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.;
Rocking And Pelvic Tilts
Rocking also helps your baby move into position. When you sit on the ball, rock your hips and pelvis from front to back, side to side or in a circular motion. Unlike rocking your hips while standing, doing so on a ball helps eliminate some of the stress and pressure on your back and joints, which allows you to rock with wider movements and for longer periods of time.
Labor Help: The Peanut Ball Solution
If youre pregnant, preparing for your delivery can seem like a whirlwind at times. With so many advancements and delivery options to choose from, there is a lot to wrap your mind around. Youre probably familiar with some of the traditional birthing options like epidurals and breathing techniques but did you know there are recent discoveries that can speed up the delivery process and prevent you from extended hours of discomfort?
Say hello to the peanut ball, a helpful labor tool you may want to consider using during your delivery process.
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The Reaching V Motion
Sit on the ground with your back straight. Open your legs until they form a V. Place the bouncing ball between your legs and keep your hands on top.
Now gradually walk the ball out toward your feet but stop just as you start to feel a stretch in your legs. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then walk it back toward your body.
Repeating this movement stretches your hips and legs which in turn help to open up the pelvic muscles and help induce labour.
Low Lunge With Hip Circles
Start on hands and knees. Bring your thumbs to touch right underneath your nose. Then, take as many little steps as it takes to get your right foot forward until its beside your right pinkie. Slowly move your hips in circles. Start small, and gradually make the circles bigger if you feel so inclined.
Alternatively, it might feel better to tuck your back toes, straighten the back leg, and; simply rock forward and back to soothe yourself.
After a few breaths on one side, come back to hands and knees, bring your left foot forward, and repeat on the second side.
If You Plan On Using A Yoga Ball For Inducing Labor Or For Exercise During Your Pregnancy Here Are Some Helpful Tips:
Make sure you get an okay for exercise from your doctor or midwife
Make sure to get the right size for your height. Having the right size birthing ball is very important, one size does not fit all. If you are 58 or under, opt for the 65cm ball. If youre 59 or taller, choose the 75cm option.
If you are near the end of your pregnancy, or already in labor, and there is a chance your water might break, so make sure you cover your birth ball with a towel or waterproof pad.
Remain bare-footed as much as possible. This will keep you from sliding around while seated, and allow you to have more control.
*HUGE TIP FOR NEW MOMS*
If you haven’t already get yourself a free breast pump through your insurance. I used this site and got one of the nice ones with a carry bag and it didn’t cost me a dime 😉 You can thank me later!
Exercises To Induce Labor & Dilate
Its always advised that you should speak to your obstetrician prior to attempting to induce labor. Generally speaking, between 39-41 weeks gestation is the appropriate time to start trying to induce labor at home.
Studies show that if mama begins using the birthing ball for inducing labor right around the beginning of the last trimester, labor may progress much more quickly!
It has also been proven that gravity works naturally to help start labor, and keep it progressing. Women who lie flat have a much higher incidence rate for cesarean delivery.
Here are a few of the recommended ways to induce labor at home, using your birthing ball:
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What Is A Birth Ball
First of all, its nothing special or different from an exercise ball – the kind you can or at your local Target.;
Its purpose is just different, in that were using it as a tool for proper posture, support and relaxation in labor.;
In my first birth, the ball was all I knew about and all that I used. And, truthfully, it wasnt all that helpful because it was the first time Id sat on one, and sitting on it was all that I did to prepare myself for comfort.;
Does Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Really Help Induce Labor
So I’ve heard through the grapevine that bouncing on a yoga ball can help bring on labor…so I got in the car, drove to target, and bought myself a yoga ball today to bounce on while I watch tv. Any advice or opinions? FTM here and couldn’t be more ready and excited to meet my baby boy! I’m 38w and 3d.
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Tips For Using A Birth Ball
If youre using the ball on the floor in the hospital, place clean chux pads or sheets underneath and on top.
Always assist the laboring person in getting onto and off of the ball.
Feet should always remain on the floor, so that the laboring person has control of her body during contractions.
Its always a good idea, if youre planning on using a ball in labor, to use one in the weeks prior so that the motion and seated position is familiar to your body!;
Who Shouldnt Use Exercise To Induce Labor
Regular exercise is safe for the majority of pregnant women. However, there are some instances where exercises may not be the safest option for trying to induce labor.
