my little Bubba is excited to welcome Vikki and Dani from All About Babies Antenatal Course to explain why using a Birth Ball is so, so useful for mums to be. Vikki and Dani run the All About Babies Antenatal Course which teaches parents about labour & birth plus practical newborn care. Find out more about their antenatal and hypnobirthing classes using the links at the bottom of this blogpost.
Ok, so they are not exactly aesthetically pleasing and they can’t really be hidden away but a birth ball is an absolute essential if you are pregnant and here’s why…
1. It’s comfy: Sitting on a birth ball, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, is much more comfortable than sitting on a regular chair. This is because you have to plant your feet on the floor with your legs wide to give you stability (you’re entitled not to be ladylike – you’re growing a human!) so there is room for your bump.
2. It helps the baby’s position: Sitting on a birth ball means your knees are lower than your hips which tilts your pelvis, providing more room for your baby to get into a good position for birth.
3. It strengthens: As a natural instinct you are going to want to move when sitting on a ball – you will bounce, you will rock from side to side, you will circle your hips, you may even do figures of eight. All of this is excellent for supporting and strengthening the ligaments that are holding up your uterus.
4. Pain relief: If your back is aching you can kneel on the floor and lean over the ball and gently rock from side to side which can really ease the pain. In fact, you may find this position so comfy that you decide this is how you will spend the rest of your pregnancy!
5. Labour support: The ball is also excellent for labour – you can’t actually sit on it as the baby is crowning (obvs) but it is a brilliant tool for the earlier stages. All the movements described above are going to encourage the baby to put more pressure on the cervix to aid dilation and keep your pelvis flexible making it easier for the baby to move through its bony cradle. In addition placing the ball on the floor or on your bed/sofa and leaning over it means you can rest in between contractions.
Which ball to buy?
Ensure your ball is anti-burst’ or ‘double walled’ and big enough that when you sit, your pelvis is tilted forward so your knees are below your hips. The majority of women will be comfortable with a 65” but if you are on the short side you might find a 55” suits you better and similarly, if you are very tall you will be more suited to a 75”.
TIP: Get an electric pump to blow it up! We once had a client who blew his up as you would a balloon – he didn’t feel so good afterwards!!
So, get your balls and get bouncing girls – it will be worth it!
Vikki & Dani x
To purchase a Birth Ball, check out the Natural Birth & Fitness Ball.