How To Use The Exercise Ball During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy provides an ideal opportunity to use an exercise ball. It makes movement more comfortable and it’s easy on your body during pregnancy, labor and delivery. You can use it to exercise, relieve back pain and help prepare you and your baby for childbirth. The exercise ball is a great tool for exercising during pregnancy. Besides being low-impact and safe, it’s also fun and easy to use. All you need is a ball big enough to support your size and shape, and then hit the ground rolling!

When it comes to exercise during pregnancy, you want to be sure that you are using the right tools for the job. This includes using an exercise ball during your workouts. The ball will help you strengthen your core, while also providing a fun new way to work out. Balancing on an exercise ball during pregnancy can be a great way to relieve back pain and help with labor, as well as provide your baby with some much-needed stimulation. Using the exercise ball correctly and safely can also be very helpful in preparing your body for pregnancy and birth while keeping you and your baby healthy throughout the process.

Use the ball to help you gain flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Exercise balls are great for expectant mothers because they’re easy to use when practicing exercises, and can help with balance and flexibility. In addition, you can use a ball to do pregnancy-safe stretches and yoga poses, or sit on it while relaxing in bed or during a massage session

What To Do With Exercise Ball When Pregnant

Exercise ball is a great tool for pregnant women. It adds extra support to your back muscles at the same time it helps you to stay active and fit. Using a fitness ball during pregnancy draws the muscles in your back and abdomen into action, supporting your changing body. There’s no need to wait until you’re on bedrest; you can use a fitness ball as soon as you know that there’s a baby in there. Exercise with an exercise ball for lower-back pain relief and excellent core training!

During labour

You can also use a birthing ball to help you during labour (as long as you’ve been using it during pregnancy so you feel comfortable and safe using it).

During labour, a birthing ball can reduce the pain of your contractions. You may find you instinctively sway and rock in rhythm with your contractions and a birthing ball gives great support for this.

It can also help you maintain upright positions, which lets gravity take some effect. Sitting on the ball with your legs wide apart can help open your pelvis ready for birth.

What is a peanut birth ball?

A peanut-shaped birth ball is effectively the same thing, just a peanut shape. They’re used during labour when mum needs to remain in the bed, for example, when getting an epidural.

The peanut shape allows you to lift one leg in a seated or laid down position.

Read more about the benefits and uses of a peanut ball here.

Illustrated picture of woman sitting on bed with one leg over a peanut birth ball

When can I use a birth ball?

You can start using a birth ball at any stage of your pregnancy, but from around 32 weeks you can use some gentle exercises to help with aches, pains, and getting your baby in to the correct position. If you don’t find birth ball exercises comfortable or helpful, ask your partner, a friend, or your midwife to help you make sure you’re in the right position.

Top tips for using a birth ball

  • You’ll have more stability using your birth ball on a carpeted floor than a smooth one.
  • Go barefoot if you can. If not, make sure you’re wearing non-slip shoes or socks.
  • Place your feet flat and far apart (60cm/45 inch) on the floor, ensuring your knees are lower than your hips.
  • Once you’ve become more used to your birthing ball, use it more and more further into the later stages of your pregnancy. At your desk while you work may be a good place to start!

“I swapped my office chair for my birth ball as I was working from home during lockdown. It kept my colleagues amused as I’d be bobbing up and down through our otherwise boring zoom meetings!”

Flo – Mum of one

How to get your hips moving

  • Side to side – this stretches out any tightness and tension in your back and hips.
  • Figure of 8 – this relieves lower back pain and helps move baby’s head down into the pelvic area.
  • Circular motion – this can help baby get into the right position during labour.

You can adopt various positions whilst in labour

  • Sit and rock your pelvis side to side, or forwards and backwards.
  • Leaning on your birth ball from a kneeling position.
  • Hugging the ball and raising your bottom up from kneeling position, rocking pelvis from side to side.
  • Leaning over your birth ball from standing position with the ball placed on a higher surface.

Mat and gym ball exercises with pregnancy related Pelvic Girdle Pain

What to consider when buying your birth ball

Buy the right size for your height. Your knees should be about 10cm (4in) lower than your hips when you sit on it.

  • If you’re up to 1.73m (5ft 8in) in height, get a 65cm ball.
  • If you’re taller than 1.73m (5ft 8in), get a 75cm ball.

Birthing balls can take any weight, regardless of your size. Good quality birthing balls are pressure-tested to support weights up to 300kg (about 47st).

After birth

You’re not done yet! If you have a vaginal birth, it’s common to feel pain or pressure between the vagina and anus and sitting down may cause some discomfort. To help with the pain, slightly deflate the ball to make it softer to sit on.

Hazard warnings

  • If your waters break or fluids are spilled anywhere near your birth ball, refrain from getting on it until the area is cleared from liquids to avoid slipping.
  • Most birth balls are anti-burst, which means if they’re punctured, they will deflate slowly instead of burst. Still, try to keep sharp objects away.
  • Pace yourself, and don’t rush to move until you feel balanced.
  • Make sure you talk to your midwife before you use a birth ball.

