Before, During AND After Giving Birth!
REAL BENEFITS OF USING A BIRTHING BALL
The moments (let’s be real- HOURS) leading up to the birth of a child can be exhilarating, intoxicating and altogether spectacular.
Even though becoming a mama is a life-changing event, it’s not always picturesque. Childbirth can be one of the most exhausting things you will ever do (besides actually raising the kid!)
There are many new moms and dads who are worried about the pain associated with childbirth, and are in search of ways to keep mama as comfortable as humanly possible during labor.
Enter, the Birthing Ball.
What is Birthing Ball?
Essentially, a birthing ball is a large, rubber, exercise ball- like the kind you would see at a gym or yoga studio. Birthing balls are used for a wide variety of reasons- mainly to reduce pain during labor. Do we have your attention now?!
If you’ve experienced childbirth before, especially natural childbirth, you know that there are lots of little ways to ease discomfort, and make your birthing experience easier. One of the ways to do so, is by incorporating a birthing ball into your experience.
Benefits of Using a Birthing Ball During Pregnancy
As we said above, there are MANY reasons to buy a birthing ball. Most people assume that you should only use a birthing ball DURING labor. However, it is very important that you are comfortable using your birthing ball prior to using it the day you go into labour. Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of your birthing ball BEFORE you give birth:
Alleviate Back Pain
Here’s the good news: Your baby is growing! Congratulations!
Here’s the bad news: This growth is pretty tough on your back… Rest assured- you are not alone.
50% of pregnant women in the U.S. report having experienced back pain during their pregnancy. Back pain occurs for several reasons; a few of them being:
- hormonal changes- thanks a lot Relaxin
- posture changes
- weight gain
- muscle separation
But here’s MORE good news: Sitting on your birthing ball is a great way to stave off back pain, and get a mini-workout in! As you rock, or bounce gently, on your birthing ball, your tummy and back muscles will be working to keep you upright. Sitting and moving around on the ball while you are at your desk or watching TV will gently exercise your pelvic muscles, increase mobility and will help you to naturally develop good posture. This also helps to alleviate back pain during pregnancy, and helps you get back in shape more quickly after the baby is born!
Keep Calm & Birthing Ball On
Sitting on your birthing ball will force you to be mindful of your body, and how it is moving. It requires focus and mental energy to stay upright on your birthing ball, so your brain is focused on a specific task. During your pregnancy there will be lots of new, and sometimes challenging, things you will face. While this is a normal part of pregnancy, it can be quite overwhelming at times. Carve out a small amount of time every day to sit on your birthing ball, and turn out the world. Call it your in-home meditation session!
Use this quiet time every day to slow down, and focus on the positives of being pregnant. Be mindful of the life you are growing inside your body, and quiet the noise and chaos of your everyday life. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this will become your favorite part of the day!
Ditch Your Office Chair & Opt for Comfort
Many pregnant women choose to remain at work for quite a while during their pregnancy, in some cases even right up to their due date. If your job has you sitting for long periods at a time, consider switching out your desk chair for a birthing ball. By sitting straight on the ball during the day, it takes pressure off of your sitting bones and pelvic floor.
In the later months of pregnancy, this also helps you breathe more comfortably, as it helps distribute the weight evenly. Not only is this a more comfortable option, it’s also helpful to the baby in the long run. Tammy Wills, a certified midwife and doula, claims that these balls provide an excellent alternative to sitting on a hard surface.
“I like when women use the birthing ball prenatally as a way to practice forward (rather than backward) leaning positions, which encourages the baby to be in a favorable position for labor.”
Benefits of Using a Birthing Ball During Labor & Delivery
Get off that couch and exercise on your birthing ball!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re opting for a home birth, or you’re going to a hospital to have your baby; you’ll want to have a birthing ball within arms reach.
You’re More Easily Accessible to Massage
…which you will definitely want! By having you sit on the ball, your partner can stand behind you- and have easy access to your lower back, your hips and your neck.
Have your partner stand behind you, and help you remain upright. This helps you both stay calm and feel connected, especially through a wave of tough contractions.
Easily Lean on the Ball While Pushing
While you’re pushing, you’ll want to avoid sitting. Taking the pressure off your pelvic area allows the baby’s head to descend with each contraction.
Lean on your birthing ball from a kneeling position on the floor. This is a very popular position to assume while contracting. It’s also immensely more comfortable than being on all fours, putting pressure on your wrists and hands. Adding padding under your knees can help with any discomfort there.
This position also allows your birth partner plenty of room to support you during contractions.
Increases Blood Flow to the Uterus
By sitting on your birthing ball with wide legs, you will help increase blood flow to your uterus, placenta, and baby.
Also, circling your hips to the right and then left in the hands while on the ball really gets the blood flowing down there!
Benefits of Using a Birthing Ball Postpartum
Now that you’ve finally brought your baby home and had a chance to recover a little, you’re probably ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy self. This can take a few months, depending on your birth experience, so don’t be hard on yourself.
Take it slowly, and make sure to nurture yourself as much as the new babe.
Helps Ease the Residual Pain of Delivery
You will feel sore for quite a few days after the delivery. As you’ll quickly learn, sitting on the ball is exponentially more comfortable than sitting on a hard surface. Your body went through a very rigorous and grueling process, so give it some love! Pull up your birthing ball to the dinner table, breastfeed baby on it- do all the things you would normally do in a chair, on the ball!
Your booty will thank you.
Rock Baby to Sleep
While you’re feeding or comforting baby, instead of standing and rocking, trying sitting and gently bouncing on the ball. This will be soothing to the newborn, and be WAY easier on your feet than standing for hours!
Tone Up Post Baby
“The general rule of thumb is to head back to the gym six weeks after birth,” says Jade Alexis, personal trainer from Reebok Sports Club.
You don’t need to invest in expensive exercise equipment, or even go to a gym. All you need is what you’ve been using since the beginning! After birth, your birth ball will prove to be a VERY useful companion.
Buy Yours Today!