If you are planning to have a natural birth, there are so many things that can help you have a quicker and easier delivery. One of the options that can help you do that is to have the best birth ball for pregnancy.
What is a birthing ball?
A birthing ball or a birth ball is actually the same as the fitness or exercise ball that you may already have seen or used for exercising. Many have found using the birthing ball to ease the pain that the growing baby may create on the lower back. Studies also indicate that exercising with a birth ball also encourages the optimal positioning of the baby resulting in a faster and easier delivery. Many have used it to help in child delivery, labor, and, even in postpartum.
If ever you are planning to use a birth ball, you may need to consider your physical limits, however. If you have any health concerns or may feel dizzy while doing exercises, do not push yourself. Instead, call or consult your doctor right away.
What benefits will you get with a birthing ball?
Doing simple exercises using a birthing ball while you are pregnant may help in the following manner:
- During pregnancy. It may help ease out back pains. Exercising with the birth ball can also help place the baby in the most suitable position for child delivery. Continuous exercises can help strengthen the core muscles and help with balance. It can also help train your body to breathe properly especially during the third trimester.
- During labor. Using the birthing ball during labor can help open up the pelvic area and allow the baby to go further down the birth canal. It also results in an increased blood flow to the uterus. As the baby nears the birth canal and is in the optimal fetal position for delivery, it will help shorten the labor period as well as lessen labor pains.
- After pregnancy. Using the birth ball after child delivery can help relieve back, hip, and pelvic pain. It can also help shorten the recovery period. You can also do simple exercises with your newborn on the ball and enjoy bonding moments with your new bundle of joy.
How to determine the best birth ball for pregnancy?
Birthing balls can be purchased at your local stores or online. When looking for the best birthing ball, make sure to consider the following tips:
- Most fitness or birth balls are made with latex materials. If you are allergic to latex, make sure you buy one that is latex-free
- Buy one that is made of anti-burst materials.
- The ball should about 65cm for 5ft 8in or shorter, and 75 cm for 5ft 9in or taller.
- Make sure that the ball can support all of your weight when you are sitting on it. A safe ball should be able to support weight up to about 300kg (661) pounds.
- Choose one that is of high-quality. Remember that you will have all of your weight on the ball. It should be durable enough to be able to provide maximum support while you are doing pregnancy exercises.
You can start using a birth ball as early as the first trimester. This will allow you to build your core muscles. However, many found using the ball around the beginning of the 32nd week of pregnancy to be more beneficial. Doing simple exercises around this time can help relieve back pains. It can also encourage proper breathing which is a common concern during this period.
Simple Exercises With A Birthing Ball
Before you start with any exercise, you need to make sure that you have already warmed up. Your mind and body should be ready, so it will be easy for you to balance yourself while using or in the birth ball.
- Sit on the birth ball. Many expecting mothers have gladly swapped the chair that they frequently used with a birthing ball. Sitting on it will allow your body to be cautious of how body balances. It will encourage your back, abdominal and leg muscles to be activated while you are sitting on the ball.
- Do ab crunches. While sitting upright on the ball, walk your feet forward, keeping your feet in front of your knees. Take small steps until your lower back is resting against the ball. Keep feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Your hips should also remain lower than your shoulders while your body should be at an incline. Then, place your hands behind your head. Exhale, then contract your abs in toward the spine and lift your head. Then, return to an inclined position. Repeat. Once done with complete reps, walk your feet back to a sitting position.
- Do wall squats with the birthing ball. Place the birthing ball between your lower back and the wall. Then, lean against the ball and walk your feet out until they are in front of your belly. Place your hand on your thighs then bend your knees slowly into a squatting position. Keep your knees align with your ankles and up to about the height of that of your hips.
- Bounce while sitting on the birth ball. Simply bouncing on the birthing ball may help provide counter pressure that you need during labor. This exercise strengthens the legs and improves your ability to balance during pregnancy.
Using The Birthing ball During delivery
As you can see, a birth ball is more than just a piece of fitness equipment. Some have even used a birth ball to actually give birth. Some expectant women like the soft pressure of the ball while they are pushing. If you opt to do this, your health care provider will require someone to provide support (a doula or your husband, perhaps) behind you while you push so that you can lean back and allow your baby to come out. Sitting farther forward on the ball with your lower back on the ball and in a squatting position proves to be a more comfortable position for those who opted to use the birth ball during delivery. Your care provider will have to place the ball against a wall for stability.
Here’s Khloe Kardashian rocking hers even though she is not in labor. If you can find yours soon you will be loving that birth ball even more like her.