As a pregnant woman, you can prepare your body for delivery by using an exercise ball. Use an exercise ball to help stabilize your pelvic floor muscles (the ones that support your uterus), get rid of back pain and help keep your balance throughout pregnancy. Learn more about this tool for exercisers of all levels and why it can be so great for those who are pregnant. A fitness ball, or exercise ball, is a great way to stay fit during pregnancy. Originally developed by rehabilitation therapists for use in sports rehabilitation, fitness balls have become popular at-home gym equipment for pregnant women. Fitness balls can be used to strengthen abdominal muscles, back muscles and pelvic floor muscles. And since they are inexpensive, portable and easy on the joints, they allow you to get a full workout while keeping your joints at ease

Hold your baby. Yes, you can hold your baby in your arms while sitting on the ball. The gliding movements of an exercise ball make it easy to shift positions and hold your baby close to you. Stay comfortable while doing everyday tasks. Use your exercise ball as a chair while standing or leaning against it while getting ready in the morning. Sit on it while preparing meals, looking something up on the internet or watching TV. Use it as a back support when reading or working at a desk.” a pregnant woman can use an exercise ball for many exercises and yoga poses

How Does An Exercise Ball Help During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is normal to experience aches and pains as your body changes. Using an exercise ball during your pregnancy can help relieve this discomfort and let you feel better as you go through this special period. An exercise ball is a great way to stay fit during pregnancy. It improves abdominal and back strength and can help ease the discomforts of pregnancy, including back pain and sciatica.

Exercise balls provide relief from common pregnancy ailments, like back pain and sciatic nerve pain. They also provide comfort during labor. An exercise ball is an essential maternity piece of equipment, and it can help with everything from prenatal workouts to post-pregnancy core strength training. Find out how to use this piece of equipment for your best results!

A simple exercise ball can be a great tool to help ease muscle and joint pain, improve posture and combat pregnancy fatigue. An exercise ball helps by allowing the mother to use her lower body strength in a manner that is more comfortable for her. The positioning of the ball during exercises helps to minimize the pressure on her joints, balance and can help with weight reduction in areas that need it most.

Do You Need An Exercise Ball When Pregnant

A pregnancy exercise ball is needed to do your exercise routines during pregnancy as your body changes. This can be your primary way to get in shape, strengthen and tone up your muscles. It gives you an edge with getting back into shape after childbirth and enhance your core strength that is needed for delivery. Yes, you will need an exercise ball when pregnant because this is the best tool to stay fit. The exercise ball helps improve your posture, flexibility and strength during pregnancy.

Doing birthing ball exercises will be a personal choice you will need to make. There are no rules that state you have to use a birthing ball during pregnancy or labor. In fact, many women don’t. But if you do want to know the best birthing ball exercises to help relieve labor pain then I want you to watch the video I have below.

Pregnancy and delivery can be hard on the body so any position, exercise or technique you can use to ease the pain and make it a more empowering experience for you the better. I have heard from many of our PregActive mamas that using a birthing ball helped to improve or relieve some of the general complaints of back pain, stress, and pelvic or abdominal pain.

Note: Always check with your GP or midwife before you use a birthing ball as your personal situation may prevent you from using one.

What is a Birthing Ball?

While we call them by a different name, a birthing ball basically the same as exercise balls. These balls need to be strong to hold your weight and support you through various exercises and movements, so they are made from a durable material. This makes them difficult to puncture.

When Should You Start Using A Birthing Ball?

You can start using a birthing ball from very early on in your pregnancy. There are many great exercises that will help to strengthen your core. And then, as you progress into your second trimester, you can use it to help you with some gentle pregnancy exercises that help you to prepare for labor.

What’s the Difference Between A Birthing Ball and A Gym Ball?

Birthing balls and gym balls are basically the same thing as they both need to be made from anti-burst materials. If they do puncture, they will deflate slowly so make sure the ball you buy is anti-burst.

Your birthing ball will be slightly larger to give you more comfort. It will have an anti-slip finish which is ideal when sitting on the ball for long periods without slipping off.

Birthing Ball Size

Birthing balls aren’t one size fits all. You will soon find that they come in small, medium, or large sizes. You can buy a fully inflated ball from a store or if you buy one online you will find that the ball must be inflated after purchase.

How To Choose a Birthing Ball

Your feet need to be planted on the floor. If you are on your tippy toes while sitting on the ball then it is too big. And if your knees are positioned higher than your stomach, the ball is too small.

As a general guideline, ball sizes correspond to height. You can use the following measurements as a guide but I would recommend trying out some of your friend’s balls or ones at your local gym first.

So What Is The Best Size For A Birthing Ball? If You’re:

1. 5-foot 4 inches (165cm) or shorter select a ball that is 55 cm
2. 5-foot 4 to 10 inches (178cm) select a ball that is 65 cm
3. Over 5-foot 10 inches (178cm+) select a ball that is 75 cm

Birthing Ball Exercises – 7 minute video

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What Are the Benefits Of A Birthing Ball?

