Birthing Ball Exercises During Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know

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A birthing ball or a birth ball is a big inflatable exercise ball made from rubber. It is a typical fitness ball that may be utilized by pregnant women for fitness during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss everything that is there to know about using a birthing ball during pregnancy. 

In this article:

Benefits Of Using A Birthing Ball
How To Use A Birthing Ball
When Can You Start Using A Birthing Ball?
How To Use A Birthing Ball During Labor?

Benefits Of Using A Birthing Ball

  • Eases back pain and improves your ability to maneuver around.
  • Stimulates blood flow to the pelvic area, where the placenta and uterus lie
  • Offers counter-pressure to your perineum and thighs
  • Gives excellent support to your knees and ankles
  • Help reduce spinal pressure
  • Eases pain and reduces the duration of labor.
  • Reduces the anxiety and pain from contractions
  • Helps open up the pelvic muscles
  • Corrects the baby position before the birth

birthing ball exercises during pregnancy

How To Use A Birthing Ball 

  • Place the ball on a carpet or a rug and not on the ground. Go barefoot, or wear anti-skid shoes. Have someone hold your hand and support you from the rear when sitting on the ball for the first time.
  • Place your feet firmly on the floor for gaining balance. Place one hand on the ball and slowly lower yourself to take a seat on the ball.
  • Now, place your hands on the knees and try rocking the pelvis sideways, and back and forth. Once you’re feeling you are comfortable with it, bounce on that a little.
  • If you’re not comfortable with the rocking or bouncing movements, place a chair near you for support.
  • Check that that there’s enough space around you once you exercise on the ball.
  • Breathe in the usual manner, control your exercise movements, and stop the activity if you experience any pain.

Knowing when to use the birth ball during pregnancy is crucial to remain safe and make the most of it.

When Can You Start Using A Birthing Ball?

The first trimester is the best time to begin using the birthing ball. You can also start exercising on the ball in the latter part of your pregnancy, although it will be difficult, considering how much your body would’ve changed with the growing baby.

Birthing Ball Exercises:

  • Rock your pelvis on all sides while sitting on the ball (pelvic tilts). Pull your belly inside and try to curve your lower back gently. Repeat to strengthen your uterus and lower back. Don’t involve your shoulders when doing this, and movement should start from the waist and below.
  • Rotate your hips clockwise and anti-clockwise while sitting on the ball.
  • Remain in a kneeling position, then lean over the ball (resting child’s pose). Now rock your hips front to back. It helps you relax.

How To Use A Birthing Ball During Labor?

Working out on the ball before you enter labor can make you feel comfortable. Some healthcare providers also recommend using TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, drug-free option for pain relief) together with the birthing ball to cope up with early labor.

  • Sit on the birth ball with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now try to rock your pelvis side to side and from front to back. This helps to stretch your body so the baby moves into the right birthing position.
  • Try to lean over the ball in a kneeling position. Try swaying during this position to softly stretch your back.
  • Try to hug the ball by getting onto all your fours, and gently lift your bottom from a kneeling position called the resting frog squat. Rock your pelvis sideways.
  • Try to lean over the ball while standing, with the ball placed on the bed or an elevated platform. This position will give you the much-needed gravity needed for the baby’s descent.
  • Bouncing gently on the ball will help strengthen your legs and improve your ability to balance. It is also helpful in giving counter pressure you need during labor.
  • Try sitting upright on the peanut ball, if you are worried about falling off the birthing ball, an alternative to the rounded birth ball. Utilization of the peanut ball has the potential to cut back the labor duration and cesarean rate in those with epidural.
  • Lie on your side using a peanut ball. It helps you to rest and sleep well. This position also keeps your pelvic region open when resting.

Besides making normal delivery easy, the birthing ball also can help you stay fit and recover faster after childbirth. Check with your doctor before aiming to use a birthing ball. You can also get a personal trainer or a specialist dealing with pregnancy fitness.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28079671

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21459499

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