the balloon up. Squeeze the balloon to simulate contractions and allow the ball to leave the uterus (the biggest part of the ballon) into the birth canal (the neck of the ballon). This will cause the “cervix” to dilate and eventually the ball to be born just like a baby. Well, not exactly the same, but you get the point.
“Normally, this demonstration does not faze my students at all,” Bernal said. “They are really just surprised that a ping pong ball can fit into a balloon and that a balloon can stretch like it does without popping. It’s just a good visual aid for them.”
“And, yes, they know a baby will not actually yeet across the room!” she joked. “I personally feel that they get more out of me showing it this way than they would watching birthing videos because it’s something that is hands on and they can’t just zone out.”
“I have never had a balloon pop, aka uterine rupture,” she continued. “Sometimes, the balloons may get stuck or rip a small hole, making the ping pong ball harder to get out or stuck. I just tell the students that this shows you can’t plan labor and delivery. You may have to have forceps, vacuum extraction, you may tear or end up with an episiotomy, or an emergency C-section. There are a multitude of things that can happen because childbirth is so unpredictable. This activity gives them a demonstration of that.”
Brooke, who is pregnant with her third child, knows the importance of understanding the birthing process firsthand and thinks all of her students should have a basic understanding of this natural part of life.
“My husband had no idea how a baby was born when I was pregnant with my first child,” she revealed. “He did not believe me when I told him what all goes into having a baby, even though he took a child development class in high school. So, if I can provide basic knowledge to my students now, I am providing them with the tools and knowledge to feel comfortable and confident if they do get pregnant one day. I am also teaching them to be great support systems for someone who is having a baby.”
“Also, with technology, kids receive so much misinformation. I am often blown away by how much misinformation my students tell me. So, teaching this class gives me the opportunity to help them learn what is correct and it gives them a safe place to openly discuss any questions they might have. My classroom is a judgment-free zone and all questions are welcome.”
She also shared a video of how she simulates being nine months pregnant for her students. This woman is an artist and you should probably go follow her on TikTok.