Find comfort and ease of body alignment when using a birthing ball in your third trimester. This birth ball can help relieve back pain and offer support as your pelvis expands to accommodate the baby’s head. Using a birthing ball in your third trimester will help you become more comfortable with your changing body and assist you with labor.
Third-trimester pregnant women can use a birthing ball to facilitate labor, reduce labor pain and increase comfort. The birthing ball comes with a step-by-step instruction guide that explains how to use the ball in labor. If you’re pregnant and feel like there’s no way you’ll make it through the third trimester without a little postpartum help, try using a birthing ball. This small exercise ball is useful for helping prepare your body for delivery, reducing lower back pain, and even helping women with gestational diabetes lose weight. A birthing ball is an essential part of prenatal exercise for the third trimester.
For centuries, midwives and doulas have been singing the praises of birthing balls, specifically how they can be used to help induce a woman, and keep her as comfortable as possible during what will inevitably be several hours of labor.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research established that using a birthing ball during labor will significantly reduce pain during labor. Birthing balls have ALSO been proven to help speed up dilation of the cervix, and aid in moving the baby down into the pelvis, in preparation for birth.
Your birth ball also has the potential to lower some of the stress and anxiety you might be feeling, since you’ll have something else- balancing yourself on top of the ball- to think about, instead of the pain of your contractions.
If your water breaks, it’s still safe to use your birth ball. Just be sure to cover it with an absorbent pad or towel.
EXERCISES TO INDUCE LABOR & DILATE
It’s always advised that you should speak to your obstetrician (or midwife) prior to attempting to induce labor. Generally speaking, between 39-41 weeks gestation is the appropriate time to start trying to induce labor at home.
Studies show that if mama begins using the birthing ball for inducing labor right around the beginning of the last trimester, labor may progress much more quickly!
It has also been proven that gravity works naturally to help start labor, and keep it progressing. Women who lie flat have a much higher incidence rate for cesarean delivery.
Here are a few of the recommended ways to induce labor at home, using your birthing ball:
Before giving birth, your baby’s head must move into the proper position. Gently bouncing on the ball will help your baby to move down the birth canal, and into that proper position.
1. Sit on the birthing ball, keeping your knees level with your hips. Use a spotter or a sturdy piece of furniture to hold onto if you need additional support for balancing.
2. Gently bounce up and down, allowing your hands to rest on the sides of your belly, or on the tops of your thighs.
You can increase the level of your bouncing as you feel comfortable, and most importantly- safe! Keep your spine straight, and your shoulders back. Remember to focus on your breathing!
1. Sit on your birthing ball, keeping your legs on either side of the ball.
2. Spread your feet shoulder width apart, while positioning your feet facing out, to help keep your balance.
3. Slowly (carefully) rock backwards and forwards, putting the weight first on your tailbone and then your pelvic area.
Rocking helps to relieve the pressure on your tailbone, and helps loosen the pelvic muscles and helps prepare your body to go into labor.
1. While seated on your birthing ball, slowly make figure-8’s with your hips in a circular motion. Try one way for a few figure-8’s, then the other way, and so on.
2. Do this exercise in sets of 10. This helps prepare your hips for childbirth, and loosen your back muscles.
1. Standing in an upright position, rotate your feet outward. Slowly lower yourself into a squatting position, keeping your legs shoulder-width apart. Place the birth ball in front of you, and using both hands, allow it to help you keep your balance.
2. Draw in your abdominal muscles and make sure to keep your back straight. Imagine that there is a string on top of your head, and someone above you is pulling it upwards.
Squats allow the force of gravity to help open your pelvis, which gives baby more room to descend further into the birth canal. This helps to kick-start labor. Squats have even been known to reduce labor times.
1. Place your birthing ball between your lower back and a solid wall or steady surface. Open your legs and slowly move into a squatting position, using the ball as support.
2. Bend your legs and gently roll downwards, as far as you can go without hurting yourself.
3. Concentrate on your breathing and steadying yourself. Slowly move back up into the squatting position and repeat.
1. Sitting on the ground, open your legs so they form a “V”. Place the ball between your legs, hands on top.
2. Slowly walk the ball out towards your feet, until you feel a stretch in your legs. Hold for a few seconds and walk it back towards your body.
3. Repeat this as often as you’d like to stretch your legs and hips, and open up your pelvic muscles to help induce labor.
BE AS PATIENT AS PREGNANTLY POSSIBLE
As they say, “babies come when they are ready,” so having good nutrition and blood flow helps get them ready faster. It can also reduce the chances of complications during labor and delivery.
As always, make sure that you feel confident on your birthing ball before you try any new exercises.
