7 Essential Tips on How to Use a Birthing Ball for a Better Birth
You’ve just been given the news that you’ll be bringing a beautiful new life into the world. Giving birth is one of the most amazing but excruciating experiences that you’ll ever have in your life. There is a way to make it a little easier on yourself though.
Using a birthing ball during your pregnancy can get your baby in the right position for birth and help you ease into labor. While it won’t take the pain completely away, it can make things go smoother.
To help guide you into the birthing process, read these tips on how to use your birthing ball before, during, and after you have your baby.
1. Buying Your Birthing Ball
The first thing you need to know about buying a birthing ball is that it's an exercise ball. They're one and the same. The next thing you need to know is that the ball you buy won't puncture on you.
Whatever ball you pick up needs to be anti-burst. Once you find one that is anti-burst then you need to be sure that it's appropriate for your height.
- 5'4 or under: 55 cm ball
- Between 5'4 and 5'10: 65 cm ball
- Over 5'10: 75 cm ball
If you're not really sure if a ball is right for you, try it out. Your hips need to be higher up than your knees. If the ball can let you do that, you know you're getting the right size.
2. When You Should Start Using it
You need to start using your ball when your baby starts growing. This means you need to begin using it during the first trimester. You can start a little later than that but don't wait until the third trimester to do so.
Your body starts to accommodate itself for your rapidly growing little one around the second trimester. The ball will help make the process a lot more pleasant.
3. How does it Help
Pregnancy is a beautiful but painful process. You'll feel a lot of pressure in your pelvic area. Using the ball helps to relieve some of this pressure.
Another thing that it does is help get the baby in the right position for birth. See, it's very hard to have bad posture when you're balancing yourself on a ball.
Your body and the baby will stay nice and aligned so labor won't be near as painful nor last as long.
4. How to Use it
So, you know how it can help you, but we haven't told you how to use the thing. Here are a few great exercises that you can do on the ball.
This is a light exercise that will help get your baby in the correct position for birthing. Sit on the ball and simply move your hips in a figure 8 fashion.
Not only is this exercise easy but it's also fun. You may start to do it as an afterthought when you sit on the ball.
When giving birth you'll need strong pelvic and leg muscles. For this, there is no greater exercise then squats. The only thing with squats is as your stomach grows they become more and more difficult to do.
This is where the ball comes in. You'll need to use the ball as a stabilizer so you can do the squats safely without falling over.
A lot of back pain comes with being pregnant because you'll be carrying a ton of extra weight around. You can use your birthing ball to take a little bit of the strain off your back.
The idea is to use the ball as support kind of like with the squats except instead of squatting you'll be leaning forward.
5. How it Encourages Labor
As much as you love the feeling of carrying a life inside of you there comes a time when you just want it out already. The birthing ball puts a little bit of pressure on your cervix which can and will cause the dilation to happen.
By sitting on the ball and doing a few figure 8s you'll eventually get good and fast at them. This can encourage labor in the late stages of your pregnancy.
6. Using it in Labor
You may or may not enjoy having the ball with you during labor. The comfort it brings can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. You could have hated it during your first but find it's a great tool for your second.
Regardless, you should keep it on hand when you go into labor. You can sit on the ball and it may provide some pelvic relief. You can rock and sway on it to try and push things along.
You can sit on it and lean on your bed or on your partner. Lastly, you can lean on the ball while pushing to make things easier on your back.
No matter how you decide to use the ball you should make sure to bring towels. Things will get a little messy and you don't want any hospital floor germs to get on you.
7. Using it Postpartum
After giving birth you may experience some tearing and bruising. You won't want to use your ball until your doctor has told you that it's okay to. Once they do, you can use the ball to soothe both your achy body and the baby.
One of the best postpartum exercises is to bounce gently on the ball while holding your little one. It calms the baby and it helps relieve a few your afterbirth pains.
How to Use a Birthing Ball for an Easier Birth
Birthing balls can help make the birthing process a lot easier. Several of the exercises you can do on it promote labor by getting your baby in the right birthing position and easing some of your pregnancy pains. Use this guide for how to use a birthing ball to have a smoother pregnancy than you ever thought possible.
Just realize that you're pregnant and want to go ahead and buy your ball early? Check out this ball in our shop.