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.
How Common Are Birthing Balls In Labour
Theres a reason why youll have heard a lot about them whilst getting your birth plan ready! According to Hana, Birthing balls are very common in labour.;In fact, every single one of our birthing rooms are furnished with at least one, if not two birthing balls. Were crazy about birthing balls they are such a wonderful tool and labour aid. Id really recommend you make sure one features in your labour; if youre planning a hospital birth, make enquiries to check that they have one, and buy one if you plan on having a home birth.
How To Use A Birthing Ball In Pregnancy
You can start using a pregnancy ball at any point in pregnancy. From 32 weeks, you may want to use your ball on a daily basis, as an alternative to a desk chair or to the sofa. A lot of the movements you can do on the ball are great to use in labour too, so you will be helping your body and well-being as well as your birth preparation in one go!
Here are a few simple and deeply enjoyable pregnancy yoga movements you can try!
Pelvic circles & spirals
Simply roll your hips to draw circles on the ball, one way then the other. You can start with small circles then make them bigger and bigger like a spiral and back to small. Take your arms out to side for better balance if needed
Gentle bounce on the ball while describing a small circle as above, again going one way then the other.
A ball is a great way to access the grounding feeling and strengthening of Warrior 2 right till the end of your pregnancy and/or while keeping a shorter stance . Ensure both feet are fully grounded on the floor.
Extended side stretch
From Warrior 2, enjoy this side stretch to find more space to breathe, stretch the abdominals and relieve tension in the back!
Extended childs pose
Kneeling on the floor, knees apart to make space for your bump, reach your arms over the ball to enjoy a back stretch. You can roll the ball side to side a little for a little swaying movement, then roll it closer to you and rest your head on folded arms for a comfortable rest.
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What Are The Benefits Of Using A Birthing Ball
A birthing ball isn’t just for labour – in fact there are many benefits to using a birthing ball during your pregnancy, as well as afterwards.;
Not only can a birth ball help reduce back pain and pelvic pain particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy, it is said to ease labour pains and reduce the pain of contractions. It can also help you move your baby into the right position for an easier birth.
If you find it difficult to get comfortable or sit for long periods of time then you may find sitting on a birthing ball is the solution. This also helps open up your pelvic muscles, in preparation for labour.;
The added bonus is that every time you sit on your birthing ball;your core is getting a workout too – which will not only help during labour, but also with your recovery afterwards.;
Do You Need A Birth Ball
Definitely not. A birth ball is nice to have on hand – and many hospitals have them handy. It can be great to have nearby, but its benefit can also be matched by positional changes in the bed and around the house.
NOTE: Our doulas have encountered some hospitals which dont have pumps, or only have small sized balls. Ask in your prenatal visits with your birth provider what is on hand at the hospital, and prepare accordingly.
If youre looking for the greatest perks of the ball, have one at home for pregnancy comfort vs. labor support.
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Back And Upper Body Stretch
The chest and abdomen often get really tight in pregnancy, so this can be a great stretch! Stamas says. Kneel on the floor, hinge forward at your hips, and rest your arms on the ball.
Gently rock the ball to one side until a stretch is felt. Hold here while breathing into the opposite side of your rib cage for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Comfy Mom Exercise Ball
For a cost-friendly and, well, comfy option, Comfy Moms Exercise Ball is a sweet and straightforward ball that can help ease joint pain and keep your workout routine manageable during those big-belly days. According to this reviewer, the Comfy Mom ball can help loosen and crack even the most stubborn of backs. This cute ball comes in classic black, dark mint, and pink.;
Amazing Birthing Balls That Double As Office Chairs
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Whether you need a comfortable office chair, or youre looking for a birthing ball to help you through the stages of pregnancy, these exercise balls provide great support. People of any body type will discover how easy it is to stay in shape and alleviate back pain simply by using an exercise ball chair. If youre ready to give them a try, check out these seven amazing birthing balls for use as office chairs.
The Purpose Of A Birthing Ball
A birthing ball can be use throughout pregnancy, during labor, as well as postpartum.
Expectant mothers often use a pregnancy ball as early as their first trimester.; Throughout the pregnancy, the birth ball will help to maximize posture and stability, alleviate back pain, increase blood flow to the uterus and placenta, and prepare for an easier birthing process.
During labor, the birth ball will help properly position the baby for delivery, loosen the pelvic joints, and increase the pelvic outlet by up to 30 percent.
Post-delivery, the labor ball may also be used for postpartum fitness programs, maintain proper posture, and increase stability.
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Using An Exercise Ball In Pregnancy
These balls are great for relieving discomfort during pregnancy. It provides a firm, yet the soft place to sit. It also forces good posture, allowing for decreased straining of your muscles.
When moms are learning to squat the birth ball can help them achieve this without the need for a partner. Simply by placing the birth ball on the wall and then leaning with it against your shoulder blades, you can learn to squat and gently ease into it, without fear of falling and no partner required!
Will Using A Pregnancy Ball Help Start Labor Or Break My Water
Long walks, pineapples, sex surely there are a variety of things youve been told to do or consume in order to kick-start labor. Ultimately, though, your baby is going to make his or her adorable debut on their terms.
Its unlikely that bouncing on a birth ball will cause someones labor to start or water to break, says Mayer, who advises calling your doctor when you eventually start to feel signs of labor.
And while your birthing ball may not expedite things, the home stretch of your pregnancy is still an ideal time to use it particularly if you intend on using it during labor.
If you plan on using your pregnancy ball during labor, I would advise practice using it in the third trimester, says Moore. For some women, learning to balance on the ball when theyre heavily front-loaded can be tricky! The biggest complication I would worry about is potential injuries from falling off, so you definitely want to take some time getting used to it.;
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Comfy Mom Store Exercise Ball
Comfy Mom Store has a very unique design for its birthing and exercise ball. If youre wondering what the heck those little bumps on it are, youll be happy to find out that theyre massage points.
