The birthing ball is a great tool for mothers to use when in labor, as well as expectant mothers who want to prepare for the big day. It features a low profile shape and has a durable, anti-burst design that makes it perfect for bouncing on the floor, or rolling around your home. There’s no better way to stimulate your core during pregnancy than with the birthing ball. It’s a great way to strengthen your back, balance, improve circulation and prepare for natural delivery.
This birthing ball is designed to help women during labor, the postpartum period, and while breastfeeding. It can also be used as a seat cushion or stool during rest or meditation. The unique materials used in this product are eco-friendly, non-toxic and made from rubber tree sap. The birthing ball is a great tool to use during labor, delivery and postpartum. It can help comfortable open the pelvis, alleviates back pain and helps with relaxation.
The birthing ball (or exercise ball) allows you to easily mover and use the muscles of your body freely, which in turn increases blood circulation as well as reduces stress for you and your baby. Sitting on a birthing ball helps open up your hips and allows for easier labor because it encourages you to move around rather than staying in one position. The birthing ball is a scientific and modern gift that is both important and useful for your new born.
Birthing Ball Exercises
Birthing ball exercises can be beneficial during pregnancy, labor and postpartum Birthing Ball Exercises help to improve balance, strength and flexibility. It is recommended that women with uncomplicated pregnancy do regular exercise each day (30 minutes). Women with uncomplicated pregnancy can perform the birthing ball exercises at home or in the gym.
Love yoga? Try prenatal yoga designed to work with your growing belly.
Hooked on barre? Try a Pre & Post Natal Barre Blend class.
Whether you call it an exercise ball, stability ball, Swiss ball, balance ball, or birthing ball, there are plenty of pregnancy ball exercises you can do at home with this simple and inexpensive piece of equipment.
Fun fact: You may even be able to use that same exercise ball as a birthing ball in the delivery room!
Is it Safe to Use an Exercise Ball During Pregnancy?
Short answer: In general, exercise balls can safely be used during pregnancy. Before you start any exercise plan while pregnant, it’s important to check with your doctor.
And keep in mind your workouts may change over the course of your pregnancy due to morning sickness, energy levels, or just general discomfort.
“A large exercise ball can be used safely in pregnancy for some — mostly seated — exercises,” says Daniel Roshan, MD, FACOG, FACS, a high-risk, maternal-fetal OB/GYN in New York City. “In pregnancy, we advise against strenuous abdominal exercises and encourage patients to modify their exercise routines as needed as their body changes throughout pregnancy.”
An exercise ball can challenge your balance, but when you’re pregnant, Roshan recommends making sure you’re stable during any pregnancy ball exercises.
“We do not advise patients to do any exercises with the exercise ball in which they are not seated with both feet on the floor, or anything that makes them unsteady, increasing their risk of falling,” he says.
And according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you’ll want to avoid exercises that have you lying on your back, as this can cause a drop in blood pressure.
9 Pregnancy Ball Exercises to Try
“During pregnancy, you still want to make sure you’re strengthening your core,” says Liz Smith, a certified personal trainer and founder of RebelMom, which provides nutrition and fitness coaching for moms and moms-to-be.
Using an exercise ball may help to alleviate pressure on the lower back and pelvis while you work out.
Ready to give it a try? If your doctor has given you the green light to work out during your pregnancy, here are 9 exercises to start with.
1. Wall Squat
Place an exercise ball between your lower back and a solid wall or steady surface, Smith says.
Stand feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and bend your knees to slowly lower yourself into a squatting position, using the ball as support.
Push back up to a standing position and repeat.
2. Ab Crunch
While lying on your back for standard crunches isn’t advised, Smith recommends this modification instead: Sit upright on an exercise ball and walk your feet forward so they are just in front of your knees.
Continue taking small steps until your lower back touches the ball. Your feet should remain flat on the ground with knees bent, and your body should be at an incline with hips lower than your shoulders.
Bring your hands behind your head, contract abs in toward your spine, and lift head, arms, and shoulders up and forward.
Make sure the ball is on a non-slip surface, or against the wall, to keep it from slipping out from under you — and stop if you feel any discomfort.
3. Pelvic Floor Exercises
Sit on the ball with a straight spine. Contract your pelvic muscles, as you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for a few seconds, and then release and repeat.
“Be sure not to hold your breath!” Smith says.
