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How To Use Yoga Ball For Pregnancy

Is There A Difference Between An Exercise Ball And A Birthing Ball

How to use Yoga Ball positions for pregnancy and labor Q and A

While exercise balls can be a healthy part of pregnancy-safe workouts, they also can serve as a birthing ball too. The exercise ball is a wonderful tool that can help you go through the different stages of pregnancy and labor! in a calmer and relaxed way, says;Tal Siperman Cohen, an ACSM-certified personal trainer with an extended specialty in Prenatal And Postpartum Exercise Design by Human Kinetics USA.

During your pregnancy, sitting on an exercise ball may help to open up the pelvis and pelvic floor.

This helps to create space for the baby to drop lower into the pelvis a necessary step as you move towards birth, Stamas explains. It may also help alleviate back pain, she says.

Many patients use exercise balls during early labor to relieve some of the pressure associated with labor pains, Roshan says.

Of course, be sure to ask your obstetrician and delivery center what their policies are when it comes to birthing balls.

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.

How Do I Use A Birthing Ball

The answer is with caution. Always with caution.

Even if a yoga ball has been part of your fitness routine for years, keep in mind that most women are less coordinated than normal during pregnancy. And if exercise balls are completely new to your repertoire, remember: Theyre round!

Because theyre circular and unsteady, you need to be extra careful when using a birthing ball during pregnancy since you can easily fall off, says Dr. Sheila Loanzon, an OB-GYN in northern California. Its also important to check that your ball is the correct size for your height and weight and is inflated properly.

Birthing ball safety tips:

  • Your ball should be firm but have a little give, so you can gently bounce or roll back and forth while sitting.

  • When it comes to ball size, go by your height. According to Mayer:

  • Shorter women usually benefit from a 55 cm ball.

  • Medium size women from a 65 cm ball.

  • Tall women from a 75 cm ball.

  • If youre unsure of what size to get, there are numerous online guides available.

  • The first few times you use a pregnancy ball, you may want someone nearby to steady you, or back the ball up to the wall or a sofa to give your more stability.

  • Its also in your best interest to discuss anything including using a birthing ball with your doctor or midwife, because in some instances, they arent recommended. ;

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    How To Use An Exercise Ball During Pregnancy

    Get a low-impact and beneficial workout with nothing but a ball.

    Youve likely seen a pregnant woman gently bouncing on an exercise ball as a way to facilitate labor, but those bouncy, oversized orbs are good for so much more than that.

    Often found in hospital birthing centers, moms-to-be can use exercise balls to strengthen the legs, back, and core musclesa particularly important area for pregnant women. In addition to that, these balls can aid in relaxation and physical relief from general pregnancy physical woes.

    Aaptiv trainer and mom of one-year-old twins Rochelle Moncourtois has her clients use exercise balls, also called stability balls, at all stages of pregnancy build up and maintain core muscles, improve posture, and more.

    So, we asked her and other pregnancy experts to break down exercise ball moves for pregnant women.

    Tips For Using A Birth Ball

    How To Use A Yoga Ball During Pregnancy
    • 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!;

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    Can I Use A Birthing Ball To Help Break My Waters

    This is a complicated answer, as nobody really knows how waters break. Midwife Hana explains, I have known many women to state with great conviction that the birthing ball helped to break their waters! In truth, nobody really knows why a womans waters break, so theres no harm in trying to use a birth ball. Saying that, the longer the waters are in place the more cushioning you and baby have when the surges begin.

    Side Lying With A Peanut Ball

    The peanut ball can also be used for side-lying positions in labor, which is a great position for resting or even sleeping. It can be done in conjunction with an epidural in labor.

    You may need help from your doula or a nurse to get;positioned with the ball. This helps your pelvis stay open while you are resting.

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    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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    Does Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Really Help Induce Labor

    How to use yoga ball for pregnancy and labor by Penni Thorpe

    So Ive heard through the grapevine that bouncing on a yoga ball can help bring on laborso 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 couldnt be more ready and excited to meet my baby boy! Im 38w and 3d.

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    What Is A Yoga Ball

    Yoga balls are also called exercise balls, stability balls, Swiss balls, balance balls, Pilates balls, physio balls, and in the case of pregnant women, birthing balls. They were originally developed for physical therapy purposes, but these balls are used for different exercises at the gym or in your home. While they are large, they are not at all heavy. You can easily move them around and even lift them. However, they provided excellent stability and balance. They come in different sizes as well.

    If you are between 5 feet and 5 feet, 5 inches tall, you should go with a 55-centimeter ball. Women between 5 feet, 6 inches, and 5 feet, 11 inches should choose a 65-centimeter yoga ball. For people 6 and 6 feet, 3 inches tall, you can work with a 76-centimeter ball.

    The best way to test if the yoga ball is the right size for you is to sit on the ball and check if your hips and knees can perform a perfect right angle. If that is the case, you have found your ideal yoga ball. It is important to have exercise equipment, which is the right size to ensure safety. Now that you are more familiar with yoga balls, it is time to learn how to exercise safely when you have to know how does a yoga ball help induce labor.

    Vivora Luno Exercise Ball

    The Vivora Luno is actually a sitting ball chair for home, office, yoga and physical activity, but it is also a good substitute for a birthing ball.

    This self-standing ball chair stays in place when you stand up. Equipped with a carrying handle this sitting ball is perfect to promote a good posture by activating back and support muscles.

    The Vivora Luno Ball Chair can not only be used as an office ball chair, but also as a yoga ball, a therapy ball, a labor ball and a pregnancy birthing ball.Long work days wont seem so long when youre cradled in the comfort of a supportive exercise ball chair.