Aching backs get a little extra help from these massage points, allowing you to use the ball for longer periods of time. This particular model of birthing ball can be used before, during and after pregnancy, so you wont have to get a new one post-birth.
Extended sitting periods working from a home office can make your spine suffer, but Comfy Mom Stores Exercise Ball;is comfortable and supportive. Its massage points will help the time fly by as you become more productive and focused with your new office chair.
Choosing The Right Exercise Ball
When choosing an exercise ball, make sure you select the appropriate size based on your height, Stamas says.
- 50 and under: 45 cm width ball
- 51 58: 55 cm width ball
- 59 62: 65 cm width ball
- 63 and up: 75 cm width ball
Once the exercise ball is inflated, check your body position.
When you sit on the ball, your hips should be slightly higher than your knees to avoid pressure on your back, to allow lots of space for your tummy, and to give you stability, Cohen says.
If youre between sizes, Cohen suggests choosing the smaller size especially if you plan to use it as a birthing ball too.
I personally recommend getting the smallest one that can suit your needs, she says. During labor itself, its relaxing to lean on the ball on all fours, and a big ball might not be comfortable.
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Pregnancy Ball Exercises For Expecting Moms
Busy growing a new life? Dont worry, you can still stay active! Pregnancy ball exercises can help engage your core and improve hip stability.
Moms-to-be have lots of options to choose from.
Love yoga? Try;prenatal yoga;designed to work with your growing belly.
Hooked on barre? Try a;Pre & Post Natal Barre Blend;class.
Whether you call it an exercise ball, stability ball, Swiss ball, balance ball, or birthing ball, there are plenty of pregnancy ball exercises you can do at home with this simple and inexpensive piece of equipment.
Fun fact: You may even be able to use that same exercise ball as a birthing ball in the delivery room!
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Like three of the other models we tested, the TheraBand Pro Series SCP Exercise Ball does not come with a pump. If you dont already own a pump or an air compressor, you will need to borrow or buy one to inflate the TheraBand ball.
The measuring tape included with the TheraBand has three punched holes: one that you line up with the balls opening, a second that indicates the stop point for the first inflation, and a third that marks max inflation. Unlike the tapes that accompany our runner-up and budget picks, the TheraBand tape is the same color as the ball itself and does not have any hash marks or numbers, so you might have a bit more difficulty seeing when to stop pumping.
Finally, like our budget pick, this ball comes in only one color option per size.
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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.
What Is The Difference
At first glance, exercise balls and pregnancy balls look identical.; However, if you had one of each in front of you, you would likely be able to see and feel the difference.
Exercise balls start as small as 45 centimeters in diameter, and increase up to 75 centimeters.; Pregnancy balls are typically offered in two sizes, 65 centimeters in diameter, and 75 centimeters.
Although both balls are inflatable, and manufactured with a vinyl or plastic material, pregnancy balls are often constructed using a thicker version of the material.; By using a stronger, thicker material, pregnancy balls often dont have the inflation issues that come with traditional exercise balls.
Perhaps the most important differentiators between exercise balls and pregnancy balls are the safety features.
Birthing balls are manufactured with the safety and security of expecting mothers in mind.; These balls include an anti-slip feature, which keeps the ball secure, effectively preventing it from rolling out from under the user.; Additionally, the material used for pregnancy balls are manufactured not to burst if punctured.; This anti-burst feature will allow for a slow release of air through the puncture hole, instead of the material bursting, creating a sudden collapse of the ball.
Finding the Best Ball
To make it easier, here are a list of three key things mothers should consider before buying their pregnancy ball:
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Sitting Upright With Peanut Ball
A peanut ball is a great tool in labor. It is particularly good if you need to be in bed during labor. Sometimes this is needed because of monitoring or medications being used, including the epidural.
Some studies have shown the use of a peanut ball reduces the cesarean rate in mothers who have an epidural. This can be a great way to help keep moving in bed while still resting.
However, many hospitals do not have a peanut ball and you may have to bring your own with you. This is something that you would need to ask about in your hospital tour.
The Real Difference Between Exercise Balls And Birthing Balls
There is one kind of ball that is slightly different from the average exercise ball, however, and that is a birthing ball. Birthing balls are intended to reduce the pain felt during both pregnancy and labor. To that end, they tend to be slightly larger than the average exercise ball for the sake of comfort, and often feature an anti-slip finish to make longer sitting sessions easier without slipping off .
Of course, there is more to do than merely sitting on your birthing ball. According to Motherly, you can rock back and forth on the ball to realign the pelvis, position one one on a bed and lean against it to take the weight off the lower back, and even lean against it while on all fours both to reduce pain and to help speed up dilation. In fact, according to a 2015 meta-analysis, using a birthing ball was found to reduce both pain and anxiety in pregnant women if used before labor starts . With so many potential benefits, it should come as no surprise that plenty of famous mothers are purportedly fans, including Khloé Kardashian .
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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?
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.
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Good Birthing Positions To Try
Sit on the birth ball the same way you did during pregnancy. Have your partner sit in a chair behind you for support if you like. Use the ball to sway or circle your hips through contractions.
The;birth ball is also an excellent prop for women who are laboring on all fours or on their;knees. Lean forward onto the birth;ball for support during contractions or to rest in between.
Again, you can use the ball to sway or circle through contractions if that feels right. This can be;particularly helpful if you have back labor, when sitting directly on anything just hurts too much.
You may also combine these two ideas and use the ball to sit on while leaning forward on a mountain of pillows or bed.