If you have any of the following conditions, its best to speak with your care provider before performing any exercise.
- Prescribed bed rest.
- Short cervix.
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Does Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Help
Sit on the exercise ball, with your legs wide apart, and move your hips up and down. The movement encourages the pelvic floor to contract and relax naturally. Gentle bouncing also allows the spine to decompress, making a little more space between the vertebrae, which can relieve tension in the low back.
When Should You Start Using A Birthing Ball
You can use a birth ball at any point in the pregnancy. Sitting on a ball, gently bouncing, swaying your hips, and rocking back and forth can help alleviate some of the third trimester discomforts.
Using birthing balls or exercise balls throughout pregnancy can help alleviate back pain and will help keep the muscles and ligaments in the pelvis loose and ready for labor.
I started sitting on a ball in the late-second trimester and early-third trimester to alleviate lower back and hip pain. I would often watch TV or eat dinner while gently rocking side to side on the birthing ball.
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What Is A Half Yoga Ball Called
A Bosu ball which looks like an exercise ball cut in half is inflated on one side with a flat platform on the other. You can find them at most gyms, sports stores, and online. Its a balance trainer, providing the user with an unstable surface on which to perform exercises that engage a variety of muscles.
Using A Birth Ball During Labor
In labor, a birth ball can be used to sit on and keep the hips open, taking away strain from other parts of the body that are hurting.;
You can also lean forward over a ball to get some rest and still keep your hips wide open during the times that active labor is intensifying.; This is especially useful when it no longer feels good to sit down on your pelvic floor, as baby is descending! ;
The ball can also be placed in the shower to sit on while letting the water run down your back for some relief.;
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Benefits Of A Birthing Ball
Sitting on the curve of a birthing ball might relieve pressure in your;1. Pelvis2. Lower back3. Spine
Sitting on the ball in an upright position can also encourage the opening of your pelvic muscles. This will allow room for the baby to descend into the pelvis in preparation for birth.
Using a birthing ball during labor can also reduce stress, anxiety and labor pain.
A study in 2013, studied over 200 pregnant women who were admitted to the hospital with labor pains. These women completed 30 minutes of birthing ball exercises and when the researchers measured their pain and anxiety level after the exercises, they discovered that the women reported significant improvements in reduced labor pain.
Is It True That Hypnosis Can Help Bring On Labour
There is no study that conclusively proves that hypnosis can help induce labour, but it can help to relax you. If you are feeling a little bit nervous or stressed about giving birth – which is perfectly natural – your body might not release the oxytocin hormone which helps trigger labour. So if you know that hypnosis is going to relax you, then its certainly worth a try.
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Best Birthing Ball Exercises For Pregnancy And Labor
Doing birthing ball exercises will be a personal choice you will need to make. There are no rules that state you have to use a birthing ball during pregnancy or labor. In fact, many women don’t. But if you do want to know the best birthing ball exercises to;help relieve labor pain then I want you to watch the video I have below.
Pregnancy and delivery can be hard on the body so any position, exercise or technique you can use to ease the pain and make it a more empowering experience for you the better. I have heard from many of our PregActive mamas that using a birthing ball helped to improve or relieve some of the general complaints of back pain, stress, and pelvic or abdominal pain.
Note: Always check with your GP or midwife before you use a birthing ball as your personal situation may prevent you from using one.
Using A Birth Ball During Pregnancy
Sitting on a ball at the ending stages of your third trimester helps to correct and support your posture and pelvic floorto keep ligaments nice and loose as your body prepares for labor. We tend to sit in a hammock position on couches, beds, and in the car. Add in texting and hunching over a desk all day and our spines curvature, and the support for our pelvis, have a hard time.;
Sitting on a ball or the floor helps keep everything loose, aligned and happy.;
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How To Choose A Birthing Ball
Your feet need to be planted on the floor. If you are on your tippy toes while sitting on the ball then it is too big. And if your knees are positioned higher than your stomach, the ball is too small.
As a general guideline, ball sizes correspond to height. You can use the following measurements as a guide but I would recommend trying out some of your friends balls or ones at your local gym first.
