Birthing balls are fitness balls that are used to exercise during pregnancy. Ask any mum, and they will agree that a birthing ball is a boon when it comes to making the birthing process smooth. In fact, regular usage of this inflated ball can improve the chances of vaginal delivery.
A birthing ball offers a multitude of benefits and after reading them, you will definitely want to add this to your pregnancy shopping cart. However, you’ll need to use this equipment carefully and under medical supervision. Use a birthing ball only if your doctor gives you a go-ahead.
Let’s take a look at how you can use a birthing ball during pregnancy and what benefits it has to offer.
A birth ball, aka birthing ball, is a big inflatable exercise ball designed with rubber. It’s a standard fitness ball that can be used by expecting mums in their pregnancy and postpartum journey. A birthing ball is safe to use, and a non-medical technique to increase your chances of having a normal delivery.
Yes, there is a difference between a birthing ball and a gym ball. Although they are almost similar and made of anti-burst materials, there are a couple of differences between the two. First, birth balls are bigger than gym balls, and second, they come with an anti-slip finish to provide you with a tight grip and prevent you from slipping or falling down.
A birthing ball reduces body pain and helps you feel more comfortable during pregnancy. Besides this, the other reasons to use a birthing ball include:
You can start using your birthing ball from your first trimester and continue exercising on it until the final stages of your pregnancy. Although, be informed that as your body becomes heavier, you may have difficulty getting used to the ball.
The size of your birthing ball should ideally depend on your height. Take a look at the table mentioned below for reference:
|Your Height||Ball Size (in cms)|
|Less than 5’2||45 cm|
|Above 6’3||75 cm|
When you sit on the ball, your hips should be higher than your knees. Otherwise, it’s an indication that the birthing ball is small for your height and/or needs more air.
During pregnancy, you can use the birthing ball for various activities such as sitting comfortably, for mild exercises, or even changing the baby’s position during pregnancy.
It will be much easier for you to get on and off from the ball than to sit on a hard chair or a sofa. Moreover, sitting on the ball can also turn into a mini-workout for you. Bouncing and rocking on it gently will keep your tummy and back muscles upright.
Birth balls offer excellent balance to the spine and improve your posture. It also exercises your tummy and gives you the required support to bear your pregnancy weight.
You can try mild exercises using the birthing balls, such as pelvic tilts. Here, you need to rock your pelvis sideways and back and forth while sitting on the ball. Make sure to hold your core tight, tilt your pelvis back, and try curving your lower back gently at the same time. Repeat this exercise to strengthen your lower back and uterus. You can also try pelvic floor exercises on these birthing balls. It will be much easier to work your lower tummy muscles that way.
A birthing ball can also be used to change the baby’s position during the final stages of your pregnancy. This is done to increase the chances of vaginal delivery and reduce any other complications. However, do this only if it is doctor recommended.
For this, you will need to get on your knees and lean forward on the ball. This forward-leaning position will help your baby adopt the upright birthing position and make the baby move to the anterior position, with their back towards your tummy.
Working on a birthing ball can make labour more comfortable. Here’s the right way to use a birthing ball during labour:
Using a birth ball can make your normal delivery comfortable and also help you stay fit and recover faster during the postpartum period.
Now let’s take a look at the ways you can use a birthing ball after your little one’s arrival.
It goes without saying that after delivery, the posterior portion of your body will feel sore and weak. So sitting on a ball can offer you more comfort than sitting on a hard surface. You can also try sitting on the ball while breastfeeding. But do this only after your munchkin has latched on properly.
Your body will take time to recover and heal and you cannot get back into high intensity workout immediately after giving birth. Use the birthing ball to exercise and tone up your post-pregnancy body.
A birthing ball is an excellent way to reduce pain and discomfort during pregnancy. It also strengthens your body’s posture and soothes your labour woes. Even though using a birth ball seems like a great idea during pregnancy, do not forget to seek your doctor’s advice first and then proceed to use it safely.