4. Ball March
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Exhale and draw your belly button towards your spine as you slowly lift one knee without letting the ball or your hips move.
Slowly place your foot back down and repeat on the other side. Keep alternating sides for 10 repetitions. (Don’t forget to breathe!)
“If this is too hard, you can just lift up your heel and keep your toes on the ground,” says Stephanie Stamas, DPT, a pelvic health specialist and co-founder of Chelsea Method, an online pregnancy and postpartum rehab program.
5. Ball Bridges
“Labor requires a lot of hip and gluteal strength, so training these muscles is important!” Stamas says. (This move may be too challenging or uncomfortable later in pregnancy, she advises.)
Start by sitting on the floor with your upper back against the ball. Push up through both of your feet and lift your hips off the floor towards the ceiling, as high as you can comfortably go without arching your back.
Hold for three seconds and slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
6. Kneeling Ball Roll-Outs
Start in a high kneeling position with your hands on the ball. Keeping your back straight, roll the ball forward until you can feel your core engaging. Hold for three seconds, then roll the ball back in.
“Only go out as far as your abdominal muscles can stabilize without bulging,” Stamas says.
Repeat 10 times, and make sure you continue to breathe throughout the exercise.
7. Back and Upper Body Stretch
“The chest and abdomen often get really tight in pregnancy, so this can be a great stretch!” Stamas says. Kneel on the floor, hinge forward at your hips, and rest your arms on the ball.
Gently rock the ball to one side until a stretch is felt. Hold here while breathing into the opposite side of your rib cage for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
8. Ball Circles
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Move your hips in a circular motion to “draw” small circles on the floor with the ball.
Do 10 repetitions clockwise, then repeat counter-clockwise.
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Move your hips as if you’re drawing a figure eight on the ball.
This move is great for opening up your pelvis.
Is There a Difference Between an Exercise Ball and a Birthing Ball?
While exercise balls can be a healthy part of pregnancy-safe workouts, they also can serve as a birthing ball, too.
“The exercise ball is a wonderful tool that can help you go through the different stages of pregnancy — and labor! — in a calmer and relaxed way,” says Tal Siperman Cohen, an ACSM-certified personal trainer with an extended specialty in Prenatal And Postpartum Exercise Design by Human Kinetics USA.
During your pregnancy, sitting on an exercise ball may help to open up the pelvis and pelvic floor.
“This helps to create space for the baby to drop lower into the pelvis — a necessary step as you move towards birth,” Stamas explains. It may also help alleviate back pain, she says.
“Many patients use exercise balls during early labor to relieve some of the pressure associated with labor pains,” Roshan says.
Of course, be sure to ask your obstetrician and delivery center what their policies are when it comes to birthing balls.
Choosing the Right Exercise Ball
“When choosing an exercise ball, make sure you select the appropriate size based on your height,” Stamas says.
- 5’0″ and under: 45 cm width ball
- 5’1″ – 5’8″: 55 cm width ball
- 5’9 – 6’2′: 65 cm width ball
- 6’3″ and up: 75 cm width ball
Once the exercise ball is inflated, check your body position.
“When you sit on the ball, your hips should be slightly higher than your knees to avoid pressure on your back, to allow lots of space for your tummy, and to give you stability,” Cohen says.
If you’re between sizes, Cohen suggests choosing the smaller size — especially if you plan to use it as a birthing ball too.
“I personally recommend getting the smallest one that can suit your needs,” she says. “During labor itself, it’s relaxing to lean on the ball on all fours, and a big ball might not be comfortable.”
The birthing ball is designed to help women in labor, as well as those wanting to work on their core muscles. These balls are great for a variety of exercises from strengthening your back and core, to bouncing while watching tv. The thick, high-density foam ensures durability and ease of use over time. The birthing ball is a great tool to use during pregnancy. Women who practiced exercises with a birthing ball had easier deliveries, with less need for medication and medical intervention.
Our birthing ball is a versatile tool that can be used throughout pregnancy and even after. Use it for stretching and strengthening, plus to help prepare for a speedy delivery by practicing breathing techniques on the ball. Birth ball exercises help to alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy, improve muscle strength, increase stamina, and lessen stress. The gentle bouncing also helps prepare your body for childbirth by strengthening pelvic floor muscles and promoting blood circulation.
