You might already be aware a birthing ball is also known as a pregnancy ball, labour ball, and a postpartum ball, not to mention a gassy baby ball!
These versatile PVC-free spheres are useful throughout pregnancy and once Baby has arrived.
Using A Birthing Ball While Pregnant
Particularly during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, it can be uncomfortable to sit down, and difficult to get up from a seated position. Using your ball when sitting, can help to relieve spinal pressure, and encourage proper posture while giving your knees and ankles comfortable support.
Research suggests that using the ball in the later stages of your pregnancy can actually increase the pelvic outlet by as much as 30% thanks in part to the upright posture working with gravity to encourage the descent of Baby: leaning forward, pelvic rocking, swaying, doing hip circles and figure eights as well as gentle bouncing will help move the baby down. One of the most important benefits of using a birth ball during those last few weeks of pregnancy is getting the baby into the correct position for labour. Sitting on the ball with your back as straight as possible and your legs far apart will help open the pelvic area.
Using A Birthing Ball In Labour
Using the Birthing Ball to assist progress in labour is as easy as doing hip circles or “the hula” for 20 minutes in one direction then 20 minutes in the other direction. Remember to use a smooth rhythmic rotation – get some music going to help–such as some upbeat Latin music!
For pain management, you can kneel in front of the ball and lean on it to help relieve back pain, or rock side to side with your arms or elbows over the ball to relieve pressure. This is also a great position for you for your birth partner to begin massaging your back at the same time.
Using the Birthing Ball After Your Pregnancy
There are endless options for using the ball after the birth of your baby. Just as you may have used it as your chair during pregnancy it may still be a great chair option afterwards as your perineum may still be sore after giving birth, just deflate the ball a small amount to make it softer for yourself.
I was so thankful for my ball with my colicky baby! Here are some simple ways to soothe Baby with a birthing ball:
Hold your baby in his or her favourite position and gently bounce on the ball.
Or you can put the baby directly on the ball (stomach down) and GENTLY rock back and forth or bounce. The soft pressure and rhythmic moving will help to soothe the baby and relieve any uncomfortable gas pressure. Make sure to observe all safety precautions when using a birth ball with a baby.
Finally, your versatile birthing ball can help you get back into shape after having a baby! How? By rebuilding your core strength through easy workouts that you can do at home. Check out Youtube for videos geared toward all workout levels.