How Long Should You Bounce On A Birthing Ball To Induce Labor

If you want to get labor started, experts say that the most effective way is to spend time on the birthing ball. Many people are under the impression that bouncing on a birthing ball for hours at a time can cause contractions and labor. This is not the case. While simply sitting on your ball or standing and swaying may help you relax, only bouncing with moderate intensity will lead to contractions. Risk of abdominal injury is low, if you wish to bounce on a birthing ball while trying to induce labor. In general, the term ‘ballooning’ is more appropriate than ‘bouncing’, since there is minimal hip extension movement involved in ballooning. For women with low-risk pregnancies we recommend that they should be allowed up to 2 hours (or as long as necessary) of pain relief associated with ballooning/bouncing on a birthing ball.

Many people use an exercise ball, or one specially designed for birth, throughout pregnancy to ease discomfort and get into beneficial positions. Some of the same movements used during pregnancy can be used with the exercise ball to induce labor.

When your body is ready, there are many ways to get things going in the hospital and ways to induce labor more gently at home. It is very important to discuss with your provider what type of induction may be appropriate for you and your current situation. For example, if you’ve had a prior Cesarean, your provider might consider induction methods that are safe for VBAC.

It is also important to take into consideration the timing of when you are trying to induce. Sometimes our bodies are not quite ready to have a baby. If you are trying to induce labor, be mindful that if it does not work, your body will get there at some point. 

If you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and considering how to get labor going, focusing on your baby’s position can be really helpful. That’s because one of the main reasons for C-section is a baby being in a less ideal position during labor and pushing.

Using the exercise ball can help with that, too. Creating balance in the pelvis with birthing ball exercises and other techniques can help your body prepare for labor and get your baby into an ideal position. 

In this article, we are going to talk about how to use an exercise ball to induce labor, if it’s safe to try, and how effective it is.

How does a birthing ball help induce labor?

A birthing ball is a large exercise ball that you can sit on, not only during pregnancy but also during labor. Many women will use their birthing ball to help induce labor or encourage contractions when they are near the end of their pregnancy. 

It is not known if a birthing ball truly helps to induce labor, but it is a great tool you can use at home to try and get things going. Using an exercise ball can also encourage your baby into an optimal fetal position for labor and birth.

A birthing ball is a nice comfortable place for a pregnant person to sit, and because it is an inflated ball, you can bounce on it. Bouncing can help the baby engage into the pelvis more and place more pressure on the cervix. 

Pregnancy ball exercises to induce labor

Those last weeks of pregnancy can be really hard as we patiently wait for our sweet babies to arrive. When it comes to inducing labor, the most important thing is to allow your body time.

However, when your body is ready, there are ways to help encourage your labor to begin. Below are a few ways to help induce labor using the birthing ball. 

Tilting back and forward 

Seated on the ball with your feet evenly placed on the ground, rock your pelvis back and forth, rolling on top of the ball. This creates movement in your pelvis and can also help your baby come down a little more. 

This is a gentle movement, and you can practice pelvic tilt exercises during any stage of pregnancy. But it’s important to follow your body’s lead. If it is starting to feel uncomfortable, stop. 

pelvic tilts

Hip circles on the exercise ball

Hip circles can create a big movement change in your pelvis and may help your sweet little baby snuggle on down into your pelvis. This movement may also stimulate your cervix, which in turn can bring on contractions.

Seated on the exercise ball, move your hips in large circles. Change directions after a few rotations, performing the motion for both left and right.

Bounce away

Bouncing on a birthing ball to induce labor is one of the most common things people will try to get things going. 

This movement can help because gravity brings the baby down and helps them into a nice engaged position. If the baby puts enough pressure on your cervix or the bag of waters, it is possible that your water may break.

If you are also pumping to induce, bouncing on the exercise ball would be a great addition to help things get moving along.

Figure eights

Picture what a number eight looks like in your head, and try drawing it out with your hips while seated on the ball. This motion is another great exercise to create motion in the pelvis and help your baby into a good position. 

Exercise ball squats

Sitting on your ball, you can put yourself in a deep squat position. Having something to hold onto or placing your hands on your legs can also help you balance. If you choose to have something in front of you to lean on, be careful not to push the ball backward with your lower body.

exercise ball to induce labor

A squatting position mixed with bouncing can help contractions increase. 