Birthing Ball Positions To Induce Labor
Bonding with your unborn baby while using a birthing ball is a wonderful way to practice the skills needed to have a healthy delivery. In some cases, it can also help induce labor! There are several positions that you can try when using a birthing ball as part of your prenatal workout routine.
Using a birthing ball to help induce labour has other benefits too. Specific positions and certain movements can help:
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and placenta – as well as the baby
- Act as a counter-pressure to the perineum and thighs
- Loosen up pelvic and lower back muscles to aid in a smoother delivery
- Position the baby properly in the foetus minimising the chancing of a breech baby birth
- Lower stress and anxiety levels
- Take your mind off the pain you’re experience from your contractions.
Birthing Ball Techniques to Help Your Baby Drop
Birthing ball techniques to help your baby drop are nothing new. Midwives have been relying on birthing balls for years, keeping soon-to-be-mums, as comfortable as possible during those painful hours of labour.
Recent studies have now found that pregnant ladies who sit on a birthing ball at home, around the start of their third trimester, should expect to see labour progressing much faster.
So why not give it a go yourself? From knowing how to bounce on a birthing ball, to techniques a little more advanced, here’s 7 easy ways to induce labour at home with a birthing ball.
7 Easy Ways to Induce Labour on a Birthing Ball
Start by sitting on the birthing ball with your knees slightly lower than your hips. If you need any additional support or balancing, use a sturdy piece of furniture or spotter.
Now gently bounce up and down on the birthing ball. Rest your hands on top of your thighs or the sides of your belly.
Focus on your breathing, keep your shoulders back and your spine straight. Bounce slowly with safety in mind and increase your level of bouncing if you feel comfortable and confident in doing so.
Another birthing ball movement to induce labour is the rocking motion.
Sit on the pregnancy ball while placing your legs on either side. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and facing outward in order to maintain optimal balance.
Now carefully and very slowly rock back and forth – putting the weight on your tailbone first and then your pelvic region.
Rocking will help alleviate the pressure that’s experienced around the tailbone area during pregnancy. It will also loosen up the pelvic muscles in order to better prime your body for labor.
The Squat Position
Stand in an upright position and rotate your feet outward to about a 45 degree angle. Carefully lower yourself into a typical squatting position while positioning your legs about shoulder width apart. Place the maternity yoga ball out in front of you, grabbing it with both hands to keep your balance.
Suck in and slightly flex your abdominal muscles while keeping your back as straight as possible. Visualise a string that is attached to your head and that someone is using it to pull you upwards. Squat back into a standing position.
Squats can reduce labor times quite noticeably as the natural force of the gravity loosens and opens up the pelvic area – giving your baby more room to smoothly manoeuvre down the birth canal.
Squat Position Variation (Advanced)
Don’t be afraid to take it a step further. Start by placing your BABYGO pregnancy ball between a solid wall and your lower lumbar region. As you squat down using the ball as a natural support, let your legs and knees open up, as they normally do when you go into a squatting position.
Go as far down as you can using the ball as a rolling support, as long as you don’t feel any pain or discomfort. Focus on your breathing, brace your core and keep yourself steady. Gently move back up and straighten your legs. Repeat for a few reps.
The Figure Eight
Take a seating position on your bouncing labour ball and move your hips around in a figure eight position, first clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
Do the movement in a few sets of 10 reps each. Take a break then repeat for a few more minutes. This particular birthing ball technique will not only loosen up you lower back and pelvic muscles but also prepare your hips better for childbirth.
The “Reaching V” Motion
Sit on the ground with your back straight. Open your legs until they form a “V”. Place the bouncing ball between your legs and keep your hands on top.
Now gradually ‘walk the ball out’ toward your feet but stop just as you start to feel a stretch in your legs. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then walk it back toward your body.
Repeating this movement stretches your hips and legs which in turn help to open up the pelvic muscles and help induce labour.
The Forward Lean
Although a very basic birthing ball exercise, sometimes, a simple motion like leaning forward on your maternity yoga ball can give your back a much needed rest. Leaning forward takes the stress off your back which, as a pregnant woman, feels nothing short of amazing.
Kneel forward by placing your elbows on the bouncing ball and keeping your knees slight open as you feel your lower back relaxing.
All in all, the above birthing ball positions will help you induce labour while also reducing the pains and discomfort associated with going into labour.