If you plan on using a yoga ball for inducing labor, or for exercise during your pregnancy, here are some helpful tips:
Make sure you get an okay for exercise from your doctor or midwife
Make sure to get the right size for your height. Having the right size birthing ball is very important, one size does not fit all. If you are 5’8” or under, opt for the 65cm ball. If you’re 5’9” or taller, choose the 75cm option.
If you are near the end of your pregnancy, or already in labor, and there is a chance your water might break, so make sure you cover your birth ball with a towel or waterproof pad.
Remain bare-footed as much as possible. This will keep you from sliding around while seated, and allow you to have more control.
It helps with posture and breathing, relieves back pain and encourages blood circulation, which in turn speeds up labor.
Using A Birthing Ball In Second Trimester
Use the Birthing Ball in second trimester to help with labor and delivery of your baby. It can also be used to strengthen your abdominal muscles by sitting on it in third trimester, or before and after birth. By using a birthing ball, you will find relief from sciatica, heartburn and indigestion. When you’re pregnant in your second trimester, you might be feeling like your belly has taken over your body. Your hormone levels have skyrocketed, causing fatigue and nausea, which means that a lot of women find it easier to rest on their backs or sides. Placing a birthing ball under the small of your back can help you feel more comfortable and helps take pressure off of your spine and belly. Remember that all babies are different – the purpose of using a birthing ball is to find what works best for you and your growing child.
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.
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).
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.
- 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.
Using a birthing ball during second trimester can help ease some of the discomfort that comes with pregnancy. While using a birthing ball, you want to make sure that your hips are slightly higher than the rest of your body. This will allow for blood flow to easier circulate throughout your body, which can lead to less pain and swelling in your legs and feet. It can also relieve back pain and muscle pain if used correctly. Whether you’re having a routine vaginal birth or an unanticipated caesarean, using a birthing ball is a great way to prepare your body and mind for delivery.
The birthing ball has been used in hospitals, clinics and birthing classes for over 60 years. The modern ball is made of latex-free vinyl and includes a 5-point safety harness that allows you to move freely and still provides you with extra support.
When Can You Use A Birthing Ball In Pregnancy
You can use a birthing ball in pregnancy whenever you feel comfortable. It is not necessary to use a birthing ball in pregnancy unless you want to try something new and exciting! You can begin using a birthing ball anytime you want. It becomes most helpful in the third trimester when women begin to feel the effects of the extra weight they’re carrying in their abdomens and legs, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Be sure to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program that includes use of a birthing ball.
A birthing ball is used to help improve the strength and posture of your body, making you more comfortable when you’re pregnant. Birthing balls are also known to help develop healthy breathing patterns for both you and your baby. You can use a birthing ball in pregnancy for labour and birth to work with gravity.
Some pregnant women like to use a birthing ball during labor and delivery. The benefits of using an exercise ball include: Providing comfort, helping support body weight and it can be used for doing gentle stretching exercises. Birthing balls, also called exercise balls or exercise pillows, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for women giving birth. While there is still little scientific evidence to prove their safety and effectiveness, many women swear by them. A birthing ball can be a great tool for you to use in the comfort of your own home during the later stages of pregnancy.
Birthing balls are an ideal way to relax and strengthen core muscles during pregnancy. The pressure to the pelvic floor can help prepare your body for labor and delivery, while also helping you gain assistance with breathing exercises throughout labor. It can also be used to position baby or support a mother’s weight after childbirth if needed.
Using A Birthing Ball During Labor
Using a birthing ball during labor will help you relax and reduce the pain. Learn how to use a birthing ball during your pregnancy, including tips for finding the right size, getting comfortable and using the ball to work through contractions. Using a birthing ball during labor can help reduce pain and stress, as well as improve your posture.
The birthing ball can help you feel more comfortable during labor by allowing you to sit up, move around and change positions. It is safe to use during pregnancy and can be incorporated into your prenatal workout routine to increase blood flow, strengthen pelvic floor muscles and sooth back pain. Most women experience an easier labor with fewer complications by using this simple device. Using a birthing ball during labor can make the labor process easier. It helps with back pain and takes the pressure off of your legs and ankles during contractions. Having an upright position during labor helps increase blood flow to the placenta which expedites things along. Using a birth ball also reduces postpartum bleeding, but I think this is mostly due to the birthing ball helping move things along so that babies come out faster!
When you lose control of your body, a birthing ball can help you regain it. Standing while using the ball helps stretch your lower back muscles and improves circulation as well. The exercise positions that can be done with the ball help release muscle tension in your thighs, back, shoulders and neck. It also works your abdominal muscles, helping reduce strain on your lower back when pushing during labor and delivery. The birthing ball is a technique that women have used for generations to relieve labor pain. This exercise tool is a great way to take control during childbirth by using gravity and gravity-based exercises to ease the pain.