Birth balls can be used for exercise or to get into a comfortable position during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. Doulas know there are multiple benefits of using birth balls throughout and strongly encourage their clients to use them.
Birth balls in pregnancy…
Using birth balls during pregnancy offers several benefits:
- Sitting on birth balls instead of chairs or couches can help you maintain good posture. Posture tends to get worse the further along the pregnancy due to leaning back into, rather than finding a way to support, the growing belly. Sitting on birth balls offers support and allows you to sit up straight.
- Utilizing birth balls during pregnancy increases blood flow to the uterus, placenta, and your growing baby. This leads to a healthier mama and healthier baby.
- They relieve pressure to the spine. Again, rather than leaning back into the growing belly, the birth ball supports the belly taking the pressure off the spine.
- Maybe the most beneficial aspect of using birth balls during pregnancy is they open the pelvis and encourage your baby to descend in an optimal position.
Birth balls in labor…
Doulas, nurses, and primary care providers alike love the use of birth balls during labor. They are one of the most versatile labor tools that offer big benefits.
- Sitting, rocking, and circling on a birth ball while in labor relieves back pain. This is especially beneficial for women who experience back labor.
- Using birth balls throughout labor reduces labor pain and the use of pain relief medication.
- Bouncing, rolling, and leaning on a birth ball reduces stress and anxiety levels. I have seen clients bounce to their favorite pop song beat while going through an intense contraction, eyes closed, with a smile on their face.
- As labor progresses, pressure can get intense. Using a birth ball greatly helps reduce that pressure in the lower abdomen, perineum, and thighs.
Birth balls after birth…
Birth balls continue to have tremendous benefits even after baby has arrived.
- Bouncing on a birth ball may help soothe a fussy baby. Having tools in your arsenal can be the difference between feeling overwhelmed and sanity.
- Rocking back and forth, as a rocking chair, while feeding your baby.
- Again, birth balls help maintain good posture. It may not be a bad idea to replace all office chairs with birth balls.
- Exercise on birth balls help re-tone muscles and re-strengthen the pelvic floor.
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