Using A Yoga Ball To Start Labor
Studies show that if mothers begin using a yoga ball for inducing labor right around the beginning of the last trimester, through the first stage of labor, it can progress much more quickly. It has been found that gravity works naturally to help start labor, and keep it progressing. Women who lie flat have a much higher incidence rate for cesarean delivery.;
In order to get the most benefit from a yoga ball, begin these exercises around week 32 of pregnancy:
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Hands And Knees Childs Pose Puppy Pose
Now that Ive told you a funny story about my first birth, Ill let you in on how my second went. I labored on hands and knees on the floor for probably 90 percent of the time. When contractions came, I put my forehead down. My doula gave me a towel because I think it kind of grossed her out. I did not care.
When nurses came into the room, they seemed confused about why I was on the floor. I did not care.
When they asked me to sit on my bed to monitor my contractions, those contractions ceased to exist. I didnt want to sit on the damn bed. So I refused to do it after that.
They monitored my contractions from a birthing ball or from my hands and knees.
My birth. My body. My rules.
I got the un-medicated birth I wanted. The end.
Heres how to do it:
Stack your shoulders over your wrists and your knees under your hips, but slightly wider apart. Wiggle around. Sway from side to side. Make circles. Pay attention to what you need. When you need to rest or when you feel a contraction coming on, try Puppy Pose with the arms outstretched or just rest your Forehead on stacked fists or on your forearms.
When Is It Safe To Do Exercises To Induce Labor
While you may want baby to come, and stat, you dont want baby to come too soon. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the risk of adverse outcomes is lowest if baby is born between 39 and 41 weeks gestation.
Its always a good idea to check with your doctor first before trying out any exercises to help induce labor. But generally speaking, unless youre dealing with certain pregnancy complications, gentle exercise and breathing techniques shouldnt send you into preterm labor if you try some moves out ahead of time. In fact, you may want to even test out some techniques while youre experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, says Jess Jennings, MS, founder of Ma Yoga for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond in Los Angeles, which also offers online prenatal yoga and birth prep classes. Your body is practicing, she explains. Its a wonderful time for you to practice too.
Jennings suggests finding a breathing rhythm during Braxton Hicks contractions while stretching back through your hips and swaying. If you get energy flowing through your hips as the contractions build up, she says, youll have the inner resources to pull through once the real labor contractions set in.
Still, even in a healthy pregnancy, exercises that help induce labor might not feel comfortable. Always listen to your body and stop or take breaks as needed.
Curious to learn which exercises might help move labor along? Read on for six options that experts recommend.
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Supine Happy Baby With Breath Work
*Place a couple of pillows beneath your upper back and shoulders to help relieve any unwanted pressure.
Lie down on your back and open your legs into a happy baby pose with your legs lifted and feet wide. Grab onto your feet, ankles or calves and allow your body to sink into this position. Finding your diaphragmatic breath, feel free to stay here or gently rock side to side.
What Makes A Birthing Ball Different From A Chair
Good question. If you keep scrolling you will see the best ways to sit and use a birthing ball !; Basically, when you are sitting on a chair or couch with legs forward this closes off the pelvic region keeping it very narrow. This can increase discomfort, cause aching and not allow baby the room they need to descend!
55 cm 4 11 to 5 3 65 cm 5 4 to 5 10 75 cm 5 11 and up
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Benefits Of Using A Yoga Ball
Because they were originally developed for physical therapy, yoga balls are excellent for providing stability and regaining mobility. Exercising with a yoga ball for labor also help ease lower back pain, which is something expecting mothers have to deal with as the expected date of birth draws near.
Aside from pain relief, mothers who do not want to lose out on crucial physical fitness routines can rely on yoga birthing balls to significantly improve crunches and other workouts that tackle the backs, abs, and glutes.
As the due date comes closer, and you are experiencing or worried about birthing issues, test out your yoga or medicine ball for labor. Certain workouts can help your baby move into the correct position and into the birthing canal. Doing this can help start labor. Remember, you should always speak with your obstetrician or midwife before trying to induce labor. The following exercises should give you an idea of how does a yoga ball help induce labor.
Here are some yoga equipment to help with your fitness workout: