How to Use a Birthing Ball

A birthing ball is a simple exercise ball and it is a great tool to use during pregnancy and birth. Using it during pregnancy will help with posture, may eliminate common pregnancy aches and pains and may help prepare your body during labor. Using a birthing ball during labor opens the pelvis and utilizes gravity-possibly making birth shorter and less painful.

Instructions

  1. During Pregnancy

    • 1

      Take a seat on your birthing ball. Make it your primary chair when you watch television, talk on the phone or work on the computer. You may even be able to use it at work, depending on your supervisor's and human resource officer's opinion about using exercise balls at work.

    • 2

      Rock or "hula" on the ball. While you sit on it, rock your hips back and forth or around in a circle to help your pelvis get open, and work the muscles in your hips and thighs. However, you should only do this with someone else's help to keep you from falling off the birthing ball.

    • 3

      Lean on the ball while in a hands and knees position. Many women find getting into a hands and knees position in pregnancy may help move the baby into a more comfortable position and may help get the baby into position for labor to begin.

    During Labor

    • 1

      Sit on your ball. The ball puts you into a supported squat, opening your pelvis and utilizing gravity. Many women in labor report less pain if they use upright positions that open up the pelvis. You can use the birthing ball while on a fetal monitor and even in the shower.

    • 2

      Place your ball on a bed, stand next to the bed and lean over the ball, moving your hips. This will open your pelvis, but take less energy than simply standing and moving your hips.

    • 3

      Get into a hands and knees position and lean on the ball. This is a great position for labor, especially if you have a posterior baby and painful back labor. It's also a very soothing position for many laboring women.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use your instincts while using a birthing ball during pregnancy or birth. If a position is uncomfortable, don't use it.
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