pregnant woman with birthing ball

Using a Birthing Ball in Pregnancy and Labour

Apr 26, 2024

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey filled with anticipation, excitement, and sometimes, a fair share of discomfort. Amidst the various tools and techniques available to pregnant mums, the birthing ball stands out as your best friend, particularly towards the end of your pregnancy. Not just a piece of exercise equipment, the birthing ball offers a range of benefits throughout pregnancy, labour, and even postpartum recovery. Let's delve into the many ways a birthing ball can support you.


Benefits of Using a Birthing Ball:

Encouraging Baby into the Right Position:

  • During pregnancy, the position of the baby can significantly impact the birthing process. Sitting on a birthing ball can encourage the baby to move into an optimal position for birth, such as head down, which can facilitate a smoother delivery.

Maintaining Good Posture:

  • As your bump grows larger, maintaining good posture becomes increasingly challenging. A birth ball promotes proper spinal alignment and helps alleviate the strain on the back and hips, providing much-needed relief from discomfort.

Supporting Birth Physiology During Labour:

  • When labour begins, using a birthing ball can be a valuable tool for coping with contractions. Sitting, swaying, or gently bouncing on the ball can aid the progression of labour by utilizing gravity to help the baby descend through the birth canal.

Incorporating into an Exercise Regime:

  • Beyond pregnancy, the birthing ball can be integrated into an exercise routine to strengthen muscles, improve balance, and enhance flexibility. Prenatal exercises performed on the ball can also prepare the body for labour and delivery.



Tips for Buying the Right Size Ball

Selecting the appropriate size of the birthing ball is crucial for optimal comfort and effectiveness. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Ensure that your hips are positioned slightly higher than your knees when sitting on the ball.
  • The ball should be fully inflated to provide adequate support and stability.
  • A rough size guide - for women under 5’3” - 55cm diameter, for women between 5’3” and 5’9” - 65cm diameter, for women above 5’9” - 75cm diameter.

If you are thinking about purchasing a ball - I highly recommend this brand - you can choose your size to make sure it's perfect for your height.


Exercises to Do with your Birthing Ball



There are loads of ways you can use a ball in the latter stages of your pregnancy as well as in the lead up to and in birth. This first video gives you ideas of how the ball can be used for exercise - to support you when doing squats, arm exercises, elevating your upper body for core strengthening and taking the pressure off your back. 

The second video provides lovely ideas for stretches and mobility in the final stages of pregnancy. Great for ideas for labour positions too.

If you need any further advice drop me a DM or send me an email. 


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