Birthing Ball Techniques To Help Your Baby Drop
Birthing ball techniques to help your baby drop are nothing new. Midwives have been relying on birthing balls for years, keeping soon-to-be-mums, as comfortable as possible during those painful hours of labour.
Recent studies have now found that pregnant ladies who sit on a birthing ball at home, around the start of their third trimester, should expect to see labour progressing much faster.
So why not give it a go yourself? From knowing how to bounce on a birthing ball, to techniques a little more advanced, heres 7 easy ways to induce labour at home with a birthing ball.
Precautions Before Using A Birthing Ball
Ensure that the exercises that you decide on must be doctor approved. We have different health and body capacities. Therefore, whether or not an exercise is good for your baby and you cant be casually decided. A doctor who has legit expertise is able to guide you through the exercises you are doing safely.
The size of the ball is crucial. It must be designed to suit your body structure. Thus, make sure to choose a ball that is big enough for you to sit on it comfortably. Your hips must be above your knees while you are sitting on the ball. They are available to suit your height requirements. Birth balls range in a variety of 55cm, 65cm and 75cm.
A birthing ball is commonly used in exercises to the breakwater. There are high chances of your water breaking from the exercises you are doing on it or with it. You can cover the ball with a towel or use a waterproof pad near the end of your pregnancy or while in labor.
The best suitable way of including birthing balls into your lifestyle can significantly benefit the pregnant woman. We as parents must ensure that the possible future we are creating is safe and sound. All precautions and methods must be inculcated for the celebration and comfort. The mother goes through so many unexplainable emotions and physical pain. Thus the best of best must be done to ease the procedure of labor and keep a healthy environment. If you want to buy exercise ball on Amazon, you can click here to .
Can Birthing Ball Help Start Labor
Once your baby moves into the correct position, your labor is likely to begin. Midwives and doulas have been using exercise balls for decades as a way to help speed up dilation and move the baby down into the pelvis. Once labor begins, similar exercises can help manage pain and assist you in finding a comfortable birthing position.
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When Is It Okay To Try To Induce Labor
Its always best to speak with your obstetrician or midwife before trying to induce labor, but generally speaking, between 39 to 41 weeks gestation is the optimal time to try to encourage labor to start. Babies born during this period are considered full-term and have the best possible health outcomes .
If you try to induce labor too early, your baby could have issues with breastfeeding, jaundice, or even breathing problems. Babies who go to 39 to 40 weeks gestation have also been shown to have better brain development than those born before this period.
However, if you have not given birth by 42 weeks, your care provider will monitor you more closely and discuss possible medical interventions. There are some risks that begin to increase at this point, such as harder labor, placenta deterioration, fetal distress, decreased amount of amniotic fluid, and in rare cases, stillbirth .
Most care providers and ACOG recommend at least offering induction and doing a biophysical profile and nonstress test at 41 weeks .
There are also some cases where you might be facing an early medical induction due to other risk factors, but you may want to try some natural methods first.
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.
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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.
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.
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How Can A Birthing Ball Help During Labor
Birthing balls, which many hospitals units provide, can be used to relieve pain and discomfort during labor through a variety of positions and exercises. The key is finding whats most comfortable to you.
Sitting on the ball with your legs open will apply non-painful pressure to the pelvis and on the perineum, says Loanzon, who advises full-term patients use birthing balls at home to assist with early labor pains before heading to the hospital. This positioning, along with consistent contractions, can help the fetal head place pressure on the cervix, acting as a wedge to assist with cervical dilation.
Loanzon also notes that the pressure on the perineum is thought to reduce the sensation of pain by blocking the message to the spinal cord.
Additionally, birthing balls are ideal for women who want to move during labor.
Pregnancy balls can help support the lower back muscles and the gentle movement may be preferable to sitting in a bed, Moore says. Some women also like to kneel in front of the ball, lean over it or rest their head and hands on the ball. The movement may feel like a distraction or even a form of meditation.
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.
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Can Sex Help Bring On Labour
Although you may not feel like having sex, and its not the easiest thing to negotiate when your 40 weeks pregnant, sex is one of the oldest techniques in the book for helping bring on labour. Sex can encourage the release of the love hormone oxytocin, which can help to stimulate contractions.
Of course, sex with a big bump can be a little awkward, so make sure you find a position that is comfortable for you. The spoons position, where you both lie on your side and your partner lies behind you, is often recommended. However, if your waters have already broken, sex is not recommended as it can heighten the risk of infection.
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Can Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Induce Labor
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.
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Birthing Ball To Induce Labor
Using a birthing ball to naturally induce labor is a great idea. As you approach closer to 40 weeks, sitting on the ball opens your pelvis and allows baby to descend and apply pressure on the cervix. Thereby, encouraging labor to start and allowing baby room to get into optimal position for labor and delivery. Whether you are wanting an all-natural labor and delivery or prefer pain management, you will really enjoy having a birthing ball throughout your laboring.