How long should I bounce on a ball to induce labor?

There is not really a set duration on how long or short you should bounce on your exercise ball to induce labor. However, the longer you bounce, the more pressure you will be placing on the cervix to help encourage your uterus to contract. 

You can bounce in longer sessions or in short and frequent intervals. For example, you could try 30-60 minutes of bouncing, mixed with figure eights or rocking back and forth. Alternatively, you could bounce for 15 min every hour to change things up in the pelvis. 

It is really important to listen to your body and follow its lead. If you feel stable and are able to spend a lot of time on your ball, that can potentially help your chances of inducing labor. If it becomes too much or feels hard to balance, give your body a rest. 

Also be mindful of your back position keeping it aligned with your normal hip position.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to bounce on a ball while pregnant?

Yes! It is safe to sit on your exercise ball and gently bounce while you are pregnant, unless you have been advised against exercise and movement by your healthcare provider. Bouncing towards the end of your pregnancy can encourage contractions, so be sure to ask your doctor when a good time to start using a ball during pregnancy would be, and what week you can start doing things to help induce labor. 

Do squats help induce labor?

Squats do not necessarily induce labor. However, they can change up the pelvic dynamics and help the baby get into a lower position, so when labor begins, it is more effective. If you have pelvic pain, do not continue to squat. This can be common at the end of pregnancy as the hormone relaxin kicks in and the pelvis starts to shift as it prepares for birth. 

What is the quickest way to go into labor?

The quickest way to go into labor is going to the hospital and beginning an induction. However, there are other methods like pumping to induce labor, taking special herbs, or having the membranes stripped that people have used to get labor going.

The best way to induce labor is by using a birthing ball. You can use the ball for bouncing, rolling or rocking, depending on your comfort and the size of your home. To enhance the relaxation response, it’s important to relax and focus on breathing during this time. To most effectively induce labor, you should use your birthing ball for at least 30 minutes at a time, several times a day. However, the more you use it, the better.

You can use a birthing ball to help stimulate labor and for comfort before, during and after the birth of your baby.

When To Start Using Birthing Ball Nhs

When to start using birthing ball nhs. The NHS recommends that vaginal birth should be delayed until the hospital has been reached and more advanced care can be provided. If a woman feels that she is going into labour, contact her midwife or health visitor and allow them to decide whether this is the case. The NHS advises that you start using your birthing ball from around the 36th week of pregnancy. You can begin to use it as soon as you feel up to it.

Why use a birthing ball?

Sitting comfortably

Moving around can get a little harder as your pregnancy progresses. A birthing ball can feel much more comfortable to sit on than desk chairs or sofas. It can also make it easier for you to get on and off.

Exercise and pain relief

Using your birthing ball can also improve your posture and balance and exercise your tummy muscles. As you rock or bounce on it gently, your tummy and back muscles will be working hard to keep you upright.

A birth ball can also help to distribute your weight more evenly. This can relieve spinal pressure and back pain, and provide support for your knees and ankles.

Why use a birthing ball?

Sitting comfortably

Moving around can get a little harder as your pregnancy progresses. A birthing ball can feel much more comfortable to sit on than desk chairs or sofas. It can also make it easier for you to get on and off.

Exercise and pain relief

Using your birthing ball can also improve your posture and balance and exercise your tummy muscles. As you rock or bounce on it gently, your tummy and back muscles will be working hard to keep you upright.

A birth ball can also help to distribute your weight more evenly. This can relieve spinal pressure and back pain, and provide support for your knees and ankles.

How to get your hips moving

  • Side to side – this stretches out any tightness and tension in your back and hips.
  • Figure of 8 – this relieves lower back pain and helps move baby’s head down into the pelvic area.
  • Circular motion – this can help baby get into the right position during labour.

You can adopt various positions whilst in labour

  • Sit and rock your pelvis side to side, or forwards and backwards.
  • Leaning on your birth ball from a kneeling position.
  • Hugging the ball and raising your bottom up from kneeling position, rocking pelvis from side to side.
  • Leaning over your birth ball from standing position with the ball placed on a higher surface.

Mat and gym ball exercises with pregnancy related Pelvic Girdle Pain

What to consider when buying your birth ball

Buy the right size for your height. Your knees should be about 10cm (4in) lower than your hips when you sit on it.

