Peanut Balls for Labour: Is It Effective?

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When the labor contractions kick in, the first nine months of pregnancy seem like a cakewalk. There are many procedures and information available that can help you choose your right delivery option- from a caesarian surgery to labor induced normal birth. If you have chosen labor induced normal birth, or are thinking about it, a peanut ball is going to be extremely useful for you.

In this article:

What is a Peanut Ball?
Can Peanut Ball Induce Labor?
How does a Peanut Ball help During Labor?
What does the Research Say about Peanut Balls?
Should I Buy a Peanut Ball for Labor?
What is the Best Size Peanut Ball for Labor?
Does a Peanut Ball Replace the Benefits of Being Upright and Mobile?

Peanut Balls for Labour: Things You Should Know

What is a Peanut Ball?

A peanut ball is made from the material used to make super strength, inflatable and anti-burst exercise balls and birth balls. Peanut ball is named so because it resembles the shape of a peanut. This ball comes in multiple sizes, so you should choose the one most suited to your body weight.

Can Peanut Ball Induce Labor?

Yes, during the labor process if your body feels too tired or if you do not feel comfortable sitting upright, which is the recommended posture during labor, then a peanut ball can help induce labor.

How does a Peanut Ball help During Labor?

Labor is usually easier if the mother has an active lifestyle. Having an upright posture and having asymmetrically placed hips help to facilitate easy movement of the baby down the birth canal. The lithotomy position is capable of slowing down labor because you lose the support of gravity.

peanut ball labor

However, it is not always possible to maintain the proper position during labor because it is a highly painful and physically excruciating process. So what do you do if you want to rest during labor? What if your physical health requires you to lie down? Here is where the peanut ball comes in. You can align your hips how you need in bed and continue lying down while inducing labor.

Read More:11 Must Do Things Before Going into Labor

What does the Research Say about Peanut Balls?

The Journal of Perinatal Education in the year 2015  published a study titled “Reducing Length of Labor and Cesarean Surgery Rate Using a Peanut Ball for Women Laboring With an Epidural”. In this study, it was found that if a peanut ball is used after receiving an epidural then it fastens the process of the first and the second stage of labor.  The study was carried out including over 200 women. Out of them, the 107 women who used peanut ball during labor demonstrated a shorter first stage of labor by 29 minutes and the second stage of labor by 11 minutes compared to the 91 women who did not take the help of peanut ball. The study concludes that the peanut ball is potentially a successful nursing intervention to help progress labor and support vaginal birth for women laboring under epidural analgesia.

Read More:7 Things that can Worsen Your Labor Pain

Should I Buy a Peanut Ball for Labor?

If you have decided on normal birth, should you go for a regular birth ball or a peanut ball? Pillows and birth balls can be comfortable and helpful during labor, but peanut ball surely has some additional advantages. Its unique shape helps with better asymmetrical hip alignment which increases the possibility of dilation of the vaginal canal and pelvic space. A peanut ball is certainly more preferable than pillows or cushions because a peanut ball will not flatten with more use and pressure. Its special material also offers much more support than a regular pillow and stays in place. Pillows and cushions can slip away suddenly under pressure.

Peanut balls can be especially useful if you plan to get an epidural and spend some time in bed. If you are interested in using one, contact your medical birthing facility to know whether they can provide one. Some labor wards and birthing centers do keep peanut balls. If you are contacting a doula or a trained professional for a home birth, contact them to know whether they can provide one. However, if you have your heart set on using a peanut ball during labor, you should purchase one in case they have a limited number.  You can easily look them up on online websites like Amazon.com.

Read More: Castor Oil to Induce Labor: 11 Benefits and Side Effects No One Told You

What is the Best Size Peanut Ball for Labor?

This ball comes in multiple sizes, so you should choose the one most suited to your body weight.

  • If your height is less than or equal to 160 cm (5 ft 3 in) choose a 45 cm peanut ball.
  • If your height is between 160 cm to 170 cm (5 ft 3 in to 5 ft 7 in) use a 50 cm peanut ball.
  • For height above 170 cm (5 ft 8 in) or if your body weight is on the heavy side, a 60 cm peanut ball is most recommendable for you.

However sizes larger than these are not helpful for labor inducing purposes.

Does a Peanut Ball Replace the Benefits of Being Upright and Mobile?

In short, the answer is, no, not completely. Although peanut ball can be very effective, especially after the administration of an epidural, there are many benefits of sitting upright which cannot be completely replaced by a peanut ball. Sitting upright also causes gravity to be on your side and help labor.  Movements, like swaying lightly or walking slowly, can reduce some of the discomforts felt during labor and induce the movement of your baby through the birth canal. Instead of relying on a peanut ball wholly, you should keep an open mind to other techniques and use the peanut ball as one of the many useful labor-inducing techniques.

Read More: Can Pineapple Induce Labor Naturally? Truths and Myths

Reference

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4748987/

The peanut ball: why every birthing suite should have one.

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!

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