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    Is A Yoga Ball Good For Pregnancy

    During pregnancy

    Sitting on a birthing ball is also great exercise. It can strengthen your stomach and back muscles, improve your posture, and prepare your body for delivery. Sitting in an upright position can also change your baby from a posterior position to an anterior position, which may also relieve back pain.

    Use Birthing Ball After The Pregnancy

    Prenatal Yoga: Ball Class

    There are many ways how you can use your ball after the baby was born.

    • If the ball was THE chair to sit on while you were pregnant, it might be THE chair now too when your perineum is still sore after the birth. Deflate the ball little bit to make it softer.
    • When you get a hang of breastfeeding, sit on the ball while you nurdin your baby. IT will keep your posture straight.
    • Use your birth ball to exercise and get back in shape.
    • If you have a colicky baby, the ball will be your best place to sit on. Hold your baby in your/his favorite position and gently bounce on the ball. Or you can even put the baby on the ball and GENTLY bounce. This soft pressure and rhythmic movements will help to sooth the baby. Make sure to keep all safety precautions when using birth ball with the baby.

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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 To Use A Peanut Ball To Rotate Baby

    Here are some helpful positions to try using your peanut ball. This can be especially helpful for posterior babies or moms who need to rest.

    Side lying position Mom lays on one side and places the ball between her legs. Sometimes shell bend the top leg into a 90-degree angle, depending on her comfort.

    Fowler position This position is when mom is sitting upright or semi-upright, and her legs are open in a butterfly position. The peanut ball goes under one leg. Mom switches the peanut ball back and forth as she likes, or every 12 hours.

    The uses for the peanut ball dont stop there! You may even be able to use it to sleep more comfortably;in those last weeks of pregnancy.

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    What Is A Birthing Ball And Is It The Same As An Exercise Ball

    As far as adjusting to your pregnancy weight gain and preparing for birth, the Birthing ball is an excellent multi-functional godsend! It really is a must in the birth plan of all pregnant women!

    A birthing ball can be used as a:

    • Pregnancy ball
    • Labour ball
    • Postnatal ball

    You could use a gym ball during pregnancy but I wouldnt recommend it. You wouldnt benefit from the same flexibility than if you were to use a birthing ball.

    Although both ball types are visually similar and appear to function in the same way, there is a definite difference between a birthing ball and an exercise ball that you would find in the gym.

    Exercise balls designed for the gym are manufactured from thinner materials than a birthing ball, making sitting on an exercise ball while pregnant challenging to maintain your balance. Whilst bouncing on an exercise ball when pregnant, rather than a birthing ball, can cause the ball to burst as it is not designed to hold your pregnancy weight.

    All good birthing balls are designed to carry the added weight and are made from anti-burst materials.

    Top Tip

    Before you buy a birthing ball check what size birthing ball you need. The correct birthing ball size is:

    • If you are up to 5 feet 10 inch in height use a 65cm birthing ball
    • If you are above 5 feet 10 inch use a 75cm birthing ball

    What Is A Half Yoga Ball Called

    Introduction to using a fitness ball for pregnancy and postnatal yoga with Sally Parkes

    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.

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    Unicorn And Rainbow Pose

    The cat-and-cow pose also helps strengthen and maintain the flexibility of your abdomen and lower back.

    How to do:

    • Maintain a position with all your fours on the ground
    • Keep your hands at the width of your shoulder and knees at the width of your hips
    • Inhale and lift the breastbone and the tailbone towards the sky while slowly contracting your lower back
    • Exhale and bend your spine in the shape of a rainbow
    • Repeat it about 15 times

    If needed, you can use a folded cloth or towel under your knees to cushion them.

    Easy Pregnancy Ball Exercise Tips

    Why not combine these simple birthing ball techniques while watching your favourite boxsets!

    Remember sitting and engaging in soft movements on your pregnancy ball can strengthen your core, improve posture and help your baby to turn head down into an optimal foetal position. Try using your birthing ball for:

    • Gentle Bouncing
    • Pelvic Floor Exercises

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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.

    Use Birthing Ball Safely

    Using A Birthing Ball Could Help Speed Up Labor and ...
    • make sure to use a non-bursting birth ball. If it is punctured, the ball should not burst suddenly, but deflate little by little so you can get off the ball safely. ;
    • get the ball with non-slippery surface
    • get the right size for you, depending on your height
    • when using the birth ball move carefully
    • before sitting down on the ball put your hands on it to keep it steady
    • make sure your feet are apart from each other so you can have a solid foundation when you sit down on the ball
    • dont hold your breath. Breath in through your nose and exhale through the mouth
    • stay bare feet when using birthing ball. Less chance to slip/slide. If you do have to wear socks or shoes make sure they are not slippery.
    • especially in the beginning of using a birthing ball have your partner or doula be there to help you. Start with very simple sitting on the ball to feel comfortable.

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    How Do I Use A Birthing Ball Postpartum

    One of the perks of having a pregnancy ball taking up space in your home after youve already given birth? It can help soothe your baby!

    Using the birth ball after baby is born is my favorite, Mayer says. Its especially great for sitting down on and bouncing baby to sleep. If baby is fussy and fighting sleep, I recommend using a baby carrier and gently bouncing on the ball until baby is asleep. Its easy to do while watching TV for some much-needed distraction or company.

    And, of course, once you get the OK from your health care provider to start exercising again, you can use your birthing ball for various stretches and core-restoration exercises. Because with no sleep and a newborn, youll have the time and energy for that, right?


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