Out of all the movements discussed above, perhaps gentle bouncing, rocking back and forth and the squat are the three most common movements that pregnant women start off with. Give them a go, and once you’re ready, go ahead and try out the other yoga ball positions to induce labor.
Birthing ball exercises are safe and effective in inducing labor. In addition to strengthening the muscles that help you push, birthing ball exercise can also help improve your posture and balance. Bouncing on a birthing ball can be an effective way to get labor started! Here are some of our favorite positions to help you do this.
A birthing ball can be a great help during labor. Using the ball in different positions improves blood flow to the pelvic area and strengthens the lower back, both of which can ease your labor. The birthing ball is an effective and safe way to increase your comfort and boost your confidence during labor. The right position can help you progress in your labor, or move past a stressful stage. With this ball and book set, you’ll find several positions that will work for you!
Birthing balls are created to help you through labor, making it easier and more comfortable. These balls come in a variety of sizes and weights, so you can find one that’s right for you.
Birthing Ball Benefits
What can a birthing ball do? It can help you breathe easier and more effectively, relax the muscles in your back, hips, and pelvic area, relieve the pain of contractions by supporting the pressure of the baby’s head on your cervix and help you develop stamina for labor. The birthing ball helps the mother relax, breathe and move throughout labor. Studies have shown that the use of a birthing ball during labor can reduce the use of pain medication and C-section rates by as much as 50%.
Birthing balls are proven to help with labor. Studies show that the use of birth balls by pregnant women can reduce the length of labor, lessen pain and increase their ability to cope, Using a birthing ball during labor facilitates birth and helps promote proper pelvic mechanics. It can improve balance, strengthen abdominal muscles, decrease back pain and increase confidence all while you are strengthening and toning your body.
Why should I use one?
The birth ball comforts and strengthens your lower back. Your pelvis is better supported and symmetrical as well. The pelvis opens a bit, perhaps not as much as squatting, but certainly without the same level of effort.
You will be able to sit upright comfortably after only a few tries with the ball. Sitting upright helps the abdomen be a “hammock” for the baby and encourages the baby to settle in an anterior position when the mother’s ligaments and fascia are balanced and she hasn’t waited too long. Start before pregnancy if you can.
- Three Balances℠
- The Jiggle
- Forward-leaning Inversion
- Side-lying Release
- Standing Release
- Abdominal Release
- Abdominal Lift & Tuck
- Other Techniques
- Comfort Tips
- Rest SmartSM
- Birth Balls
- Bed Rest Tips
- Professional Help
How does it work?
Sit with your feet flat and apart, so that your feet and the center of the ball make a tripod when you sit down. The ball should be firm and big enough so that your hips are equal or higher than your knees. Use a birth ball to help you do a gentle backbend to open your upper chest and shoulders. You might get a gentle adjustment or spinal alignment as well.
When can I use a birth ball?
There are seemingly endless times and ways that a birth ball can be used during pregnancy. The following are a few examples.
In any stage of pregnancy
Use a birth ball instead of a chair when sitting. Trade the chair in for a birth ball at the computer, at the dinner table, and even while watching TV.
To get into labor
If your water releases and there are no contractions, then doing these circles on the ball, done smoothly but actively (perhaps to salsa music), can help put the head on the cervix and bring on contractions. Do these circles for 20 minutes, changing directions periodically. Alternate abdominal lifts with circles on the ball once contractions begin if the contractions are not yet 3-4 minutes apart and it’s not time to sleep.
The birth ball can be used to sit on in early labor. The upward curve of the ball is a nice support, and gives a good counter pressure to the slightly engorged or swollen vulva during labor. It’s also more comfortable than a chair.
Here are some suggestions:
- Use it in the shower if there is a bar to grasp on the shower wall.
- Some women even like to sit on the ball during a very active labor.
- The ball can be a mobile support for the mother’s upper body when she is kneeling and leaning forward in labor. This position on the ball makes it easy to rock forward and back during contractions, which soothes many birth givers.
- Others like to rock side to side or even make gentle circles to calm themselves and rock their bodies during contractions. It’s a great way to be in a hands and knees position without straining the wrists.
When you need help to progress a labor but the mother can’t stand or get out of bed
Obstetrician Diane Peterson taught me this one. The mother sits on the birthing bed and bends her knees and touches the soles of her feet together. The birth ball is placed in the space between her knees and she leans forward to hug the ball. The foot of the birthing bed can be lowered a little to make this more comfortable.
