Birthing balls or Pilates balls can be an important comfort technique during labor. In fact, many birthing facilities now offer birthing balls for expectant couples, many childbirth educators use them in their classes and many doulas have balls they loan to their clients. So how can you use a birthing ball to help you during labor? See a video from Sacramento's BabyStop about using birth balls during labor here.
Try getting on your hands and knees and hugging the ball to your chest. This is a very comfortable position both during labor and during the last trimester of your pregnancy. If the ball is uncomfortable against your breasts, try putting a pillow on the ball and beneath your knees. You could also put the ball on your bed or on a table and lean over it if you want to stand but hug something.
The most familiar position with a Pilate’s balls is to sit on it. Sitting on the ball opens up the hips and engages gravity; all things that help you get the baby out. If you’re uncomfortable sitting on the ball for the first time, make sure sometimes stands behind you. When you sit on the ball, you need to make sure your knees are at a 90 degree angle—inflate or deflate the birthing ball to the correct height.
A great position with the birthing ball is to lean it up against a wall and then place it into the small of your back. Or you could put your cheek up against the wall and let your arms hang by your sides to rest.
The ball also gives women in labor the ability to move. When sitting on the ball try rocking your hips around in a circle to open them further. You could also bounce on the ball if you wanted to. When hugging the ball you could rock side to side or back and forth. Moving during labor may help decrease your pain by keeping your muscles loose and dissipate some of the energy from contractions.
Coaches can absolutely help while you’re on the ball! They can give you hand, foot and back massages depending on the positions you're in. They can help you feel confident on the ball as you get used to it. And of course, they can also be in charge of inflating it and carrying it into your birthing facility for you.
When using the ball, make sure there’s nothing sharp around you that might puncture the ball. You should also make sure the ball you use is burst resistant, that way if it does get a hole in it, it’ll deflate rather than pop. Make sure you’re barefoot when using birthing balls or wearing shoes or socks with non-slip treads.
The information in this article is not medical advice. This information is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure anything during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum time. Always check with your care provider before following any advice from TheOnlyBabyStop.com.