Exercising on a birthing ball during pregnancy can help to reduce back pain and ease labor pain and reduce pain due to contractions, especially if the female uses a birthing ball in the final weeks of her pregnancy. It can also help decrease anxieties, stress, and reduce the first stage of labor.
What Is a Birthing Ball?
A birthing ball is an exercise ball that can be used during pregnancy and labor. It is a rubber ball that can be used in many ways during pregnancy and even after delivery.
Effective birthing ball exercises to induce labor
Birthing ball exercises are extremely beneficial in pregnancy. Birthing ball exercises during pregnancy can help in inducing labor. Here are some effective birthing ball exercises you can do in pregnancy-
- Pelvic tilt exercise- Place your birthing ball against the wall and sit with your back on the ball. By pulling your abdomen in a little, gently curve and push your back towards the ball. This exercise is very good for strengthening the lower back and uterus.
- Resting Child’s Pose- Place your birthing back against the wall. Kneel in and bend your body towards the ball. Take support on the ball and stay in the resting child pose for a few seconds and then repeat.
- Bouncing on the ball exercise- Gently bouncing on the birth ball will help in strengthening the legs and the balancing ability. During labor, this bouncing exercise is useful in exerting counter pressure and thus inducing labour.
- Hula Hoop Exercise: To do the hula hoop exercise, sit firmly on the ball with your hands on your hips. Then make circular movements with your hips, just like you make with your waist with a hula hoop. Start with small rotational movements and as you get comfortable with the exercise, start with bigger circular rotations.
- Rocking: Sit on the birth ball and let slowly move pelvis rock back and forth, and then side to side motions. This rocking exercise on a birthing ball during pregnancy helps shift the pelvis into spinal and pelvic alignment and ease discomfort between contractions.
Also Read- 10 Easy And Safe Exercises During Pregnancy
How to choose the right size birthing ball for you?
The right side of the birthing ball for exercise during pregnancy can be determined based on the female’s height. Below is mentioned the right size of the birthing ball for exercises for you in pregnancy:
|Female’s Height||Recommended Ball size|
|Less than 5 feet 4 inches (5.4 feet)||55 cms|
|5 feet 4 inches (5.4 feet) – 5 feet 10 inches (5.10 feet)||65 cms|
|5 feet 10 inches (5.10 feet) or taller||75 cms|
When can you start using a birthing ball in pregnancy?
You can start using a birthing ball from very early in pregnancy, as early as you want. Simply sitting on a birthing ball and moving back and forth or side to side can help relieve cramps and adjust your pelvic floor.
From around week 32 of pregnancy, you can use your birthing ball for gentle pregnancy exercises. Check with your doctor if you have severe pain or contractions in pregnancy as your doctor can suggest special exercises to ease discomfort and prepare for labor.
Try exercises on a birthing ball in positions where you are leaning forward (like the child’s pose) rather than tilting back. Gentle bouncing on the ball can also help the baby’s head drop into your pelvic area.
Benefits of birthing ball exercises in pregnancy
- Eases back pain
- Stimulates blood flow to the female’s pelvic area
- Offers additional pressure to the perineum and thighs
- Gives support to and strengthens your knees and ankles
- Helps ease spinal pressure
- Can reduce the pain and duration of labor
- Can reduce anxieties and pain from contractions
- Can help dilate and open up the pelvic muscles
- Corrects the baby’s position before the birth (by dropping the baby’s head in the pelvic area)
Doing birthing ball exercises in pregnancy can provide a lot of comfort before and during labor. These exercises can relieve back pain, reduce pelvic pressure, and it can even shorten labor. Birthing ball exercises are also believed to induce labor. Speak to your doctor to know the best birthing ball exercises for you.