Birthing balls are very popular as they can help reduce pain you may experience, and it will also help you feel more comfortable during labor. And don’t think you have to wait until labor to use a birthing ball. Many women find great benefit in using a ball to also help relieve pain and pressure in the months or weeks leading up to delivery.

Benefits of a Birthing Ball

Sitting on the curve of a birthing ball might relieve pressure in your;
1. Pelvis
2. Lower back
3. Spine

Sitting on the ball in an upright position can also encourage the opening of your pelvic muscles. This will allow room for the baby to descend into the pelvis in preparation for birth.

Using a birthing ball during labor can also reduce stress, anxiety and labor pain.

study in 2013, studied over 200 pregnant women who were admitted to the hospital with labor pains. These women completed 30 minutes of birthing ball exercises and when the researchers measured their pain and anxiety level after the exercises, they discovered that the women reported significant improvements in reduced labor pain.

How Can You Use A Birthing Ball?

Here are some suggestions for how you can use the ball during pregnancy, labor and after delivery.

1. How To Use A Birthing Ball During Pregnancy

If you develop back pain when pregnant then you may find that sitting on a birthing ball may relieve some of this pressure and help you feel more comfortable.

Birthing ball exercises can also improve your posture, strengthen your stomach and back muscles, and prepare your body for delivery.

Sitting in an upright position on a ball may also change your baby from a posterior position to an anterior position. Achieving this may also relieve back pain.

2. How To Use A Birthing Ball During Labor

One of the main challenges during labor is to find a comfortable position. Before labor, try and experiment with various positions so you can find the best one for you to use during labor. And by knowing several exercises, you may find that you want to switch positions during labor.

In my video (above) I will show you the best birthing ball exercises and positions. These include showing you how to correctly rock from side to side, or from front to back.

Getting into a hands and knees position (while using a birthing ball) may help to take pressure off your lower back and pelvis. This position can provide comfort if you’re nearing the pushing stage and can’t sit due to pelvic pressure.

Partner Assisted

Some women also sit on a birthing ball while leaning forward on a table or bed, so that their partner can massage their back.

3. How To Use A Birthing Ball After Giving Birth

It’s natural to have pain or pressure in the area between your vagina and anus after giving birth. As a result, you may find that sitting down in a chair or seat can be uncomfortable.

Instead, what you can do is to get your partner to slightly deflate the birthing ball to make it softer and more comfortable so you can sit on the ball post birth.

Can A Birthing Ball Help Induce Labor?

If you’re overdue, then gently rocking on your birthing ball can help nudge your little one into the correct birthing position. But generally, using a ball will not induce labor.

Can Bouncing on Ball Break Waters?

So a common question I hear is whether or not sitting on a birthing ball can also induce labor. Although you might go into labor while sitting on a birthing ball; there’s no evidence to suggest that these balls can induce labor or break your water.

All of these Similar Questions have the Same Answer.

1. Does birthing ball help start labor?
2. How long do you bounce on a ball to induce labor?
3. Does bouncing on a birthing ball help you dilate?
4. How can I ripen my cervix to go into labor?
5. Can jumping up and down induce labor?

Answer: There’s no evidence to suggest that these balls can induce labor, break your water or help you dilate.

When pregnant, exercise balls can be great for helping with the aches and stretching of pregnancy. It is also great to bring on trips because it easily fits into luggage. Like any workout tool, you can use it to strengthen and tone up your body in a way that it doesn’t get when you’re just sitting around. Whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s important to strength and flexibility throughout your entire body. But because of the growing belly and changes in posture, pregnancy is a time when additional support is needed while exercising. The exercise ball provides this support with it’s elasticity, firmness and stability.

Exercise balls are an essential tool for your exercise routine. When used properly, an exercise ball can help you improve strength, balance, and endurance during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, except for the fact that it comes with a lot of aches, pains and exhaustion. An exercise ball is an affordable, fun way to help keep you fit and active throughout your pregnancy. They’re a great tool to use at home on its own or in combination with other physical therapy techniques. A recent study found that women who used exercise balls gained less weight during pregnancy than those who did not use it

Using Exercise Ball When Pregnant

Using an ex If you are pregnant, you don’t have to stop exercising. Exercise balls can be used when pregnant and provide an alternative to stationary exercise equipment. Exercise ball when pregnant can help you stay in shape, relieve back pain and prepare for labor.

Exercise ball is a great way to exercise during pregnancy. It’s safe, effective and a lot more fun than traditional workouts. When you’re pregnant, there are many things you can do to help support your growing baby and prepare for the birth of a healthy newborn. From breastfeeding to childbirth exercises (like the squat!), one underutilized exercise is using an exercise ball as part of your workout routine during pregnancy.

Exercise balls are widely used to keep your backside toned and strengthen your core. You can also use them for your pelvic floor, which allows you to feel more confident about giving birth. Exercise balls are a great way to get exercise while pregnant. It works as a support for your back and also helps to improve your balance and coordination while pregnant, promoting good posture and better muscle tone.

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