Everyone Wants to Know: Can Bouncing on a Preganncy Ball Promote Labor? A birthing ball can do many things, but initiating labor is not just one of them.
The stop of being pregnant is uncomfortable. Many moms are desperately trying to find ways to give birth naturally at home, whether it's to avoid a drug delivery or just to complete the pregnancy.
One of the most commonly heard ways to give birth at home is to sit on a birthing or exercise ball. But does it really work?
As with maximum matters in life: if it appears too suitable to be true, it probable is. Using a exercise ball to induce labor is not as simple as it seems.
As a labor nurse, I can't tell you how many women ask if they can sit on the ball to start labor. I totally understand why many moms are ready to end their pregnancy and welcome their little one, but unfortunately, it won't be easy. Birth balls and exercise balls can help with many aspects of labor, but they don't necessarily start labor.
Can bouncing on a birthing or exercise ball induce labor?
There are many benefits to using a birthing or exercise ball during pregnancy and labor. But bouncing on a birthing ball will not result in labor.
However, bouncing on the Exercise Ball does have many benefits. These benefits include keeping the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis open and relaxed, and helping the baby move down the birth canal.
Gently bouncing on the birthing ball may help the baby move lower in the pelvis, which puts some pressure on the cervix. Keeping the baby moving in the pelvis can help speed up labor when the time comes. Using a birthing ball later in pregnancy is a great idea to help prepare your body for labor.
If your body is getting ready for labor, sitting on a birthing ball or exercise ball may help with labor. You can try starting labor by bouncing lightly, making a figure 8 with your hips, and rocking back and forth. However, if your body is not ready for labor, then it is recommended that you refrain from this activity for a while.
How long should you be bouncing on the ball?
There is no minimum or maximum time limit on how long you can bounce on the birthing ball. Just do as long as you feel comfortable. However, if you feel uncomfortable, please stop immediately.
That being said, changing positions can be very helpful in helping labor move and maintain proper body alignment. I recommend spending 20-30 minutes on the ball, then another 20-30 minutes in a different position, then repeat.
When should you start bouncing on the birthing ball？
You can use a birthing ball at any time during pregnancy. You don't have to just bounce -- sitting on a ball and bouncing lightly, bouncing your hips, and rocking back and forth can all help relieve some of the discomfort of the third trimester.
Using a birthing or exercise ball throughout pregnancy can help relieve back pain and help keep the muscles and ligaments in the pelvis loose and ready for labor.
I started sitting on the ball in my late second and early third trimester for lower back and hip pain relief. I often watch TV while eating dinner while gently rocking the birthing ball from side to side.
By the third trimester, it might be a good idea to spend a little time each day on the birthing ball. Gently bouncing on the birthing ball can help the baby descend into the pelvis, toward the birth canal.
The difference between a yoga or exercise ball and a birthing ball
Yoga and exercise balls are very similar to birthing balls.
Birth balls tend to be larger and sturdier than yoga or exercise balls. This provides extra support so you don't feel like you're sinking too low when you're sitting on the ball. Birth balls are designed to support a pregnant woman's extra weight and are made of thicker material.
For safety reasons, I recommend using a specialized birthing ball rather than an exercise or yoga ball. The extra height and sturdiness are safer and help prevent you from falling or sliding. Additionally, many birthing balls have non-slip surfaces.
You can always use the birthing ball for exercise or yoga afterwards, but it's best to have extra support during pregnancy and labor.
Best birthing ball brands
I personally recommend the Trideer Birthing Ball.
Their birthing balls come with an exercise booklet for during and after pregnancy, a growth booklet for your baby after birth, and a hand pump so you can inflate the ball as hard or soft as you like.
Trideer's Birthing Ball is also made of thicker material than most birthing balls, it's non-slip, burst-resistant, and comes in different sizes, making it extremely durable.
Using a Pregnancy ball during labor
The birthing ball is one of my favorite birthing tools!
Not only is this a great way to ease labor pains, it may also help speed up labor.
There are several ways to use the ball during labor. Here are a number of my favored birthing ball exercises:
Sit on the birthing ball and gently move your hips during or between contractions. This helps the baby's head move down and put pressure on the cervix. It is also good for pain relief and acts as a mild distraction. You can also ask your partner to rub your back or provide additional support from behind.
Lean on the birthing ball with your hands and knees for support. This position is especially helpful for back work.
Hold the birth ball against the wall. You can face the wall, or place the ball between you and the wall.
If you haven't started using birthing balls yet, what are you waiting for? Even if birth balls don't induce labor, they definitely help!