  • If you’re up to 1.73m (5ft 8in) in height, get a 65cm ball.
  • If you’re taller than 1.73m (5ft 8in), get a 75cm ball.

Birthing balls can take any weight, regardless of your size. Good quality birthing balls are pressure-tested to support weights up to 300kg (about 47st).

After birth

You’re not done yet! If you have a vaginal birth, it’s common to feel pain or pressure between the vagina and anus and sitting down may cause some discomfort. To help with the pain, slightly deflate the ball to make it softer to sit on.

Hazard warnings

  • If your waters break or fluids are spilled anywhere near your birth ball, refrain from getting on it until the area is cleared from liquids to avoid slipping.
  • Most birth balls are anti-burst, which means if they’re punctured, they will deflate slowly instead of burst. Still, try to keep sharp objects away.
  • Pace yourself, and don’t rush to move until you feel balanced.
  • Make sure you talk to your midwife before you use a birth ball.

NHS guidelines say that your breathing, exercise, and relaxation exercises should begin no later than 6 to 8 weeks before your baby’s due date. But if you’re worried you won’t be fit enough in time, don’t panic! You can start even earlier – it doesn’t matter how far along you are when you start. As long as you feel comfortable and safe, you can use the birthing ball at any point during your pregnancy. The birthing ball helps to prepare your body for labour and birth. It encourages baby to move down in the womb, eases back pain and relieves tension in your pelvic floor.

If you are planning a hospital birth, or know that you will need to stay in bed for a long time, it is worth starting the ball a few weeks before you go into labour. Free Delivery When you buy a birthing ball and birth cushion, you can get the cheapest possible delivery with next day delivery.

Sleeping Positions To Induce Labor

Want to Do you want to induce labor naturally? Find out what research (and thousands of women) say about the best sleeping positions for inducing labor here, induce labor? Here are the best sleeping positions to try.

There are a variety of sleeping positions that you can try to induce labor in your baby. Sleeping on your side is one of the most popular methods, while also offering the best position for you and your soon to be bundle of joy. Other popular postures include lying on your back with bent knees and sitting up fully upright. Many pregnant women wonder how to induce labor naturally. If you want to bring on your own labor, try sleeping on your left side, aiming for three to five hours in that position per night. The fetal fluids that collect in the amniotic sac don’t circulate properly if your baby is lying on its back. When you sleep on your left side however, this action will help flush out the fluid preventing it from accumulating and causing a medical condition called oligohydramnios which is usually found in full-term babies who are stillborn or have severe breathing problems because they don’t have enough fluid surrounding their lungs.

Find out the best ways to sleep during pregnancy to induce labor. You can improve your chances of having a natural induction (as opposed to an induced labor) by asking your doctor to give you a pill called misoprostol. A new study shows that women who’ve had an epidural or given birth before tend to need more time in labor – which can be very uncomfortable.

Bouncing On Ball To Break Water

Bouncing on ball to break water is a great way to get your baby interested in moving and developing his or her coordination skills. The simple game requires nothing more than a bouncing ball, a few fingers, and a willing participant. By encouraging your child to bounce on the ball using his or her hands, you are helping them develop coordination. This will help them when learning how to walk, balance, throw and catch a ball. Bouncing also develops their muscle tone because they must use their body weight to keep the ball moving forward. This will build strength that will help with riding a tricycle or bicycle later on!

 A birth ball is second only to a birth stool for helping rotation while the mother is sitting or when standing isn’t an option.

Why should I use one?

The birth ball comforts and strengthens your lower back. Your pelvis is better supported and symmetrical as well. The pelvis opens a bit, perhaps not as much as squatting, but certainly without the same level of effort.

You will be able to sit upright comfortably after only a few tries with the ball. Sitting upright helps the abdomen be a “hammock” for the baby and encourages the baby to settle in an anterior position when the mother’s ligaments and fascia are balanced and she hasn’t waited too long. Start before pregnancy if you can.


How does it work?

Sit with your feet flat and apart, so that your feet and the center of the ball make a tripod when you sit down. The ball should be firm and big enough so that your hips are equal or higher than your knees. Use a birth ball to help you do a gentle backbend to open your upper chest and shoulders. You might get a gentle adjustment or spinal alignment as well.

When can I use a birth ball?

There are seemingly endless times and ways that a birth ball can be used during pregnancy. The following are a few examples.

In any stage of pregnancy

Use a birth ball instead of a chair when sitting. Trade the chair in for a birth ball at the computer, at the dinner table, and even while watching TV.

To get into labor

Doing circles on the ball can help get the baby’s head on the cervix. If your baby is posterior, then don’t do these circles until after ten contractions doing the abdominal lift and tuck.

If your water releases and there are no contractions, then doing these circles on the ball, done smoothly but actively (perhaps to salsa music), can help put the head on the cervix and bring on contractions. Do these circles for 20 minutes, changing directions periodically. Alternate abdominal lifts with circles on the ball once contractions begin if the contractions are not yet 3-4 minutes apart and it’s not time to sleep.


In labor

The birth ball can be used to sit on in early labor. The upward curve of the ball is a nice support, and gives a good counter pressure to the slightly engorged or swollen vulva during labor. It’s also more comfortable than a chair.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Use it in the shower if there is a bar to grasp on the shower wall.
  • Some women even like to sit on the ball during a very active labor.
  • The ball can be a mobile support for the mother’s upper body when she is kneeling and leaning forward in labor. This position on the ball makes it easy to rock forward and back during contractions, which soothes many birth givers.
  • Others like to rock side to side or even make gentle circles to calm themselves and rock their bodies during contractions. It’s a great way to be in a hands and knees position without straining the wrists.
When you need help to progress a labor but the mother can’t stand or get out of bed

Obstetrician Diane Peterson taught me this one. The mother sits on the birthing bed and bends her knees and touches the soles of her feet together. The birth ball is placed in the space between her knees and she leans forward to hug the ball. The foot of the birthing bed can be lowered a little to make this more comfortable.

Now she needs two trusted people at either side of her. She vigorously rocks side to side. Her support team grabs her arms and shoulders to hold her weight when she leans towards them, to prevent her from falling off the bed.

It is a vigorous exercise that shifts the asynclitic or posterior baby lower through the pelvis. It may correct the angle of the baby’s head as well. It will even help fetal descent if the reason for the lack of descent is due to an unfavorable angle of the baby’s head.

ball workshop epidural

For pushing

One woman I helped as a doula wanted to sit on the ball while she pushed. She didn’t want to be in bed or stand or sit on a birthing stool.

Her midwife was a little concerned about a repeat shoulder dystocia, but when the time came for the baby to emerge, the mother just angled her pelvis forward while I held her from behind and the baby slipped into the midwife’s hands. I realize now that she did a posterior pelvic tilt when flipping her hips towards the midwife, which is a nice “shoulder-release” position!

Ball H&Knees

After the birth

The ball is great for a parent to sit on while comforting a baby at least 2-3 weeks old. Make sure you are comfortable sitting on the ball and are able to get on and off without losing your balance before you try sitting down on a ball with a baby in your arms.

Here’s a common scene: The baby, who is in pain from gas, often calms down with a little walking. After a while, a parent’s legs will grow tired. If a similar walking rhythm can be imitated on the ball, the parent can sit while holding the baby upright over their shoulder and soothe the baby while resting their own legs.

It’s so good for growing humans to be held!

Get ready for a bouncing good time! Just bounce on ball to break water, then let the fun begin. This inflatable pool floats around in any shape! Bouncing on a ball to break water is not one of the easiest things to do when you’re pregnant. It can be very uncomfortable, especially for moms with a big bump.

Bounce on a ball for 10 minutes each day to break water. That’s right, bounce! It’s easy, inexpensive, and effective! Bouncing on a ball offers a variety of health benefits, according to research. It provides resistance training for your muscles and joints, which is effective in reducing the risk of injuries to your body. Bouncing on a ball also helps improve your balance, posture and coordination. Bouncing on a rubber ball helps you develop strong legs and tone your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Use this exercise to lose fat and see faster results in your workouts.

Sitting Positions To Induce Labor

Sitting positions are a great way to induce labor, and the below list will help you choose the ones that work best for you and your baby. A comfortable sitting position can help bring on labor. If you are trying to induce labor at home, try one of these positions:

If you’re looking to be more comfortable while you’re waiting on the induction to work, try these sitting positions. When it comes to inducing labor, hear these tips from the experts. Learn about the best positions for birthing, what to avoid and what will help you along.

The process of giving birth takes work (it’s not called “labor” for nothing). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find a way to be as comfortable as humanly possible. “Labor positions are used during the labor process to help ease discomfort, move the baby down through the pelvis and encourage optimal fetal positioning,” says Lindsey Bliss, a birth doula and co-director of Carriage House Birth in New York City. “If you end up choosing not to utilize drugs for pain management, labor positions are essential for easing discomfort.”

Active labor, the phase in which contractions come on strong, is often when things really start to hurt. But keep in mind that women don’t start pushing until the cervix is fully dilated—for some women, this happens quickly; for others, not so much. So as your body and baby prepare for delivery, there are several labor positions your doctor or midwife may suggest to get you to the pushing point more comfortably. “Labor and delivery nurses are usually really great at helping a woman move around, even with an epidural, to find the labor positions that feel best for them,” Twogood says. “I recommend women try out a number of positions during labor. Every woman and baby is different, and what works for one woman won’t be ideal for another.”

Check out some of the most common labor positions:

The hands and knees position

The all fours position calls for you to get down onto your hands and knees, either in bed or on a floor mat. “The hands and knees position is a great one, since it helps open the pelvis,” says Rebekah Wheeler,** RN, CNM, is a certified nurse-midwife in the Bay Area, California. . Adds Megan Cheney, MD, MPH, medical director of the Women’s Institute at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, “Sometimes baby’s heart rate responds better when you’re in the hands and knees position, especially if baby isn’t in the best spot.”


  • Takes pressure off the spine, easing back pain
  • May help boost baby’s oxygen level


  • Your arms may get tired

The sitting position

When you feel baby’s weight bearing down, you may just want to sit down—and that’s okay. Whether it’s in a birthing chair or even on a toilet, sitting and spreading your legs in this labor position can relieve some of the pressure on your pelvis.



  • Good for resting
  • Can still be used with a fetal monitoring machine
  • Sitting on a toilet relaxes the perineum, which can help reduce tearing


  • A hard toilet seat can become uncomfortable
  • May not be an option if you’ve had high blood pressure during pregnancy

Birthing ball positions

Besides sitting on a birthing chair or toilet, you can also work the birthing ball into your labor positions. There are more than a few women who hail the prop as their BFF during labor and delivery. “Birthing balls provide support while you shift around,” Twogood says. “Women who want movement in their hips seem to find them helpful.” You can use a birthing ball in several ways: Some women sit or rock on it, lean against it or simply drape their upper bodies over it while kneeling. It can even be used as support while squatting. “I’m a huge fan,” Bliss says. “It’s great because women can continue bouncing and moving through the contractions even while being monitored.” Check beforehand to see if your hospital uses wireless fetal monitors; if not, you’ll be limited in how far you can move in these labor positions.


  • Can help move baby into a favorable birthing position
  • Relieves back pressure
  • Birthing ball labor positions can help encourage dilation and move baby deeper into the pelvis


  • Can be difficult to keep your balance
  • Some birthing ball labor positions are difficult to do alone

The squatting position

Squats rarely top anyone’s list of favorite exercises, but on the day you give birth, you may want to give them a try as one of your labor positions. Squatting can be done against a wall or with the support of a chair or partner.


  • Helps open the pelvis
  • Gives baby room to maneuver as they head toward the birth canal


  • May become tiring

The side-lying position

Lying on your side is one of the best labor positions to try when you need a rest. That said, just because you’re lying down doesn’t mean your body is taking a break from labor; on the contrary, it can actually help baby move into the ready position. “Side-lying and using a peanut-shaped birthing ball between the legs are wonderful tools for getting baby to descend and rotate,” Bliss says. “I encourage my clients to flip from side to side during the process to help baby come down and out.”