Now she needs two trusted people at either side of her. She vigorously rocks side to side. Her support team grabs her arms and shoulders to hold her weight when she leans towards them, to prevent her from falling off the bed.
It is a vigorous exercise that shifts the asynclitic or posterior baby lower through the pelvis. It may correct the angle of the baby’s head as well. It will even help fetal descent if the reason for the lack of descent is due to an unfavorable angle of the baby’s head.
One woman I helped as a doula wanted to sit on the ball while she pushed. She didn’t want to be in bed or stand or sit on a birthing stool.
Her midwife was a little concerned about a repeat shoulder dystocia, but when the time came for the baby to emerge, the mother just angled her pelvis forward while I held her from behind and the baby slipped into the midwife’s hands. I realize now that she did a posterior pelvic tilt when flipping her hips towards the midwife, which is a nice “shoulder-release” position!
After the birth
The ball is great for a parent to sit on while comforting a baby at least 2-3 weeks old. Make sure you are comfortable sitting on the ball and are able to get on and off without losing your balance before you try sitting down on a ball with a baby in your arms.
Here’s a common scene: The baby, who is in pain from gas, often calms down with a little walking. After a while, a parent’s legs will grow tired. If a similar walking rhythm can be imitated
This birthing ball is the most effective and comfortable way to prepare for the delivery of your baby. The birthing ball helps a woman keep her balance while giving birth and prepare for delivery. An expectant mom sits on the ball to encourage the infant’s natural rotation as it moves down through her pelvis. The ball also helps to strengthen the muscles used during labor.
How Long Should You Bounce On A Birthing Ball
The amount of time you spend using the ball during labor can vary significantly. It’s recommended that you learn how to use the ball early in your pregnancy, then begin bouncing on it for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a day. When your labor starts, you can increase the length and intensity of your sessions according to how comfortable you feel. Recovery from childbirth may also be eased with continued use of a birthing ball after delivery.
The ideal length of a birthing ball session is up to you. The most common practice is to sit on the ball for about 45 minutes each time. Every mum is different and every birth is different, so be sure to do what feels right for you. Bouncing on a birthing ball is a tool that practitioners use to achieve longer periods of pressure in the final stage of labor, as well as to help the mother feel more active and involved during the process.
The answer is that it depends on what you are doing on the ball. If you are simply sitting on it and bouncing lightly, you can do this for as long as you like. However, if you are using the ball to help induce labor naturally by using contractions during your pregnancy, then you really need to be on the ball for no more than 15 minutes. For how long should I sit on my exercise ball while pregnant? The answer is that it depends on what you are doing, The longer you stay on a birthing ball, the more it will benefit you. If you can do your entire labor as well as push time (usually about 15-30 minutes) on the ball, you’ll have a better chance of having a vaginal delivery and be less likely to have an epidural or other interventions.
About 10 minutes at a time. It’s recommended to use a birthing ball in conjunction with other positions to support your growing belly and relieve back pain, like side lying and kneeling on all fours.
How To Use A Birthing Ball To Engage Baby
Engage your baby and prepare for labor with a birthing ball. Use it for daily exercise and prenatal strengthening, to relax and ease the pain during labor, or to help the baby’s rotation in preparation for birth. Getting comfortable and moving through labor can be hard if you’re not used to it. That’s why a birthing ball can be such a wonderful asset to have in your home during labor and delivery. Use the birthing ball to help relax your spine and relieve back pain, engage your baby, practice breathing, support yourself while squatting or kneeling on all fours, facilitate pushing during birth (or practicing this position in early labor), strengthen and stretch out your body during pregnancy, and so much more!
When the time comes to give birth, you’ll need all the help you can get. A birthing ball is a great way to help encourage labor in a natural and non-medical way. Here are a few simple ways you can use a birthing ball as you prepare for your delivery day: If you’re pregnant and ready to give birth, you might consider a birthing ball. The inflatable exercise ball, or Swiss ball, can help engage and strengthen your muscles, as well as give you a sense of security when you’re in labor.
A birthing ball is designed to be a comfortable place for women to sit during labor. It’s a great way to get gravity and natural movements working for you. If you want to use a birthing ball during your labor, this video will explain how to select the right ball for you and how to use it for optimal comfort and optimal fetal positioning.