Former Married at First Sight contestant and mum-to-be, Carly Bowyer suffered a huge case of the TMI’s on the latest episode of Nova Podcast Finding a Unicorn when she learned about a childbirth hack that involves a little pre-stretching.

Carly and co-host Eliza Paschke spoke with Eliza’s pal, Ally about the vaginal stretching device she used during pregnancy in the hopes of avoiding an episiotomy during childbirth and the whole thing left poor Carly feeling a little squeamish.

The trio were discussing the EPI-NO, a device which is used to prepare the perineal area for childbirth from around 37 weeks into a pregnancy.

Many women swear by the device which retails for around $189.99, while others aren’t convinced it’s worth the financial outlay, particularly given that hygiene reasons mean it can’t be passed on.

As for medical experts, with no real data to prove it’s effectiveness, many remain divided about it’s usefulness.

One supporter was Ally, who spoke with Carly and Eliza to explain how it helped her.

“So normally when I tell pregnant people about the EPI-NO it’s not until much, much later in the pregnancy ’cause I don’t want to scare you off,” she laughed.

“It does have lots of advantages I can tell you I did not have a single stitch down there and I’ve put it down to this wonderful machine.”

Carly shot to fame on MAFS 2018, where she was matched with Justin Fischer but struck up a romance with season goofball, Troy Delmege instead.

Despite the grizzly warning from Ally, 34-year-old Carly, who is expecting her first child with with boyfriend Neil Goldsmith had to know more.

“Really! It’s absolutely fascinating ‘cos I’ve never, ever heard of it before,” she asked, sounding slightly concerned. “So I was looking on the website and I just explained that you basically put it in and then you like, pump it? So that it expands inside your vagina, so is that right… is that what happens?”

Ally explained that Carly was right and that the EPI-NO offered what is essentially “training for your vagina”.

“So it’s training your vagina up, ready for the birth of a child,” explained Ally. “So you insert the balloon – not right up there- but it’s just, kind of your stretching the perineum (the area of tissue between the vagina and anus)… have you ever heard of that? The bit that needs to be stretched, otherwise you going to be torn to smithereens and you’re gonna need to be stitched up.”

You can listen to the Podcast here …

The EPI-NO, is a stretching device which is used to prepare the perineal area for childbirth from around 36-37 weeks into a pregnancy.

How DOES the EPI-NO work?

Invented by a German obstetrician in conjunction with a team of physiotherapists, midwives and doctors in the early 1990s, the EPI-NO was developed to be a device which could be used to prepare the perineal area for childbirth.

During labour, natural birthing hormones will cause the perineum to stretch to accommodate the passage of the baby’s head (the largest part of the baby). Although in some cases women will tear, or medical staff will perform an episiotomy (a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall) when it has not stretched of it’s own accord.

Intended to prevent that happening, the EPI-NO – an inflatable balloon, attached to a hand-operated pump with a pressure display – acts as a childbirth and pelvic floor trainer.

Women will generally use the EPI-NO once or twice daily from around 36-37 weeks gestation, for around 15 minutes each time. Gradually, over time, women can pump more air and increase the size of the balloon, so the perineal area becomes used to being contracted and released. The action is also said to get the area familiar with the stretching sensation that occurs when a baby’s head is crowning.

While there is no solid data to prove that the EPI-NO is of any real benefit, there also appears to be no negative effects, which is why a lot of medical professionals remain on the fence about recommending it’s use. At the very least it could serve as a useful tool for alleviating the anxiety of women who are concerned about the final stages of labouring and childbirth.

WATCH: MAFS’ Carly Bowyer’s hilarious video about couples in self-isolation. Continues after video …

Carly took to Instagram to announce her pregnancy last month.

The 34-year-old shared a photo of herself with boyfriend Neil Goldsmith holding an ultrasound of their unborn child.

“WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” Carly captioned the sweet image.

“In what’s been a crazy 2020, we see a little baby light at the end of the tunnel. We’re over the moon, and can’t wait to meet our little Biscuit 🍪 @neilfgoldsmith More baby goss on my podcast @findingaunicorn tomorrow!”

In 2018 Carly shot to fame as a bride on Married At First Sight, where she was matched with ice-cream businessman Justin Fischer.

That marriage was short-lived and Carly surprised all of us when she struck up a romance with co-star and season goofball, Troy Delmege before finding love with her now boyfriend Neil.