  • Helps get oxygen to baby
  • Can be used if you have high blood pressure
  • Makes it easier to relax during contractions


  • May be difficult to assess fetal heartbeat

The upright position

Gravity may not be your best friend during pregnancy, but you can make it work to your advantage during childbirth through upright labor positions. Whether you’re standing, walking or swaying, simply being vertical can get you closer to the finish line. “Walking can be helpful for women who are waiting for labor to progress,” Cheney says. Amy, a mother of two from Connecticut, found that to be the case. “I walked laps around the hospital wing to speed things up,” she says. Swaying while using another person as support is also a good way to work through labor. “Rocking your hips keeps baby moving lower and lower,” Wheeler says. (It’s also good for getting a final hug of support from your partner before the main event!) Here are some other things to consider when it comes to the upright position:


  • Relieves backaches
  • Can make contractions less painful
  • Encourages baby to move deeper into the birth canal


  • Not typically recommended for women with high blood pressure
  • A telemetry unit is needed to continuously monitor the fetal heart rate

The lunging position

Doing lunges during labor may not sound like your idea of a good time, but lunging is one of the labor positions you may want to give a whirl. Unlike at the gym, you can put your foot up on a chair for these lunges: Simply lean your body forward onto the raised foot when you feel a contraction coming on. You can repeat it as many times as you want.


  • Helps baby rotate or descend
  • Opens the pelvis, giving baby more room


  • Requires a partner to help you keep your balance

The stair-climbing position

If labor has been progressing nicely and then starts to slow down, baby might need extra encouragement to slip into the optimal position for birth. You may want to consider climbing stairs as one of your labor positions, since it can help baby shift.


  • Opens pelvis, allowing baby to drop farther and push on the cervix
  • Helps baby rotate and get into a better birthing position


  • Can be tiring, especially if you’ve been in labor for a while

Best Birthing Positions

You’ve made it through the first stages of labor—congrats! Now it’s time to switch things up and assume birthing positions for the final stretch. “Birthing positions are used to push baby out,” Bliss says. Like labor positions, birthing positions don’t always equal lying on your back. In fact, “women who are in bed tend to experience more pain than women who move around,” Wheeler says. Here are some of the best birthing positions to try.

Squatting birth positions

Squats aren’t only great to do during labor, but they’re also among the popular birthing positions. Remember, when it comes to labor and delivery, gravity is on your side.


  • Decreases the need for certain delivery tools, like forceps or a vacuum
  • Helps with dilation


  • Baby’s position may not be right for squatting
  • Can lead to more tearing if done without a birthing stool or other aid

Reclining birth positions

Childbirth is hard work, and you might need to take a break—which is why many women opt for reclining birthing positions. Keep in mind, “reclining” can mean a number of things—yes, you can lie down in bed, but you can also recline against a wall, a chair or another person.


  • Can release tension and relax the muscles
  • May be a good alternative if a woman is tired but doesn’t want to lie down completely


  • Can work against gravity

Birthing stool positions

A birthing stool can be used in a variety of birthing positions: Women can squat on it, get in the all fours position and use it to support the arms or even rock back and forth with it, depending on the design of the stool. Bonus: If you like the idea of a water birth, there are some birthing stool models that work in the water.



  • Can help baby move farther down
  • Relieves stress on the back
  • Can increase dilation of the cervix


  • Women may experience increased blood loss

Birthing bar positions

Call it the birthing stool’s cousin: The birthing bar is an attachment that can be added to many labor beds to help support birthing positions. With a birthing bar, you can sit up at any time and squat, leaning on the bar for support. “The birthing bar can be an awesome tool. You can wrap a towel on it to make it easier to use and switch positions,” Wheeler says. That proved to be true for Jennifer, a mom of two from Connecticut, who recalls that “after about two hours of pushing with no success, the birthing bar was put on the bed. It helped me get the resistance I needed to push to the point where the doctor could intervene.”


  • Expands the pelvis
  • Uses gravity to push baby down


  • May not be available at all hospitals

Kneeling birth positions

If baby is facing Mom’s abdomen instead of her back, kneeling can help them turn to get into the proper position. Kneeling is one of the most popular birthing positions because it also gives mom a much-needed break.


  • Relieves pain of contractions
  • Eases back pressure


  • May be difficult for continuous fetal monitoring

When it comes to labor and birthing positions, discuss all options with your doctor or midwife to land on the ones that will be most comfortable and practical for you. “Every baby and mom responds to positions differently. It’s the job of the labor assistant to help figure out what works best,” Wheeler says. Whichever labor and birthing positions you choose, it’ll all be worth it when baby is finally placed in your arms.

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