The Benefits Of Birth Ball
As you might guess birth balls are not only for birthing. You can use them all through the pregnancy, your labor and postpartum. I should warn you though, your older kids will fight with you over that ball.
Why should I use a birthing ball during pregnancy?
- No pregnant mother will argue the fact, that it is hard to sit when you are pregnant, no matter how comfortable that couch is. Sitting on your birth ball will help to keep your pasture proper. This is especially important in the last weeks of your pregnancy. Whenever your sit sit on your birthing ball.
- Increases blood flow to the uterus, placenta and the baby.
- Can relief spinal pressure.
The study done in Indian hospital found that the practice of birth ball during labor had an effective maternal outcome and that there was no harm to the baby.
This study is not directly related to using the birth ball during labor but proves that moving around and being in upright position during labor is significantly helping mother with pain, faster labor, less usage of medical interventions and higher mothers comfort.
Brazilian study with 11 women showed that using a birthing ball and doing other activities such as breathing exercises, massage, baths and vertical positions help mothers control the pain much better.
Another research says that birth ball can help the baby to be in the ideal position for birth .
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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.
How To Use A Birthing Ball
Using a birthing ball is incredibly easy! Just remember:
- Careful not to over or under-inflate your ball- You should feel supported well without sinking into the ball too much
- Make sure your knees are not above your hips when sitting
- Think tall, have good posture and try different exercises for maximum benefit
- Get the right size for you!
55 cm 4 11 to 5 3 65 cm 5 4 to 5 10 75 cm 5 11 and up
You can use the ball to do squats, pelvic rolls and tilts, small bounces and more. All of these can help your pelvic ligaments stay loose and allow baby room to descend for labor. Not to mention giving you a break from carrying the extra weight around, it can really feel amazing!
You can watch how I used my birthing ball throughout pregnancy and to naturally induce my labor, below!
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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.
About Meagan Heaton
Hello! My name is Meagan Heaton. My goal is to help you and your family walk into your birthing experience, feeling empowered and confident.
As a birth doula of seven and a half years, I have served over 280 couples with expertise in VBAC. I personally understand the struggles one can face as I have personally had a VBA2C. As Co-founder of The VBAC Link, I have loved making connections with families further than just my local community.
Can Eating Spicy Food Like Curry Help Bring On Labour
There is a theory – and remember, its only a theory – that the digestive system and the cervix are closely linked. So if you give your digestive system a bit of a nudge with spicy food, it has been suggested you could stimulate your cervix. If you enjoy spicy foods you can try it but beware the possible unwanted side effects of indigestion, heartburn or emergency trips to the loo!
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Exercises To Induce Labor Naturally
One of the most common questions that I hear heavily pregnant ladies ask is How can I put myself into labor or induce labor?
Well, sweetheart. I hate to break it to ya, but theres no physical way to reallyput yourself into labor unless you get induced by a doctor. You can bounce on a ball all day, eat all the pineapple you want, or have sex five times a day, but at the end of the day, baby will come when she or he is ready to come.
Now, with that being said, you CAN encourage labor to be shorter-and to start on time. These 6 moves below are notorious for helping pregnant ladies go into labor on or near their due dates instead of waiting to be induced medically when they hit the 41 or 42 week mark. Who REALLY wants to be overdue right?
These exercises will help to speed up dilation , effacement and the process of labor , helps relieve back , hip and pelvic pain. Not only that, these moves help to open and create space in the pelvis , allowing your baby to drop down or can potentially help to turn a breech baby weeks before delivery.
You can get your own fitness ball for cheap here. I highly recommend one for everyone as they are amazing for pregnancy and beyond!
Give it a try and let me know which one is your favorite!
6 Exercises to Induce Labor Naturally
Rocking Ball Hug
When To Visit The Doctor
Doctors or midwives will commonly tell patients about the 4-1-1 indicator. When contractions are 4 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for at least 1 hour its a good time to call or head right into the birthing center.
If your water happens to break- its definitely a good time to head to the hospital or at least call your doctor if youre unsure. Some women completely miss the contractions and can be in active labor when their water breaks.
Be sure to tour your birthing center or hospital and take a test drive- timing how long it takes you to get there. Preparation is key and knowing where to go beforehand will help ease the stress of labor! Make sure hospital bags are packed and that the car seat is installed. You will do great!
Have questions about inducing labor? Please leave a question in the comments or ask questions in our . Its a great way to connect with other moms, share tips and get advice.
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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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Safety Tips For Pregnant Women Using Yoga Balls
Safety is the number one thing to look out for when you exercise, but even more when you are pregnant. Even if you have been using a yoga ball before your pregnancy, you can lose some coordination, flexibility, and mobility as your pregnancy progresses.
To avoid falling off your yoga ball, be sure that you are not only getting the right size but a quality yoga ball that is firm and has little given so you can gently bounce and roll while sitting. The first few times you test out your yoga ball to induce labor, you want to have somebody nearby to help keep you steady. You could also try securing the ball up against a wall or a stable sofa.
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