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Guide to Using a Balance Ball for Labor

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Many women are moving toward the trend of using a balance ball for labor. In fact, these affordable exercise tools are also called birthing balls and are commonly used during pregnancy and postpartum, as well.

 

If you are thinking about using a balance ball for labor, then it is a good idea for you to speak with your doctor as early as possible. The reason is that he or she will likely have some guidance to recommend specifically for your needs. Moreover, it is important to practice using the ball well before you go into labor. You will need to make sure you’ve selected the right size of birthing ball and that you are very comfortable and feel safe using it.

 

If using a balance ball for labor is an awkward or jarring experience, it won’t be much use to you. Begin early for the best results.

 

Many doctors and midwives recommend combining TENS with the use of a birthing ball. This helps women to be able to better cope with early labor at home. Women frequently feel inclined to rock and sway along with the natural rhythm of the contractions. Birthing balls offer significant support for these movements.

 

Among the ways a birthing ball may be used during labor include (but may not be limited to):

 

  • Rocking your pelvis back and forth or from side to side while sitting astride the ball.
  • Kneeling on the floor and leaning forward onto the ball with your arms.
  • Getting down onto all fours on the floor by hugging the birthing ball and raising your backside up from a kneeling position. From there, rock your pelvis from side to side.
  • Standing on the floor, place the ball on a bed or other surface and lean forward over it.

 

These are all positions that are often used during the first stage of labor. That said, be sure to speak with your doctor or midwife in advance to know for certain that they will be right for you and to give yourself the chance to practice them.

 

These positions will also be helpful for providing your birth partner room to support you. Often, receiving a massage or lower back pressure during contractions can be very helpful.

Many of these positions are not appropriate for the pushing stage as it is typically advised that sitting should be avoided. By that point, you will be more likely to use the positions on your hands and knees. This helps to take the pressure off your back and your bottom. It also provides your baby with additional space to descend with your contractions.


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